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Catching Up With Pure Vision Arts

This blog post is by Penelope Anderson, Administrative Assistant. Penelope has worked with non-profit organizations for over 20 years and joined Pure Vision Arts in 2009. A couture and children’s clothing designer, she has volunteered with NGOs in India giving textile workshops to women and as a business consultant. As well as providing administrative assistance for the studio, Penelope works with PVA artists on the design and production of boutique items featuring their art.

Pure Vision Arts mission is to provide people with autism and developmental disabilities opportunities for artistic expression and to build public awareness of their important creative contributions.

An initiative of The Shield Institute, Pure Vision Arts (PVA) is Manhattan’s only specialized art studio and exhibition space dedicated to fostering the creative growth and expression of artists with autism and other developmental disabilities. Opened in 2002 to address an unmet need, PVA provides the resources and assistance for a determined and underserved group of artists, most of whom have worked in isolation their entire lives. With the resources available at the PVA art studio, these beginning, emerging and established artists now have an opportunity to develop meaningful careers. 

Each day PVA artists burst into the studio ready to focus their talents on their work. Here they are encouraged to explore a wide choice of media; are provided high quality art materials, professional framing and representation. As their portfolios grow and their work is included in important exhibitions both at home and abroad they have garnered not only sales, but media attention and a loyal following of patrons.

In a remarkably short period of time, new Pure Vision Arts artists become more confident in many areas of their lives. In contrast to working in seclusion and lacking opportunities, these talented men and women now enjoy the studio’s socially supportive atmosphere. The opportunity to meet other artists, form relationships and be part of a community of peers has helped to validate and affirm each individual’s sense of him or herself as a self-motivated and serious artist. Wonderful things happen as they look to the future with a renewed sense of hope. 

There is no doubt that meeting our artists and viewing our exhibitions has helped to change negative misperceptions and stereotypes about people with disabilities. We believe that the extraordinary artists of Pure Vision Arts are genuine cultural contributors adding richly to the cultural fabric of not only New York City, but the world-at-large. 

Day Habilitation funding to attend the Pure Vision Arts studio is now available to individuals who have Medicaid waiver service. To find out more about Pure Vision Arts visit our website: . Also, we invite you to Like Pure Vision Arts on Facebook, and follow along as we change and continue to grow.


Susan Brown: Her Mother, Mixed Media on Cardboard, 24"x24", 2008

Chris Martin: Untitled, Pencil on Paper, 14"x34", 2012

Jessica Park: U.S. Capitol with Moon and Venus Print, 17"x23", 2006


The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.