Honoree: Justin Canha
Type of Artist: Artist
Name of School or Center: Self Taught
Justin Canha, 22, is an accomplished artist. He also happens to be autistic.
His childhood passion for drawing animals and cartoon characters revealed an innate talent that attracted the attention of the mainstream art community when Justin was 14 years old.
Justin explores a wide range of subjects that showcase his clever sense of humor and unusual sensitivity to nature and human and animal relationships.
Justin’s drawings and illustrations demonstrate the intensity and perspective of the autistic mind.
Represented by the Ricco/Maresca Gallery in NYC, since the age of 15, In May of 2011 he had his first one man show titled Carnivorous and Other Exotic Plants. His art has been featured in prestigious exhibits across the United States, including Art Chicago, The Outsiders Fair and Intuit.
In August 2006, Justin’s artwork was featured in Oprah Magazine. Aspects of his autistic and artistic life have been described in three documentaries. He was also the subject of an extensive profile in the New York Times in September 2011.
Currently Justin is taking storyboarding and animation classes at the School of Visual Arts in New York and collaborating via Skype with Dani Bownman, a successful animator based in L.A. who is also on the spectrum.