The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts hosts a juried art exhibit by the Very Special Arts (VSA) organization each year. This call for art is open to students PreK-12 who have a disability. The theme in the 2015-2016 academic year was Yo Soy...Je Suis...I Am...The World. Students were called to create an artwork that resolved questions like, "What does your world look like? How will you change the world? and, How do you see the world?"
One of my students was the perfect artist to answer this call. He worked very hard on this piece that completely represented his world. In it he shows us his world by including images of the things that matter most to him, namely his family and his dog. Often, he explores the world through play and many objects hold a special significance which he incorporated throughout this portrait as well.
He submitted this work entitled Whole Family and My Museum and was selected by the jury to be featured not only in the online gallery, but also to be framed and displayed in an exhibition in Washington, D.C.!
I was fortunate enough to be asked to speak in a televised panel discussion about the importance of art education for students with special needs. It was an amazing experience with one of my amazing students.