THE PAINTING exhibition initiated by MATALESOGE hospitABLElity Academy and ArtSphere Gallery with the theme “Beyond Boundaries” a Canvas of infinite Abilities tries to provide space for two talented artists with down syndrome and autism disabilities presented by Diego Luister Berel and Tengku Omar Athallah. The exhibition was also held to commemorate World Down Syndrome Day (21 March) and Autism Day (2 April).

“These two painters have the same feelings as us. The theme raised in this exhibition, ‘Beyond Boundaries a Canvas of infinite Abilities’, has a special meaning,” said Tommy Hermanses, Founder/CEO of MATALESOGE Special Needs Services Center at the opening of the exhibition, Saturday (03/30), 2024 at ArtSphere Gallery, Dharmawangsa Square Level 2, South Jakarta which will take place from 28 March to 8 April 2024.

Through this exhibition, continued Tommy, it is to represent their feelings, and a form of appreciating their work and wanting to do their best. These two young painters want to be the best despite all their limitations.

Diego and Omar posed with their moms and teacher.

“Beyond Boundaries” these two painters dare to show their love for the art of painting and painting is a fun time and a time to express love for a hobby that can produce works of art that can make people who see it happy. “One of the works of a young painter with Down syndrome, Diego Luister Berel, was internationally recognized by winning first place in the “Artfusion” themed competition at The Holy Art Gallery Exhibition, London in 2022,” Tommy remarked.

Meanwhile, Tengku Omar Athallah, is the son of sinetron artists of Cindy Fatikasari & Teuku Firmansyah. According to Cindy, who was also present at the opening of the exhibition, Omar’s development to this day would certainly not have been possible without the great role of his beloved teachers, who have been so patient and sincerely taught and accompanied Omar all this time. Thank you, Tommy Hermanses, and Safrie Effendi. Omar’s current condition does not make him feel discouraged, Cindy added, “Omar is ready to start another journey.”

Meanwhile, Maya Sujatmiko, owner of ArtSphere Gallery, said that we are very proud to be able to exhibit the works of very talented young special artists. It is also an honor to be part and platform of the artistic journey of two artists with autism and down syndrome.

“Indeed, in art there are no limits to creativity and with this art we can speak one language, namely togetherness and equality. Success for Diego and Omar, embrace your bright future. I really admire and respect the parents who are dedicated to providing extraordinary support to their special children to become role models for other parents,” Maya pointed out.

Likewise, Safrie Effendie, Visual Art teacher at MATALESOGE hospitABLElity, said that people with autism and Down syndrome often receive negative views, many of whom are shunned by society. In fact, behind these shortcomings there is a high imagination, like a professional artist. Works of art painted on canvas have artistic value as a form of expression of the heart’s content, as a way for people with autism/down syndrome to communicate.

“Through painting, we can understand the power of their minds. To create this painting, they only need 15 to 30 minutes. The imagination of children with autism and Down syndrome is higher than regional children. The point of view created is also different,” explained Safrie.

He concluded that if you delve further, there is a lot that children with autism and down syndrome can explore. Apart from paintings, they also have high art works. []