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News Release

Workshop to Explain Teaching Art to Children with Autism

Bethlehem, Pa., October 9, 2009—Gillian J. Furniss, Ed.D. will host a workshop on “Celebrating Young Artists with Autism” on Monday, October 19, at 6 p.m. at Moravian College.    This workshop, sponsored by the Art Department at Moravian, is an exploration of current issues and research regarding the atypical artistic development of children with autism. Topics will include the function, major characteristics, and individual needs of young art makers with autism, as well as suggested techniques and strategies to intervene with autistic children during the art process.

Furniss has a Doctorate of Education degree from Teachers College, Columbia University.  She has published articles in SchoolArts and Art Education and presented at conferences sponsored by National Art Education Association (NAEA) and International Society for Education Through the Arts (INSEA) on the art process of children with autism. She is Adjunct Professor at Kean University and is a field supervisor for student art teachers of SUNY at New Paltz.

Furniss exhibited her silkscreen prints in the group exhibit 'Artist of Five' at Broome Street Gallery in New York City and was the curator of the art exhibit ‘Celebrating the Early Drawings of Benjamin’ at Macy Gallery, Teachers College, on the drawings of a young artist with Aspergers Syndrome. She is also on the advisory board of Pure Vision Arts, an art studio for artists with developmental disabilities. Her mission is for all children to have access to a studio art experience to be able to explore and express their interests, feelings, thoughts, and life experiences so they can learn in the visual arts.

This workshop is open to anyone who would like to attend. Admission is free. The lecture will be held in the UBC Room of the Haupert Union Building, which is located on Moravian College’s Main Street Campus.

Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Visit the Web site at www.moravian.edu.