Inspiring those on and off the spectrum
14-year-old autistic artist is on display at Brookhaven Town
Meet Manny Vella. He is a 14-year-old artist whose work is on display at Brookhaven Town Hall. His art depicts abstract visuals of things he enjoys, often taking several hours to paint. He layers acrylics sitting down for about an hour at a time, letting the painting dry and later returning to it to add more. Among his five works on display is a representation of winter and a rabbit. Next, he said, he plans to paint a green couch.
At the age of 2 he was diagnosed with autism, and since then his parents Joe and Caroline Vella haven’t given up, sending him to services his entire life and allowing him every opportunity possible. In the beginning, he couldn’t write or hold a crayon, but thanks to occupational therapy he is now writing and painting.
“Every child has abilities,” said Caroline Vella, hoping he can serve as an inspiration to others on the spectrum. “Just because you have autism doesn’t mean you can’t find a place in this world.”
“We want to let him shine in whatever way he can,” added Joe Vella. “We need to let kids on the spectrum be and express themselves.”
Manny always loved music and to sing in the choir, but he started to seriously pick up art about a year ago. His mother, a clinical supervisor, plays the drums and his father, a business owner, the guitar. He also has a younger brother.
“He’s been getting a lot of positive feedback and has his own unique vision and style,” Caroline Vella added of his work.
Manny currently attends the Patchogue-Medford High School Life Skills program. His work will be on display through the end of the month.
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