Visual Art (Artist First Name A-M)

a dramatic black and white close-up photo of a cluster of chandelier teardrop lights
Let There Be Light - Photograph and Cover Art for the 2024 arts issue of Breaking Ground by Alyssa Ray. Bio: Alyssa Ray is 24 years old, has autism, enjoys all of the visual arts, especially nature photography and architecture. She participates with AbleVoices and Borderless Arts TN. She likes getting out to explore new places and revisit familiar ones to capture photos to share with others. This light fixture is one of many lighting the tunnel between the Cordell Hull Building and the Capitol. ‘Let There Be Light’ won 3rd place in Still Life at the 2022 Williamson County Fair.
a black-and-white line drawing shows a young woman with curly strands of hair. Her eyes are closed and her hand is covering the left half of her face.
Untitled by Ashley Crutcher. Bio - “Greetings, I’m Ashley Crutcher. I’m interested in being a talented artist. I have been drawing at a very young age. This is my talent. I draw daily and love to do it any time or day. I will like to show you my work.”
A white background with a black line border contains a black-outlined image of a dark pink rose. The stem of the rose transitions into the appearance of a body. One extension from the stem resembles an arm holding out a heart. The stem/slender body is wearing what looks like a short skirt with a black bow, and the bottom of the stem resembles two long legs on tiptoe, with striped stockings and black, pointed shoes. The rose figure is positioned in front of a large, black-outlined circle filled with sparkling white stars on misty, bright pink background.
Olly Olly Oxen Free by Austin Garner. Bio - "Even though we are all aware that our lives are in disarray, the message of art endures and patiently awaits its next viewer. I rarely consider art in any other context than the ideas it evokes during its creation, so it’s really difficult for me to describe what it means to me. I also enjoy using a mix of traditional paint with digital elements."
A photo shows brass instruments being held by red-and-white uniformed University of Alabama marching band members.
Sweet Band Alabama by Bryant Welch. Bio - "I live in Franklin, TN, and I am a young man on the autism spectrum. Photography creates meaningful connections between people, whether they are friends or someone who sees my favorite photos. I take my camera most everywhere, because beauty and light are always there if you have a keen eye and a desire to find! I love finding interesting objects to photograph. My work is a reflection of things and places that captivate my imagination."
A line drawing shows a busy city street crowded with cars, viewed from high above. Tall buildings loom on either side and diminish toward the vanishing point.
New York City - Cameron Copeland - Pencil drawing. Bio - Cameron is 26 years old and has been a student at Trousdale School since 2019. Cameron has Alexander’s Disease and is a local advocate for research and awareness of this neurological disorder. His favorite hobbies are drawing and archery.
A high-contrast photo shows two ravens in silhouette, perched on a large branch, surrounded by leaves. Another large branch is in the foreground. Another bird can just be seen further off in the upper left corner. The background shows bright, dappled sunlight.
Bird Silhouette by Charlie Burrows. Bio - "I am 26 years old and live in Franklin. I am a photographer with AbleVoices. I like taking pictures of nature in and around Middle Tennessee."
A purple and white handprint features prominently at the center of a vertical, rectangular image. Behind the handprint, a wide band of golden yellow with subtle red tones extends vertically the length of the canvas. A bright blue background fills the rest of the canvas, to the left and right. Wide brush strokes are visible in the background of blue and yellow.
Àbò (Caring Hands) by Chizenum Uriri. Bio - Chizenum is a 21-yearold autist who uses art to self-calm. Chizenum lives in Antioch and loves creating abstract artwork using crayons and paint. The titles are determined by providing the artist with options of what we thought they were since, the artist has limited expressive communication.
A painting shows a thin boy with an upturned nose and red-brown hair that appears to be blowing in the wind. He is wearing a white t-shirt and is looking down and to the left, his face appearing pensive or thoughtful. The background shows simple outlines of green hills against a blue sky.
Boy - Eric Brito. Bio - Eric Brito of Nashville experiments with various mediums in pursuit of his artistic expression. He works independently at this time. When asked how art makes him feel, Eric replied, “Making art gives me pride and keeps me centered in life. I want to make sure I spend time having fun with art, and not get stuck on who likes my art.”
A folk art-style painting shows a white bear with a gray muzzle against a red background. The bear is wearing a bright yellow sweater with colorful bands around the shoulders and a blue-and-white scarf.
Polar Bear in a Sweater – Eric Peterson – Acrylic painting. Bio - Eric is 31 years old and lives in Cleveland. He is proud to work at Home Depot and be a student at Trousdale School. He loves playing kickball and football, building racecars for Pinewood Derby, cooking new recipes, and making new friends.
A green background features a black line drawing with blue and white highlights. It shows the face of a young man with chin and mustache stubble. He is wearing a serious expression and rectangular glasses and has thick eyebrows and blue eyes. His face is surrounded by expanding blue lines that hint at ripples of air or energy
Facial Feature - Jacob Atkins - Marker self-portrait drawing. Bio - Jacob is 24 years old and a resident of Chattanooga. He attends Trousdale School and also works in facility services at the school. One of Jacob’s greatest joys is drawing cartoons. Jacob says: “It really helps me focus on what I’m doing. When I was a kid, I learned how to draw from cartoonist Bruce Blitz. I can draw anything, from flowers to people to animals to all sorts of things from my imagination. I’ll be looking forward to the future for more things to draw that will pop into my head!”
a multimedia painting shows a gray tree on a purple background. Purple buttons are affixed to the tree’s branches to form its leaves. A swing of string and a small piece of wood hangs from the lowest branch.
Peaceful Joy - Jennifer Grayson. Bio - Jennifer Grayson is a McMinnville native. “Creating art provides me the opportunity to express myself and release my emotions.”
a rectangular painting shows a first person view of hands wearing braces, pushing a blue shopping cart. Around the cart, shelves of food goods appear to curve around the cart. A white ceiling with fluorescent lights can be seen at the top of the image. Red and blue letters and music notes float through the scene, reading “THANK YOU FOR SHOPPING.” Small, blue letters at the bottom of the image appear to jostle over the shopping cart and read “RATTLE.”
Sensory Overload by Jillian DeGrie. Bio - Jillian DeGrie is an art student studying at MTSU. They were diagnosed with autism and ADHD as an adult and use their art as a vessel to make their research and experience with invisible disability approachable and accessible to those who do not experience it. “These pieces were part of my honors thesis called “Breaking the Stigma around Autism: an Interactive Art Exhibition.” This was a solo art show meant to educate people on neurodivergence honestly in an effort to promote acceptance and discussion. More info can be found at (editor's note: click the image above to visit the site).
A rectangular piece of paper is stamped with a silvery-white repeating, vaguely floral pattern. The pattern is laid over blocks of color – blue, green, violet and black. Subtle streaks of yellow or green overlay the pattern.
Pansies by Mary Margaret. Bio - Mary Margaret loves to make work about flowers. Her work is largely about the love between Mary Margaret and her sisters. It is whimsical, too, incorporating lots of color and energized mark making. The flowers are also an ode to self-love and empowerment.
 A simple, black line drawing shows a young woman’s face on a solid, violet-blue background. The hair is chin-length and straight, and she is wearing rectangular glasses. There are tints of pink and white color as highlights in her hair and on her lips, which are slightly parted. There is also color for the whites of her eyes.
Myself in the Mirror - Meg Best - Marker Drawing. Bio - Meg is a 41-year-old woman with Down syndrome. She has been a student at Trousdale School since it opened in 2005. Meg has over 16 years’ experience working at two local pharmacies in her hometown of Cleveland. Meg has a sunny disposition and loves to make other people smile!