AUTISM & THE ARTS

We take you inside The Wildwood Program in Schenectady, New York, where students with complex learning disabilities are allowed to express themselves freely through the arts.

For more information on Wildwood Program, click here.

Aired on October 31, 2019. 

TRANSCRIPT

> AS THE ARTS FUNDING PUBLIC SCHOOLS ONE INS SUBSTITUTION OF LEARNING IS HELPING TO PRESERVE A CREATIVE NICHE FOR THE YOUNG PEOPLE.

THE WILDWOOD PROGRAM ALLOWS STUDENTS TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES CREATIVELY AND FREELY THROUGH THE ARTS.

WILDWOOD ALSO PARTNERS WITH THE ALBANY BARN AND ART ORGANIZATIONS THAT TAKES THESE CHILDRENS' WORKS AND REIMAGINES THEM WITH THE HELP OF A PROFESSIONAL ARTIST.

I'M ALLY PARROT.

I'M THE ART TEACHER HERE AT WILDWOOD SCHOOL.

THIS IS MY FIRST YEAR.

♪ THE WILDWOOD SCHOOL IS A SCHOOL FOR KIDS WITH AUTISM AND OTHER NEUROLOGICAL DISABILITIES.

WE WORK WITH A BROAD RANGE OF STUDENTS AND ABILITY LEVELS.

IT'S JUST A REALLY INCLUSIVE PLACE FOR STUDENTS WHO DON'T NECESSARILY FIT IN IN THE SCHOOL DISTRICT.

THEY COME TO US AND WE GET TO SEE THEIR POTENTIAL REALIZED.

SO, TODAY WE WERE WORKING ON OUR PIECES FOR THE THIRD COLLABORATIVE ART SHOW AT THE ALBANY BARN.

SO, HOW IT WORKS IS THE STUDENTS FROM WILDWOOD CREATE PIECES, THEY PICK A MEDIUM, PICKED WHAT THEY WANT TO PAINT ON, PICKED THEIR SUBJECT.

AND WE SENT WORK SAMPLES TO THE ALBANY BARN FOR THEIR ARTISTS TO BASE THEIR WORK ON.

ALBANY BARN IS A BUSINESS INCUBATOR AND RESIDENCY PROGRAM FOR ARTISTS IN THE REGION.

WE GET SAMPLES FROM THE WILDWOOD SCHOOL AND THE WILDWOOD ADULT ARTISTS PROGRAM.

AND WHAT WE DO IS WE LOOK FOR ARTISTS WITHIN OUR NETWORK WHOSE EITHER STYLE OR IMAGERY OR COLOR PALLET MATCH WITH THE WORK WE'VE RECEIVED.

WE TRY TO MAKE PAIRING BETWEEN THE ARTISTS AT THE BARN AND ARTISTS AT WILDWOOD.

IT'S BEEN KIND OF COOL TO SEE WHAT EACH ARTIST FROM THE BARN GRAVITATES TOWARDS IN TERMS OF FINDING INSPIRATION FOR THE FINAL PIECE AND PARING UP THE FINAL PIECES TO BE IN THE EXHIBITION.

IT'S A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR THE STUDENTS TO GO SEE THEIR ARTWORK IN THE GALLERY AND SEE THE FAMILIES AND HAVE THAT EXPERIENCE OF THEIR FAMILIES COMING AND SEEING THE PIECES IN THE GALLERY.

IT'S REALLY GREAT TO GET OUT INTO THE COMMUNITY AND BE A PART OF IT AND LET OUR ART COMMUNITY KNOW KIND OF WHAT OUR STUDENTS ARE MADE OF.

♪ FOR THE ARTISTS FROM THE BARN, A LOT OF TIMES IT'S AN OPPORTUNITY TO STEP OUTSIDE OF THEIR QUOTE/UNQUOTE NORMAL ART WORK.

SO, THEY'RE NOT WORRIED ABOUT PRODUCING SOMETHING THAT FITS INTO A SERIES OR THAT KIND OF MAKES SENSE IN THEIR OVERALL PORTFOLIO OF WORK.

BUT THEY'RE REALLY DOING SOMETHING SPECIFICALLY FOR THIS EVENT AND IT'S ALMOST, YOU KNOW, A GIFT.

I DON'T KNOW IF THAT'S THE RIGHT TERM.

BUT IT'S REALLY SOMETHING THAT THEY'RE GIVING BACK TO THEIR COLLABORATOR THAT REALLY THEY HAVE SUCH A SENSE OF APPRECIATION FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE WORKED WITH THEM.

I MEAN, IT'S SO FREE AND EXPRESSIVE.

IT'S MESSY WHICH IS GREAT.

WE ALWAYS TALK ABOUT IS IT OKAY TO MAKE A MESS IN ART?

YES, WE IT IS OKAY TO MAKE A MESS IN ART.

WE JUST NEED TO CLEAN UP WHEN WE'RE FINISHED.

IT'S JUST WHO THEY ARE.

I'M LOOKING AT SOME OF THE PIECES OVER THERE AND IT'S JUST THE WAY THEY TALK AND THE THINGS THEY LIKE COMES THROUGH SO MUCH IN THEIR ARTWORK.

THIS IS WHEN THINGS COME OUT THAT I NEVER KNEW.

I DIDN'T KNOW THAT CERTAIN STUDENTS LIKE A CERTAIN COLOR OR LIKES TO DRAW BIRDS OR TREES APPARENTLY.

AND THEY GET A LOT OUT OF BEING ABLE TO COME IN AND EXPRESS THEMSELVES FREELY.

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