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How art has made a difference in the life of a northern Ont. man with severe autism

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The family of a non-verbal Sudbury man with severe autism is sharing the story of how art has made a remarkable difference in his life as he heads to Toronto to display his paintings.

Morgan Kitching is a 21-year-old who discovered his love for painting four years ago during a power outage at the family cottage in Killarney, his mother told CTV News in an interview.

Pierre Sabourin, Trish Jokat and Morgan Kitching of Sudbury. March 27/23 (Alana Everson/CTV Northern Ontario)

His mother, Trish Jokat, believes the combination of colour and creating has led to incredible positive changes in him, including his eating disorder.

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“The more he painted, the more he ate. It seems like the colours would imitate the food,” Jokat said.

“For example, the red, he is eating cranberries now. The green, he’s eating salads. His whole diet has changed.”

Pierre Sabourin is Jokat’s partner and a landscape artist who has sold his work all over the world.

He also teaches art and said over the past four years, Morgan’s artistic talent has blossomed along with other abilities too.

“Seen some incredible changes in Morgan,” Sabourin said.

“When I first met Morgan, I couldn’t communicate with him at all. And all of a sudden, we were able to communicate through colour. And that’s an amazing experience just in itself.”

With World Autism Awareness Day on Sunday, Kitching will be displaying 200 of his paintings at Queen’s Park on Monday and the family said it hopes the exhibition will shine light on the power of art.

“I hope they take away the fact that there is more therapies out there than just one or two and that they should just let their children explore, use lots of paint,” Jokat said.

“‘Don’t ever give up hope,’ is the typical standby statement and just allow them to create.”

“The things that I learned teaching school was that children that are dealing with life skills have a propensity to art and I think that is very important to explore,” Sabourin added.

A short documentary about Kitching’s journey with art and autism is available on YouTube.

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Jaw-dropping immersive environmental art exhibit 'Arcadia Earth' is coming to Toronto this fall – NOW Toronto

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Just when you think Toronto has been spoiled enough with world-class interactive art exhibits we get yet another one.

But we’re not complaining.

A jaw-dropping immersive environmental art exhibit called Arcadia Earth is coming to Toronto this fall and from the looks of it, it’s not one to pass up.

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READ MORE: Explore centuries of Inuit life with a new exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum

After a wildly successful run in New York, Las Vegas and Saudi Arabia, the exhibit is making its way up north for its Canadian debut.

Visitors can experience a 17,000-square-foot journey through planet Earth in all its glory and weaknesses. 

The exhibit combines both large-scale art installations and technology. 

“Arcadia Earth Toronto will transport visitors to the heart of global challenges such as overfishing, plastic waste, and biodiversity loss,” the exhibit creators said in a statement.

“From an underwater world built from salvaged commercial fishing nets to a large-scale beehive made from thousands of pages of reclaimed books, the spaces promote individual empowerment and equip guests with actionable suggestions to help protect the future of our planet.”

The exhibit will officially open in the fall of 2023 and set up shop at The

Well in Toronto.

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Theatre, art, and water security central in international USask exhibition – USask News

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The main “gazebo-like” structure involved in the exhibition is meant to invoke the idea of water security issues. (Photo: Submitted)

The main “gazebo-like” structure involved in the exhibition is meant to invoke the idea of water security issues. (Photo: Submitted)

Per Orosz, the main “gazebo-like” structure is meant to invoke the idea of an iceberg, with other art pieces attached above or suspended below the structure’s roof to symbolize thoughts and ideas that are either visible and talked about, or metaphorically “below the surface” when it comes to water security.

Six USask undergraduate students and two recent alumni contributed artwork to the exhibit. In addition, 20 USask students will be travelling to Prague to perform and engage with the public for the Canadian exhibition. Overall, around 150 students from across Canada will be participating in the exhibition at PQ.

Orosz spoke glowingly about the students’ dedication to creating something that reflected ideas of water security and access to clean water in Canada, as well as their eagerness to collaborate with like-minded students from across the country.

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“I feel pure pride for what USask does,” she said. “It’s an international stage, we’re showing off the work to the rest of the world, but it’s also important to show off to the rest of Canada.”

In addition, Dr. Graham Strickert (PhD) with USask’s School of Environment and Sustainability, and the Global Institute for Water Security, spoke to the students involved with the project about being mindful and thoughtful about the topic their artwork is focusing on.

USask has identified water as one of its signature areas of research that garners the university recognition and distinction around the world. Orosz and the students taking part in the PQ exhibition are shining a light on that focus in a unique and interdisciplinary way.

“What’s important about these kinds of connections between art and science is that we’re collaborating and feeding off of each other,” Orosz said. “We’re showing that scientists are hearing from us and thinking about new ways to approach their work, and we think about new ways to approach ours.”

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Richmond youth visual art contest draws worldwide participation – Richmond News

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A Richmond-based visual art contest has received hundreds of submissions from across the world this year.

Canada Youth Visual Art Contest, an annual competition open to young people around the world is held by Youth Initiative Vancouver and Academy of Modern Art (AOMA) and was first launched in 2021.

This year, the contest received 660 pieces of artwork from 13 countries. The majority of the artwork will be on display at Lipont Place on No. 3 Road this weekend and can be viewed online after.

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“Our competition was to connect young artists worldwide, especially during the global segregation because we started during the pandemic years,” said Yoshier Hu, a student from Hugh McRoberts secondary and co-president of Youth Initiative Vancouver.

“We believe art is basically a universal language for creativity, especially in youth.”

The contest is open to any type of art media, including traditional painting, mixed media, digital art, photography, 3-D models, sculptures and more.

A jury panel from different countries have selected 177 artworks as award recipients that will be announced at an award ceremony in Vancouver Saturday evening. More than 300 young artists are expected to attend the in-person event. The students also hope to raise funds for charities through the contest with the goal of raising $15,000 this year, Hu explained.

“In the past, we have raised money for UNICEF Canada, BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, and this year we are doing VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation,” she said.

“One of our main fundraising methods is artwork donation and charity auctions. Contestants and award recipients can choose to donate their artwork, and then we will auction it and raise funds that way.”

The winning artwork will be available on AOMA’s website.

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