Artist Testimonies

The purpose of Life On the Spectrum is to start a conversation on the topic of autism and neurodivergence. A celebration of our differences.

Artists and Testimonies

Soon-Wai Wong: Soon-Wai Wong is a self-taught artist who is on the spectrum. He is supported by Fresh Eye Arts, a progressive art studio in the Twin Cities. We strive to find exhibitions where the artists with disabilities that we serve can expand their audience and engage with other artists.

Rose Cooper: I have two siblings with autism. I have seen firsthand the heartbreaking discrimination and negativity they face in the world. I want to show how there is so much more to who they are than just this one aspect of them.

Alkemy Frost: I’m Neurodivergent and want to help people better understand what that means.

Frances Bates: One of the best pieces of advice someone gave to me about my autism is to see it as a challenge not a weakness. This encouraged me to be who I was and pursue what I was passionate about. Autism is just one part of my identity but as someone who loves to help

people, it often influences my art. From colors to textures to sounds we all see the world a little

differently. To create a more immersive experience when it comes to my art most of my pieces

are interactive. By making a more fun environment for someone they can really enjoy the art.

Madalina Kelner: I’m participating in Life On The Spectrum because it’s important to create art and share a story or experience in a way that is new and different for viewers. There’s so many articles, posts, journals on the autistic experience but you hit a different audience and strike a differ cord when discussing any topic, for this gallery it’s Autism, through art. All of a sudden someone may understand better with a creative  interpretation what my experiences may look or feel like. My art almost always is created to amplify my own voice and or the voices of others who may be scrutinized or misunderstood by the majority. I believe art is a powerful way to story tell and discuss topics in a way that is memorable. I believe my art and my story can enhance that experience.

Suzanne Simmalavong: As a neurodivergent who has finally embraced one self; I was able to unpeel to untie, learn to love, fear to fearless, and surrender to self. Objects and things are my current muse. See beauty in them, as we see beauty through each one’s brain


I want to share my brain thoughts, they are different than most. I want to learn, help people understand social justice is more than a topic.

Artists and Statements

JobyLynn Sassily-James: I do abstracts, because dealing with the world in general just walking outside my house is like being in a mosh pit are being constantly bombarded with lights and sounds an energy that’s overwhelming to me, and by the end of the day my brain feels like it’s ready to explode. It absorbs so much energy from the world around me that I paint abstracts to extract that energy from my brain to keep it from basically blowing up  And so I can better control my emotions which is a constant battle for me.

Candy Kuehn: Candy Kuehn creates wearable art, digital art, and works in numerous other mediums.  She makes art pieces that are functional, with multiple uses that can change with the passage of time. Many works live both on the wall, the body, on the ceiling, on the floor and the stage. As a painter her medium ranges from IPhone Apps, fabric dyes to ceramic glazes. Her work features whatever makes a person or space, beautiful and moving. Her work has appeared at the Textile Center of Minnesota, in local productions as Projection Sets, and framed in local galleries. The Woods is her Muse.


Mikayla Holmgren: I am a very creative person.My art ranges from paintings to handmade jewelry to choreographing dances.My art is full of fun to inspire others.I love to photograph images that catch my eye.I can spend hours drawing or taking photos.I just want to do more with my abilities to show inclusion.My inspiration comes from my mom, who love art.She encourages me to keep doing art.