|Posted by Admin on October 1, 2013 at 4:25 PM|
There is a saying in the autism community that “If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.” It’s another way to say that no two people on the spectrum are exactly the same.
As an autism self-advocate, I’m always looking for ways to spread awareness. Entering the photography contest in the local fair inspired me to delve further into the art. It wasn’t long before I took a photo of a puzzle piece in hopes of combining the advocacy and photography into one. (Puzzle pieces are recognized as a symbol of autism awareness, representing the mystery and complexity of the autism spectrum.) However, my end result wasn’t quite what I had imagined. My goal was to show how everyone was different. I thought about the idea of coloring in each puzzle piece a different way. Even better, I thought about letting others color in their own individual pieces to make one giant collaborative puzzle. Thus, The Puzzle Piece Project was born.
The Puzzle Piece Project is a way to show everyone just how unique each person on the spectrum is. It is one large puzzle made of many individual pieces of artwork, each created by someone on the autism spectrum. Each piece is as unique as the individual who made it. Some use words, some use photos, others use drawings or other forms of creative expression. While each one is different, they are all connected in one way: each one is on the autism spectrum.
(Special thanks to Kelli Belarde for her help with the puzzle piece outline, and to Frank Louis Allen for his help with the final project assembly!)