First Place Winners of Imagine That's Anti-Bully Teamwork Contest:

Addie Overend, grade 9, Garden City Schools

Joey Hoffer, Grade 4, Manor Oaks School

Sanna Taylor, Grade 2, Hampton Street School

Pop Art Food Pillows

Outstanding art by Paula Dagen's daughters.

"My twins absolutely loved it!" -- Paula Dagen, Parent

Carrie's Painting

"The students and I love you! Where else can you create a Pollock inspired design and drip color on a cake?" -- Denise Klein, teacher, East Hampton High School

"Stunned and Startled" by Jessica Toner, age 8, published in Express Yourself!

A big thank you to Maura Burns who helped fasciliate the family drip painting workshops this summer.

Family works together to create drip painting

"It was a fabulous day! --Tamara Nemo

Celebrate African American history with art.

Mural inspires creative teamwork.

Incorporating school slogan and students' ideas, sketch for Lawrence MS mural designed Joyce Raimondo

Lawrence students brain storm ideas for their poster/murals using collage elements.

Inspired by Pollock and Krasner, students drip paint, -- then rip, cut, and collage shapes to express emotion and energy.

have a conversation about art with Joyce Raimondo

Art and Autism

January 4, 2014

Tags: Art, Autism, Private Lessons, Provate Art Instructions

Every year brings new connections to people through art. Ending 2013, I had the pleasure of teaching an adult artist with autism -- Carrie. I provided Carrie with acrylic paint supplies, canvas, and painter's tape to create lines and shapes. I offered visual cues and simple directions on how to mix colors on her palette, properly wash paint brushes, and apply tape to the canvas. Non-verbal, Carrie responded by spontaneously applying color with a complete focus. With utter joy, I observed for 1 1/2 hours as Carrie let the colors and paint freely flow from her brush to create beautiful patterns, blended colors, and movement. Next, building social skills, I accompanied Carrie by working with her on a painting together. It was humbling for me -- with a Masters Degree in Fine Art-- to paint alongside my student, because Carrie had the ability to be completely focused and "at one" with the painting without judging her work as she progressed, whereas I was distracted by my own knowledge and expertise of "how to" paint. Carrie's ability to paint is not only a pleasure Carrie, it is a gift to the world to produce beautiful paintings while creating awareness of the significant artistic contributions people with autism can make.

In searching for follow up art activities for Carrie, her mother and I found that the only art program specifically geared to adults on Long Island is offered by The Queens Museum of Art. If you know of an art program for adults with autism in Suffolk or Nassau County - please let us know. Here's to nurturing and celebrating everyone's unique gifts in 2014.


  1. January 6, 2014 1:35 PM EST
    Thank you Joyce for the lovely blog post about Carrie and for working with Carrie to help bring out her potential. My family and I are so happy that Carrie really thrived during the private art lesson and found joy in the artwork process. It is true that Carrie and other adults with autism have so many special abilities. We just need to help them tap into their abilities and talents. Thank you again! Linda (Carrie's older sister)
    - Anonymous