Art as Language Exhibit 4.jpg

Children often tell their stories, feelings, and thoughts through art-making, and demonstrate their skills and talents through creating. It's especially valuable and true for children with special needs, when they use multiple methods, besides language, to communicate with you. We value every expression with art and hope to empower children and their parents through art, which is why we invite your child to join our Art as Language Exhibition. 

We will first have a drop-in art-making workshop. Children and adults are free to join us to make some art. Your artwork can also be shown as part of the exhibit.

We will also have Dr. Margaret Carlock-Russo, who is an art therapist, educator, and professor of more than 20 years, share her experience and knowledge about how creativity integrates and ignites brain functions for children and how to engage children with special needs through creative art-making and play!

Finally, we will invite children and their parents to share the stories of their artwork, to get to know more about and celebrate their life experiences and perspectives.


Light refreshments will be provided.


Sunday, July 7th, 2019, 1 pm - 4 pm

1:15 pm - 2 pm: Drop-in art-making workshop

2:15 pm - 3 pm: Speech by Margaret on the benefits of creativity for children with special needs

3 pm - 4 pm: Sharing by children and parents

Speaker Introduction

Margaret Carlock-Russo, Ed.D., LCAT, ATR-BC

Dr. Carlock-Russo, an art therapist for over 24 years, has worked with individuals with special needs for much of her career. She has experience as a teacher, clinical art therapist and assistant school principal. Currently, she is working as the art therapist at Splendido at Rancho Vistoso, a life plan community in Oro Valley, AZ., building their first art therapy program for adults experiencing cognitive and physical decline and their families. 

Originally from New York, Dr. Carlock-Russo has worked in many environments including sub-acute care, special education, community outreach, residential care, and most recently in private practice with individuals and groups experiencing developmental, cognitive, social-emotional, physical, emotional, or behavioral concerns. For many years, she was an adjunct faculty member and program director of the Graduate Creative Arts Therapy Program at Hofstra University. Her research focuses on social-emotional development, integration of art therapy within the public school environment, and the efficacy of art therapy with adults with dementia. She actively engages in art therapy advocacy at the state and national levels and provides consultation, workshops, and presentations internationally. 

Dr. Carlock-Russo is the current president of the Arizona Art Therapy Association and president-elect of the American Art Therapy Association (AATA). She is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Art Therapy Association, member of Education Standards Revision Task Force, and speaker of the Assembly of Chapters. She is also a past president of the New York Art Therapy Association.


Children who submit artwork to the exhibit are free to participate.

The first accompanying adult will be charged $15, and additional adults will be charged $9/person. Seniors or children age 17 or less will be charged $6.

Parent and child participants of our Parent-Child Creative Arts Workshops can attend for free.


Submission Guidelines

Each child is encouraged to submit 1 piece of artwork. All work must be original. ActAble exhibits all artwork including photography, paintings, drawings, digital, mixed media, video, fabric art, chalk, ink, pastels, wax, graphite, sculptures, and printmaking.

Approximately 50 pieces are to be displayed during the exhibit. Artwork must be suitable for display on the wall, tables, or floor. Frames, mats & wiring must be professional quality and in good condition. Unframed work will also be accepted.



Artists are responsible for round-trip shipping & insurance of artworks. ActAble is not responsible for artwork damaged or lost during shipping. All shipments must include a prepaid UPS or Fed Ex return label. Work sent through the US Postal Service, must include a shipping label, USPS stamps will not be accepted. You can also choose to drop off your artwork to our office, and pick it up after the exhibit.

Artist Portfolio to Include

Submission form: Name, age, address, telephone number, email address and website if applicable.
Optional: A short description of the artwork - 150 words or less.

Submission Deadline

Artwork must arrive on or before Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019.