Jessica Park, 2004 (photograph by Jessica Bonzek)
Established in 2004, the Jessica Park Project at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts is a multiyear educational endeavor to study, display and publish the art of Jessica Park. A 2016 Raw Vision article underscored Park’s reputation as an exceptional artist and the role of the Project in promoting her career. Over the past few years the Project has embraced the work of other artists on the autism spectrum as well as those on the broader spectrum of Outsider Art. Click here to view the project's Mission and Purpose.
Edited by Tony Gengarelly and Adria Weatherbee, this 98 page book is replete with 86 full color illustrations of Park’s art. Along with 26 catalog entries by MCLA students, the book also contains essays from experts in the fields of autism and Outsider Art (including Professor Gengarelly, Clara Claiborne Park and Emmanuelle Delmas-Glass). Oliver Sacks wrote the book’s Foreword. Exploring Nirvana has received critical acclaim and has been distributed through bookstores, museums and online to national and international readers.
This 48 page, fully illustrated art biography written by Tony Gengarelly, edited by MCLA Education Professor Dale Borman Fink with illustrations by Danielle Christensen (MCLA 2011), reveals an artist whose autism and creativity work together to create unusual and extraordinary works of art. Pamala Rogers, Director of the Shield Institute Pure Vision Arts Studio, who contributed the Foreword, sums up the book’s intention: "Many of the artists [on the autism spectrum such as Jessica Park] have led amazing lives. The sheer power and uniqueness of their expression adds greatly to our humanity and helps society advance by breaking down negative stereotypes and misperceptions about people with autism and other disabilities."
By Michael McManmon, Ed.D and Tony Gengarelly, Ph.D.
Art on the Spectrum inspires and guides us through an exploration of pathways to success. The book features four case histories of artists with ASD whose struggles and triumphs have left important signposts along the way. From their first lines and color applications, through early training and personal struggles, to recognition as visual artists with viable careers, the book’s four artists blaze their paths into an expanding world of contemporary art. The book also spotlights models of institutional support and other resources available to these artists. Use this link to locate and review the book on KDP Amazon’s website.
Director of the Jessica Park Project
(MCLA Professor Emeritus of Fine Arts)
Artist and Inspiration for the Jessica Park Project
Paul, Katharine and Rachel Park
Brother and Sisters of Jessica Park
MCLA Professor (Arts Management)
MCLA Professor (Art)
Dale Borman Fink
MCLA Professor Emeritus (Education)
Teacher and Education Specialist, Sullivan School, North Adams
Curator of Collections, Bennington Museum
Artist and Art Educator
Founder and Director of the College Internship Program, Pittsfield MA
Executive Director, The Folk Art Society of America
Vice President of Academic Affairs, MCLA