Monday, February 11, 2008

An Exclusive Art School

Today might be the first time I've ever wished we lived in Mexico.

The Sunday paper included a story about an art school in Mexico City for adults with Down syndrome. Their artwork is now on tour in Europe.

I love the comments by the Swiss artist and pediatrician who displayed the paintings in a 10-day show in Switzerland:

"I was positively shocked by the beauty of the paintings. It was something like when I saw Klee's paintings for the first time....There's no intellectual filter between what they're expressing and what they're seeing."

She is so right: there is no filter. Dsds14's drawings are so imaginative, and I rarely see him stop to contemplate what he will draw as he works. He gets right down to it, and he knows exactly what he wants to draw.

If I suggest adding something, I'll usually be shot down, unless I catch him in one of his tender moments. But even then, his compliance usually means the end of the drawing, and he'll hand it to me fairly quickly. I know he's thinking, "It's yours now, not mine." Left to his own imagination, he will fill a page with a very detailed drawing. How he would love to go to an art school like the one in Mexico City!

I do know of one adult artist with Down syndrome who has done quite well for himself. His name is Michael Jurogue Johnson, and he has a Web site where he sells his work. I love going there.

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