Chapel Haven artist has taken his talent to the road!
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Chapel Haven artist has taken his talent to the road!

The following is a special needs program update from Chapel Haven. You may also click here to read the original article on the program’s website.

Vito is traveling widely with Truck'N with Vito

Chapel Haven graduate Vito Bonanno has taken his artistic talent on the road with a van transformed into an art gallery.

TRUCK’N WITH VITO is the name of his gallery on wheels and its purposes is to travel to venues around Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts to share his amazing art, while spreading the message that autism can be a gift accompanied by rare talent.

Since launching the van campaign, Vito has showcased his one-man show.

Vito, born in 1983, was diagnosed just before his 4th birthday as being on the autism spectrum, according to the biography on his website. Vito was language delayed and so his parents and teachers tapped into his high visual acuity, using storyboard styles to help him academically and socially.

The storyboard grid stuck, remaining prominent in his work. Through the help of his dedicated family and the “tireless work of professionals,” Vito defied the odds to become a high-functioning man who, according to his biography, “has learned to take the information trapped in his head and transform it into art that contains the essence of his life, feelings, thoughts and dreams.”

Vito says his disability helps him remember dreams, but also doesn’t let him forget the unpleasant aspects of life. It’s those vivid memories and feelings that often end up on canvas. “Drawing these things helps me get this stuff out of my head for a while,” Vito has said.

Vito graduated in 2002 from Coginchaug Regional High School in Durham, then attended Chapel Haven.

His artistic abilities evolved art and ceramic classes and art therapy sessions. He also learned independent living and social skills through Chapel Haven’s award-winning program. But Chapel Haven was far from the end of his artistic journey. After graduation, he enrolled in private art classes at Creative Arts Workspace, where he was introduced to a variety of mediums, including monoprint making and took classes.

It was while studying at Creative Arts Workshop that he made two pieces that would win him a national award.

His parents soon learned that by attending an Outsider Art Show in NYC that Vito was not alone. Vito, with the encouragement of his mother, entered the two works in a juried exhibition for young people with disabilities conducted by VSA Arts in conjunction with Volkswagen. His pieces were chosen and Vito was named one of 15 emerging young artists with disabilities. He was also honored with an award of excellence and cash prize from a juried exhibition for his printmaking piece, “Ghost Town on Davenport Avenue,” exhibited at the S. Dillon Ripley Center of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. The piece also did a two-year nationwide tour of university and independent galleries. Another piece, “South Haven People,” was on exhibit at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, also in Washington, D.C.

 

Beginning 2010, Vito was represented by Margaret Bodell, curator and owner of Umbrella Arts Gallery in NYC and founder of The Center of Public Art and Design in Bridgeport, CT. Margaret managed his career to include collaborating with non-disabled artists one on one, to assist Vito in fully finding his artistic voice.

Since 2010, Vito has exhibited widely throughout Connecticut and New York as well as Outsider Art Fairs in Miami and Chicago and Art Hamptons, New York. He annually participates in City Wide Open Studios in New Haven and was part of a two person team who participated in SCRAWL at Artspace New Haven. In 2012, Vito was the solo artist chosen by the City of New Haven Department of Arts, Culture and Tourism to provide the art for the VIP Player’s Lounge space at The New Haven Tennis Open and had works exhibited in Beyond Borders, Works by 10 Self-Taught Artists at the Hans Weiss Newspace Gallery at Manchester Community College.

In January 2012, Vito unveiled his first solo exhibition at Akus Gallery at Eastern Connecticut State University.

For more information about Vito or to view his work, visit his website: http://www.vitobonanno.com/

 

 

 

 

 

Chapel Haven graduate Vito Bonanno has taken his artistic talent on the road with a van transformed into an art gallery.

TRUCK’N WITH VITO is the name of his gallery on wheels and its purposes is to travel to venues around Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts to share his amazing art, while spreading the message that autism can be a gift accompanied by rare talent.

Since launching the van campaign, Vito has showcased his one-man show.

Vito, born in 1983, was diagnosed just before his 4th birthday as being on the autism spectrum, according to the biography on his website. Vito was language delayed and so his parents and teachers tapped into his high visual acuity, using storyboard styles to help him academically and socially.

The storyboard grid stuck, remaining prominent in his work. Through the help of his dedicated family and the “tireless work of professionals,” Vito defied the odds to become a high-functioning man who, according to his biography, “has learned to take the information trapped in his head and transform it into art that contains the essence of his life, feelings, thoughts and dreams.”

Vito says his disability helps him remember dreams, but also doesn’t let him forget the unpleasant aspects of life.

It’s those vivid memories and feelings that often end up on canvas.

“Drawing these things helps me get this stuff out of my head for a while,” Vito has said.

 

Vito graduated in 2002 from Coginchaug Regional High School in Durham, then attended Chapel Haven.

His artistic abilities evolved art and ceramic classes and art therapy sessions. He also learned independent living and social skills through Chapel Haven’s award-winning program. But Chapel Haven was far from the end of his artistic journey. After graduation, he enrolled in private art classes at Creative Arts Workspace, where he was introduced to a variety of mediums, including monoprint making and took classes.

It was while studying at Creative Arts Workshop that he made two pieces that would win him a national award.

His parents soon learned that by attending an Outsider Art Show in NYC that Vito was not alone. Vito, with the encouragement of his mother, entered the two works in a juried exhibition for young people with disabilities conducted by VSA Arts in conjunction with Volkswagen. His pieces were chosen and Vito was named one of 15 emerging young artists with disabilities. He was also honored with an award of excellence and cash prize from a juried exhibition for his printmaking piece, “Ghost Town on Davenport Avenue,” exhibited at the S. Dillon Ripley Center of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. The piece also did a two-year nationwide tour of university and independent galleries. Another piece, “South Haven People,” was on exhibit at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, also in Washington, D.C.

 

Beginning 2010, Vito was represented by Margaret Bodell, curator and owner of Umbrella Arts Gallery in NYC and founder of The Center of Public Art and Design in Bridgeport, CT.  Margaret managed his career to include collaborating with non-disabled artists one on one, to assist Vito in fully finding his artistic voice.

Since 2010, Vito has exhibited widely throughout Connecticut and New York as well as Outsider Art Fairs in Miami and Chicago and Art Hamptons, New York. He annually participates in City Wide Open Studios in New Haven and was part of a two person team who participated in SCRAWL at Artspace New Haven. In 2012, Vito was the solo artist chosen by the City of New Haven Department of Arts, Culture and Tourism to provide the art for the VIP Player’s Lounge space at The New Haven Tennis Open and had works exhibited in Beyond Borders, Works by 10 Self-Taught Artists at the Hans Weiss Newspace Gallery at Manchester Community College.

In January 2012, Vito unveiled his first solo exhibition at Akus Gallery at Eastern Connecticut State University.

For more information about Vito or to view his work, visit his website: http://www.vitobonanno.com/