The idea for Art for Autism came home one day in a 12-year-old boy’s backpack. That young boy was the artist, Bryce Lowry. He had just completed a two-week hospital stay, which was followed by admittance to a two-week intensive behavioral therapy program at Nationwide Children’s Center for Autism and Spectrum Disorders. This was the program that would turn Bryce’s life around.
Bryce had struggled with emotional regulation since he drew his first breath. At five years old, after countless doctors and medications, he was diagnosed with Autism. Needless to say, his elementary school years were horrific and filled with hospital stays, medication changes, confinement in padded rooms in school, abuse at the hands of trusted adults, and astronomical frustrations at being misunderstood. It seemed as if nothing could help Bryce gain control, and therapies and doctors became a daily routine.
Anything and everything that life could throw at him seemed to happen, and yet Bryce endured and continued to persevere. And just when things seemed the darkest at the age of 12, he produced a business plan out of that dirty backpack and emphatically said, “Mom, I see so many kids at my school who need the help I’ve gotten and I want to do something. I want to sell my art and give the money to other kids so they can get the help I’ve had, because I don’t want anyone else going through the things I’ve been through. That’s why I’m going to call my business Art for Autism.”
Bryce had recently begun taking pictures and people were noticing that he had an eye for capturing intriguing, beautiful images. The unusual thing about this wasn’t just his age, but the images themselves weren’t what most people would consider “beautiful” with the naked eye. Rusty metal, sad abandoned buildings, junk in a field, snarled trees, lonely rooms, and a detail on an object that no one else can see make up most of his art … but somehow he captures the beauty in it.
“I love old things that once had a life of their own, but are now forgotten. I can somehow feel the loneliness of the object, and I can imagine a time when it was new and beautiful. Sometimes I get lost in feeling and I physically react from smiling to crying. My hope is that my artwork evokes those same feelings in others,” stated Bryce.
A portion of all proceeds from his artwork will help fund therapy programs and resources for other individuals with Autism and related disorders. “This is my passion, because I have lived it and will continue to live with it for the rest of my life. I know firsthand the positive difference this will make,” Bryce said.