Monday, December 14, 2009

Roger Ricco & the Canha Family at the Cooke Center Academy: Success!

On Wednesday Dec. 9, students of the Cooke Center Academy were treated to a film presentation and lecture by Roger Ricco of Ricco/Maresca Gallery on a selection of artists who were born with a variety of developmental disorders and who have used the creative process to communicate in unique and inspiring artistic ways.
One of the artists in the film was Justin Canha and he was on hand with his father Briant Canha who followed Mr. Ricco with a special presentation of his own.
Diagnosed with autism at an early age, Justin began his artistic career at the age of 13 with the support of Arts Unbound, a New Jersey based non-profit organization dedicated to the artistic achievement of people with disabilities. Since the age of 15, Justin has been represented by Ricco/Maresca Gallery and in August 2006, Justin’s artwork was featured in Oprah Magazine. Aspects of his autistic and artistic life have been described in two recent documentaries, “Autism: A Different Way of Communicating” and “Sidecars.” In January 2008, Justin successfully made his world debut at the Outsider Art Fair in NYC and In April 2008, his artwork was shown at Art Chicago, the world-renowned international contemporary and modern art fair.
Since then, Justin’s family has been using his experience to educate and inspire others by presenting the trial and error techniques that they employed to first begin to communicate with Justin and then to develop his fruitful artistic career.

Thanks again to Roger Ricco along with artist Justin Canah and his parents Briant and Maria Teresa Canah for their participation. Thank you also to Mary Munsch and Emily Mason from The Cooke Center Academy and to REPUBLIC community relations coordinator and charity Director Jay Isch for for all of their time and efforts.
For more information about the Cooke Center for Learning and Development
For more information about the work of Justin Canha
For more information abour Roger Ricco and Ricco / Maresca Gallery
For more information about REPUBLIC WorldWide
or contact

Photos by Sean McGurn

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