meet the artists!
anita arguello, Painter
anita arguello is a neurodivergent, abstract painter. As a self-taught artist, she's unconventional in her use of tools and methods of slapping, splashing, and dripping paint onto canvas. Her work is textured, layered, and emotional to create a bold statement. Each piece challenges the customary views on art with a distinct and recognizable style true to her creative process. She creates from a place without rules and hopes to stimulate thought, while evoking emotions to inspire others to find their creative voice. The majority of her work has been featured in exhibits promoting and advocating for autistic people, including the PCAA Gala Art Fundraiser, Evolve’s Evening of Arts for Autism, and Roadkill Gallery's collaboration with Evolve and adrift arguello SEE US Neurodivergent Exhibit.
For inquires or purchases, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Janette Barbosa, Fiber Artist
Pittsburgh-based artist Janette Barbosa was born and raised in National City, CA and is a proud daughter of Mexican immigrants. She attributes her hard work ethic, color choices, and love for diversity to her strong cultural roots. She continuously references her background and experiences as having shaped her art and worldview.
She founded Cecil St. Knots after discovering her passion for handmade fiber art. She specializes in contemporary Macramé and Macraweaves, and she also has a passion for knitting. Deeply inspired by abstract artists, such as Piet Mondrian and rope artist Windy Chien, Janette uses different colored rope, yarn, and knots to develop an original and unique style of fiber art wall hangings.
Janette received her Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and her Master of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She was first introduced to fiber art by her husband in 2018 as he suggested knitting to help with her anxiety. In December of 2020, while in an episode of deep depression, Macramé provided an outlet that gave her a newfound purpose. Janette truly healed through the world of fiber art. She is looking forward to continuing to develop her technique and working with her local, national, and international fiber art community.
Lee Bateman, Metalsmith
Lee Bateman has a degree in Digital Arts and Animation from Point Park University and has a lifelong experience as a craftsman. Lee has more recently engaged in metalwork, woodwork, and minor leather working skills. Creating Medieval wares from Ancient Asia and Medieval Europe, Lee welds them with hard effort and work. Lee makes wares for both personal films and the Society of Creative Anachronism (SCA). He always insists on getting the research down to the letter, honoring the history of these crafts. Lee spends hours, days, and weeks trying to achieve historical accuracy while customizing his wares to fit his own needs.
Brad Bianchi, Sculptor
Through reuse art, Brad shows that a single object is not limited to one intended use. He enjoys imagining the journey of every battered and rusted piece he uses in his work. From an early age, Brad's parents would find interesting and useful materials from estate sales and job site dumpsters, a practice of reuse that he has carried on into his professional career. Focusing is very difficult for Brad, so he is always working on multiple projects at a time!
Morgan Boyer, Writer
Morgan Boyer is the author of The Serotonin Cradle (Finishing Line Press, 2018). Boyer is a bisexual with high-functioning Autism.
Dylan Butler, Illustrator and Painter
Dylan's artwork is intended to be literal. He encourages his audience to experience the world as he sees it. Dylan uses color to draw attention to the people and objects that are the subjects in his work.
Chas Chasler, Illustrator
Chas is an illustration artist and currently resides in Pittsburgh, PA. He received a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in Animation from Damean University. His artwork is inspired by artists such as Bruce Timm, Jack Kirby, and Eric W. Schwartz. Media sources such as Disney, Marvel, and 20s-90s cartoons have shaped his love for art, animation, cartooning, and character design.
Kareyonna Davidson, Photographer and Painter
Kareyonna Davidson resides in Beaver County, PA and currently is a sophomore at the University of Phoenix-Pennsylvania studying Media Communications.. Kareyonna is a graduate of PA Cyber and the Beaver County Career & Technology Center where she received multiple Certifications in Business with additional studies in Graphic Arts and Printing. She first fell in love with photography at a young age and has always wanted to be a photographer ever since. Kareyonna's dream is to grow her skills as a photographer and hopes to one day have her own business to educate other aspiring photographers.
Kirkland Glover, Digital Artist and Cartoonist
Kirkland Glover is an inspiring cartoonist with a passion for art. From the time he could hold a pen, he has been expressing himself through his drawings.
