As I’ve mentioned here before, my friend, Caitlin Hurd, was in a car accident almost 3 years ago. She had several serious injuries from the accident and needed multiple surgeries. About a year and a half after the accident, after most of her physical symptoms had healed, she still felt different. She realized that she will always have been in a serious accident. It is something that will always be with her. She started to see that there were ways that the accident was holding her back, but, in some strange way, it was also giving her life a lot of beauty. It was about this time that Caitlin, already an accomplished artist, started painting Isaac.
Isaac has several developmental delays and was recently diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. His language and social skills are well behind the norms of his age level. He frequently disengages with the world and retreats inside himself. But there is also something hauntingly beautiful about Isaac. Caitlin noted that Isaac’s autism, like her trauma, has had the double effect of holding him back, while also giving his life a lot of beauty. She started painting him with these themes in mind…and as she painted him, she said that she felt like she was painting herself.
The J. Cacciola Gallery in Chelsea has asked Caitlin to display her work. Among the 11 paintings Caitlin is showing, 4 are paintings of Isaac. Caitlin’s process with these works has been an extremely supportive, moving experience for me. Her perspective has helped me round out my own perspective on facing autism as I raise my beautiful boys. This exhibit, in part, is an invitation into this dialogue and to stand witness to the hard and lovely ways that autism is affecting our family.
Dave, Andrew, Isaac and I will attend the Opening Reception on February 14th at 6. If you are in the area, come join us for a glass of wine and some incredible art. And if you are wondering, this is the same Caitlin who gave birth a mere 6 days ago! She’s still working out the details if little Zaida will be in attendance. :)
Caitlin will be donating a portion of her profits to foundations that directly benefit people affected by autism. We are so excited and honored to be a part of this event.