JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Three Jacksonville therapists are breaking down barriers for people who are neurodiverse.
Indigo Art Therapy is a space for working through issues via art, but therapist Devon Schlegel found that there was a forgotten group of artists that needed their help in a different way.
“Just because someone shows a desire to create art... and they have some type of disability, that’s doesn’t mean they need art therapy," Schlegel said. "They might not need help processing anything. They might not need help working through trauma, but they have shown that they have an artistic vision and they have a voice.”
She, along with the two other therapists who run Indigo, opened the art center. It’s their nonprofit sector that focuses on vocational skills for people who have different abilities.
Schlegel says the goal to connect them to the art world and help them create more than just art but a career.
"There's no bad art," Schlegel said. That’s the only rule at Indigo Art Therapy.
Who falls into the category of neurodiverse?
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“A lot of these artists might be on the autism spectrum," Schlegel said. "They might not be able to communicate in a way that art galleries or other places are aware of how to serve them. They might have physical disabilities that limit their ability to travel from one place or another. They might have sensory needs that can’t be met at a regular art studio.”
They want to give them space, opportunities, and resources.
“These individuals don’t really need therapy, but they need a space and they need vocational training," she explained.
One person is in the program so far and they are taking applications as well. Schlegel says it’s mainly for people 17 and older.
She says the vision is to eventually be able to help sell their art on their website and connect artists with galleries for exhibitions.
You can learn more here.