JulieAnn Heaton, Digital Artist and Photographer
JA Heaton is an illustrator and photographer based in Colorado. A self-taught artist, her favorite mediums include graphite, pen and ink, and colored pencil, though she also enjoys drawing digitally and photo editing. She gravitates towards nature and finds animals and plants to be fascinating subjects with endless inspiration. Feeling that the world moves too quickly to facilitate a grounded and peaceful life, her art allows her to slow down and focus on the things that are truly important to her.
Emily Gray Hook, Multimedia Artist
Emily Gray Hook is a 17-year-old multimedia artist who was born and currently lives in Pittsburgh, PA. She likes to combine elements of drawing, painting, and photography to create mixed media pieces that represent her experiences as a female on the spectrum. To plan her pieces, she sketches and writes down all of her ideas using her sketchbook. She uses multiple materials, most commonly utilizing colored pencil, paint marker, pen, gouache, and acrylic paint to create surreal compositions with bold colors that cause her pieces to pop out to those who view them. She is inspired by her daily life, thoughts, and the many other neurodivergent artists of the world. Her work can be seen on her Instagram account, @mgrayarts, the Student Art Spaces of Pittsburgh website and Instagram account, @sas.pittsburgh, the IOCDF “#OCDCon Art Gallery” Flickr page, and the “9th Annual Evening of Arts for Autism” exhibition at the Brewhouse Gallery.
Onyx Green, Mixed Media Artist
Onyx Green, a.k.a. Zatuuni, is a 20-year-old independent artist based in Pittsburgh, PA. Being a Black, disabled, queer, and neurodivergent artist allows them to thoroughly explore the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and class in American society. They aim to analyze these topics in their creative work with fantastic realism.
AK Kurtz, Digital Drawing Artist
AK Kurtz is a Michigan-born artist living in Pittsburgh who has a very dedicated daily drawing practice. They indulge in self-portraiture as a way of coming to terms with body image in the context of chronic pain and disability, and love any opportunity to play with new, unexpected art materials. Recently after years of skepticism, their mind exploded with the ways that digital drawing can offer freedom to experiment and endlessly replicate images without fear of mess or permanence.
Eli Kurs-Lasky, Photographer and Essayist
Eli Kurs-Lasky, an autistic and artistic young adult, is an emerging photographer who was born, raised, and continues to live in the City of Champions (Pittsburgh, PA). Though he spent much of his formal education studying creative writing, he has since shifted his focus, devoting much of the past few years to learning and studying photography. Eli's fascination with, and immersion in, creative spaces comes from a desire to understand and connect to the world within him and around him. No longer just a hobby, photography is vital for Eli to process, recharge from overstimulation, and take time for himself. When not working on his photography, Eli still enjoys writing and has had three of his essays published since 2019. He is also a diehard fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Pittsburghers cling to history. Is my own worth determined by a ‘pre-autistic’ past? published by PublicSource October 2021
What the coronavirus pandemic has meant for me as an Autistic person published by PublicSource March 2020
Ableism at the dinner table: How I learned to ignore glares and let my arms ‘dance’ published by PublicSource January 2019
Photo credit: Lake Lewis, 2021
Rachel Liang, Photographer
Rachel Liang is a 23-year-old photographer living and working in Pittsburgh, PA. Since 2017, she has been working with a camera while focusing on taking portraits, family photos, nature scenes, and photographing celebrations. Rachel finds fulfillment in capturing moments that her clients will love.
To book a photo session, contact Rachel at https://rachelliangphoto.mypixieset.com/contact/
Sam Pejack, Digital Artist
Sam Pejack is a senior at Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf and is in the second year of the multi-media program at Forbes Road Career & Technology Center. Currently focusing on digitally generated art, he also uses traditional media to create works that are both realistic and fanciful.
Joe Smith, Photographer
Joseph Smith is a visual artist and storyteller that tells his story through photography. He likes to write, direct, and photograph his photo concepts.
Katie Marie Smith, Printmaker
Katie Marie Smith's work serves as a reminder to stop and appreciate the little things, both in subject matter and in practice.
It's easy to feel like the whole world is moving at a million miles an hour, especially during a pandemic. As someone who has battled an anxiety disorder her entire life, the COVID-19 pandemic has been especially hard on Katie mentally. She often finds herself caught up in restless thoughts: Am I getting sick or is it allergies? Did I remember to bring a mask? Should I wear two masks? Have I sanitized my hands enough? Should I sanitize them again?
Through painting, Katie is able to stop this cycle of negative thinking and just focus on the small, simple things: the beauty of nature, the symmetry of butterflies, the subtle imperfections on their wings.