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Volume 15, Issue 41 ~ October 11 - October 17, 2007

On Exhibit

Artfully Aiding Science

Works by Claudine Intner (top), Christi Beckman and Ann Mason.

Annapolis artist Claudine Intner stages a global fundraiser

reviewed by Carrie Madren

Art and science entwine this month when artist Claudine Intner of Cape St. Claire enlists 27 international artists to raise money to research autism. Art Now for Autism, her online art sale, features donated work by artists from as far away as France and New Zealand.

The eclectic collection ranges from Massachusetts artist Claire Marcus’s Swaying in the Current — an austere, neutral-colored underwater scene of kelp, fish and starfish — to an abstract fabric piece by Christi Beckman of Colorado, whose orange, gray and mottled work suggests a watercolored world map. Maryland artist Ann Mason’s In Translation series shows affectionate and tender mother and baby ape in black and white drawing on scratchboard. Barbara Koziarski from New Zealand donates Wairarapa Sheep, a lonely folk art-style ewe rendered in oil paint on paper against a stormy sky.

Intner, who regularly shows her collages at the Maryland Federation of Art in Annapolis and a bevy of galleries in Baltimore, made 10 works for the sale. Her Mother of Three is a crazy-quilt-like pattern of snippets of colors and designs forming a red mother encircling three children in round arms.

All together, up for sale are some 47 works, including paintings, drawings, collages, mixed media, fiber art and photography as well as two artists’ books. Many of artists — from around the U.S., Canada, France, the United Kingdom and New Zealand — have family or friends touched by autism or work with autistic children. Two of the artists have the disorder themselves, including Stephen Wiltshire — a well-known British artist skilled at architectural drawings — who donated several signed prints. Many of the artists are Intner’s friends; others she found on online collage groups and artist networks.

Inspiring Intner’s artistic fundraising is her six-year-old son, who battles autism. Autism is a brain-development disorder characterized by impaired social interaction, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication and unusual, repetitive or severely limited activities and interests. Classical autism is the most common of the group of autism spectrum disorders. In the U.S., one in 150 children are estimated to live with an autism, according to Autism Speaks, a non-profit group dedicated to research and awareness of the disorder.

Proceeds from the artworks — minimum donations range from $50 to $200 — become her pledges to Walk Now for Autism, on October 20 Washington, D.C. Money from the art sale and other Walk Now donations goes directly to autism research and awareness through Autism Speaks and Cure Autism Now.

“Last year we’d done the walk, and I was trying to come up with a way to raise more money,” says Intner. “I do mostly collage, and I sold about 20 pieces, mostly to friends and family.”

This year, when Intner walks on Oct. 20 with her team — her husband, kids and her sister’s family — she hopes her fundraising auction will help her match or exceed her $3,000 pledge from last year.

As of October 10, 13 works have sold on Intner’s art auction, leveraging some $1,350 for autism research. Art browsers and buyers have until Oct. 31 to buy.

Art Now for Autism:

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