Traveling art exhibit features work by professional artists and emerging artists with special needs
As the mother of a child with autism, Andrea Moriarty has two words for fellow parents trying to help their children transition into the working world as adults: “Lean in.”
That’s what she and her husband, Jim, did a decade ago when their teenage son, Reid, expressed a passion for performing music and using a microphone. With his parents’ help, Reid, now 25, will soon release his fourth music CD and has published more than 80 celebrity interview podcasts under the title “Talk Time with Reid Moriarty.”
Learning how to channel her son’s interests and strengths into a fulfilling life and marketable career is the subject of two instructional books Moriarty has published in the past three years. It’s also the idea behind the Solana Beach resident’s latest project, the Radical Inclusion Traveling Art Show.
Moriarty worked with two local arts foundations over the past several months to pair six professional San Diego County artists with six young emerging artists with autism. The teams met separately and produced both individual and collaborative artworks for a curated exhibit that will travel to up to nine galleries and other pubic spaces countywide from Aug. 3 through December 2020.
The exhibition’s name was inspired by Moriarty’s second book, “Radical Inclusion: What I Learned About Risk, Humility and Kindness from My Son with Autism.”
“Collaborating on a shared passion, whether it is art, music, or baking, brings out our best selves,” said Moriaty. “I hope viewers will see the artwork, hear the stories behind each piece, and be inspired to invite people from the margins of culture into the limelight. That is radical inclusion.”
Moriarty said she discovered the mutually beneficial results of radical inclusion while watching her son conduct interviews with open-hearted celebrities like musicians Aloe Blacc and Keb’ Mo’, Rubio’s founder Ralph Rubio and the CEO of Trader Joe’s. In every case, Moriarty said the subjects learned how to connect with Reid in “beautiful” conversations where her son was always treated with kindness, humility and respect.
Only by creating more inclusive environments, Moriarty said, can these adult children “have opportunity, employment, fulfillment and naturally occurring support.”
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