The gifts and talents of autism shine through in many ways. AuSM Expressions has been developed to display the creativity of those touched by autism. If you have art you'd like to share with the autism community - drawings, paintings, essays, other writings, etc. - please click on the link below to download your AuSM Expressions artwork submittal form. Art that supports AuSM's mission will be posted here so it can be shared with AuSM members and the Minnesota autism community. Thank you for sharing your gifts and talents with AuSM.
Harrison Heinks, an eighth grader at Valley View Middle School, won a gold medal in the National Scholastic Art & Writing competition. Out of more than 230,000 entries, only one percent received the national award. A gold medal is the highest accolade given in this competition, and Heinks has joined the ranks of very notable company, including Andy Warhol and Truman Capote.
Heinks is inspired by images around the city, stories, music and his step-dad who is a sculptor and metalsmith. Last year Heinks saw a pair of shoes tied over a telephone wire and said the image gave him lots of ideas. His award-winning project is a pair of homeless shoes, and they are about moving to a new place and feeling lost. Click here to hear Heinks explain the motivation for his art in a YouTube video.
Heinks was diagnosed with autism at age 2. He had language that disappeared. His mother noted that two years later, Heinks began to talk again and reemerged as a new Harrison. One year ago, Heinks's family moved to Edina to get Heinks into a school system with the best resources. Heinks is doing well in Minnesota, playing in the orchestra, singing in the choir, and learning and thriving.
Heinks and his family have been invited to Carnegie Hall in New York City in May for the National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards ceremony. Last year, Meryl Streep was an awards presenter, and New York City embraces the winners by illuminating the Empire State Building in gold light in their honor.
The Heinks family has set up a fundraising page to help send Harrison to New York City. Click here to learn more about his story and to help him accept his award at Carnegie Hall.
Simon Fink, an eleventh grade student at Nova Classical Academy in St. Paul wrote an essay to explain his thought process when he approaches projects. Diagnosed at age 8, Fink has Asperger's Syndrome. He feels his best tool is his sense of humor. He is especially fond of acting where all of his "selves" can make their own debuts. Click here to read Fink's essay.
Patrick Curoe, a 17-year old student, currently is working on college applications. For one application, he wrote an essay about his personal experience with Asperger’s. Click here to read this insider’s perspective on living with Asperger’s.
Joe Krueger started the Filmmakers Studio three years ago because he has always been amazed at the creative ingenuity that goes into creating these films. Krueger says: "Film production is so God-like in a way to be able to take all elements of story, video, and sound to create unique worlds that invoke terror, comedy, or suspense. Honestly, without the hard working efforts of screenwriters, producers, cinematographers, and directors we would not have the iconic actors that are widely celebrated today. It's these unique talents and abilities from these local cinematographers that will continue to re-shape the way we tell stories in a film industry that keeps on evolving through the years."
In Filmmakers Studio, Krueger creates a stage, a forum and a voice for filmmakers to share their passions and to explain why and how they filmed their short, feature or documentary. Click here to visit Krueger's Filmmakers Studio on YouTube.