Dana Anderson can’t read write or speak yet she can create great art

Dana profile

Dually diagnosed with autism and Down syndrome, Dana Anderson has found her voice through art.

Dana Anderson is a 25-year-old emerging artist who paints with acrylics on canvas and boards. Instead of conspicuously or deliberately altering or representing a subject, Dana’s color, texture, line, and form become the subject matter. Dana is an intuitive and prolific painter. She creates her pieces within 20-30 minutes using broadly generalized brushstrokes with smaller, articulate, accentuating strokes.

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Unlike any other professional artist, Dana’s work is her only voice. She has Down syndrome and autism. She cannot dress or bathe herself, brush her hair or teeth, she cannot read, write, or speak.

Yet Dana can paint and has marvelous, often profound messages. She recently won acceptance for four pieces in ART/Ability’s national exhibition to be held in Philadelphia this November through January 2018. She is at the start of her career and will be one of the nation’s most challenged adults with disabilities to have her own exhibit, which will be in Huntsville, Alabama in April-May, 2018.

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The law states persons with disabilities must be given a “quality education” which means electives do not count. Dana was denied access to art classes throughout her schooling grades 6-12. Her abilities were only recently discovered due to a new studio set up to offer adults with disabilities the opportunity to endeavor in the arts. Inside Out Studio is Alabama’s only specialized art studio where emerging artists are encouraged to develop and express their own artistic vision. It is a calm, welcoming space that Dana has enjoyed, and therefore, all the money from her paintings have been and will continue to benefit this amazing studio in order to allow others to participate for free.

Dana Anderson

Dana’s art will be on display at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital in Philadephia from November 5, 2017 – January 28, 2018. The exhibit is on display in the corridors of the hospital. The season kicks off with the opening night Preview Reception held at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital. Proceeds of the Art Ability opening receptions help support Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital patient and community programs.

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