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Puresouls, Terra Kulture hold 3rd annual World Autism Day art exhibition

World Autism Day awareness

Puresouls Learning Foundation, in partnership with Terra Kulture, Lagos, will hold the third edition of its annual Autism Day art exhibition as part of events to commemorate World Autism Day 2023. The week-long exhibition at Terra Kulture, Lagos, will open on April 2, 2023, to demonstrate that children on the autism spectrum have unique abilities that should be celebrated.

This year’s theme is “Embracing Art Through the Lens of the Differently Abled” and will feature works by children living on the autism spectrum and those with other related developmental disorders. Some of the young artists whose works will be featured include; Zizah Okeugo, Christine Mike-Nnaji, Daniel Ayomikun Okolie, Oluwadamiloju Yomi-Adeyemi, Preye Azazi, Funom Oti Wenyang and Chijindu Chukwunomnso Ijomah.

Esther Okeugo, a parent of one of the participating artists, shared her excitement about the event, saying, “We believe that every child, regardless of their abilities or limitations, has a unique talent that can be nurtured and celebrated.”

The theme of this year’s exhibition, “Embracing Art Through the Lens of the Differently Abled,” emphasises the importance of creative activities in supporting the mental development of children living with autism spectrum disorders. It will showcase talented young artists who have overcome societal barriers and stigmatisation to express their creativity through their art.

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“The exhibition provides a platform for children living with autism to showcase their artistic talents and remind us that developmental challenges do not define them. As a parent of one of the featured artists, I am proud to be a part of this event that celebrates the creativity and resilience of our children and encourages society to embrace inclusivity and diversity,” Okeugo said.

According to the World Health Organization, 1 in every 100 children worldwide is on the autism spectrum, and the situation in Nigeria is not any different. While data on ASDs are scarce in Nigeria, a 2014 study found that over 4 million Nigerians may live with autism. These figures underscore the need for increased awareness about the condition in Nigeria and for society to embrace and support these children and their families.

Dotun Akande, Founder of the Puresouls Learning Foundation, said, “At Puresouls, we have grown to appreciate the challenges, authenticity and individuality of children living with ASDs and their ties to creativity. Having found that art therapy can help stabilise emergency care, develop skills, and keep an optimistic psyche, we are focused on using this to aid the development of their self-esteem, self-awareness, and mental control.”

The exhibition will feature an array of inspiring artworks, ranging from paintings to drawings, showcasing the unique perspectives of these young artists. The exhibition is open to the public, and everyone is encouraged to attend and show their support for these young artists. Visitors will have the opportunity to purchase some of the artworks on display, and the proceeds will support children on the autism spectrum.

Since 2007 Puresouls Learning Foundation has been at the forefront of advocacy for people living with developmental disabilities, focusing on Autism.

In 2021, Puresouls began a partnership with Terra Kulture to showcase the artworks of young artists living with autism and other ASDs. An art exhibition began from that collaboration, and it is now in its 3rd year, attracting global support from the media and individuals.

According to the World Health Organisation, everyone, including those with autism, has the right to the best physical and emotional wellness they can achieve. However, those on the autism spectrum are frequently subjected to stigma and discrimination, including unfair denial of health care, education, and chances to interact and contribute to their communities.