Why art matters to me

By Ronnie Finley

My brother has Asperger syndrome and lacks the communication skills we often take for granted. Looking at Sam, you would never know. Nevertheless, it is difficult for him to start a conversation or use words to articulate his feelings. Sam speaks through a different medium: art.

I was eight. Sam was five. Sam was crying and I didn’t know why. When I asked, he got angry because he couldn’t find the words he needed. He drew a picture for me. He drew two stick figures – our parents – with open mouths and angry expressions. Sam was upset because our parents were arguing. He didn’t have to speak for me to understand.

Since then, my family has helped foster Sam’s creativity. He’s sixteen now, and attends a high school specializing in the arts. He continues to speak through art, and he has won multiple awards for his paintings.

Art has the ability to shape us, and every child deserves an outlet for creative expression. We all deserve an opportunity to find our channel. I’d like to thank Student Studio for seeing this need.

Art is both a form of communication and an aid for developmental growth. Through Student Studio, I can help the children around me find their voice in the arts.

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