NEW YORK — Haitian artist Alizee Saint-Louis was the special guest at an art exhibition held for Autism Awareness Month on Saturday. Saint-Louis, who has autism, is the daughter of Yveline Alexandre, a Haitian-born activist who founded Autism509, an organization connecting Haitian parents worldwide with resources.
Organized by Define Beautiful Art, an art school in Queens, the exhibition took place at the school’s location in Forest Hills. April is regarded as World Autism Month, with the United Nations declaring Apr. 2 as World Autism Day.
“During the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020, Alizee was depressed staying home, not able to socialize and travel as usual, so she started using painting more often to express herself and cope with her depression,” according to Define Beautiful Art. “Painting helps alleviate her sensory issues that cause frustrations.”
Since taking up art, Saint-Louis has started garnering recognition for her abstract, acrylic paintings. She was selected in July 2020 to showcase work at a virtual show by the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at the University of South Florida.
Her paintings were also shown last year at Ft. Lauderdale’s Broward Center for Performing Arts in an exhibition organized by the University of Miami.
Also featured at the event were students from Define Beautiful Art, including Maria Lopez, Daphne Lavelanet and Daniel Gonzalez.
Saint-Louis’ art can be further viewed on Instagram.
For additional information regarding World Autism Month, organizations like Autism Speaks, National Autism Association and the Autism Society provide further resources.