Globe North Arts

Drawing autism

Artist John M. Williams of Winchester with one of his pieces, “General Sherman,’’ which is featured in a new book by John M. Williams called “Drawing Autism.’’ Artist John M. Williams of Winchester with one of his pieces, “General Sherman,’’ which is featured in a new book by John M. Williams called “Drawing Autism.’’
By Wendy Killeen
May 23, 2010

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DRAWING AUTISM: John M. Williams, a Winchester artist who specializes in fine art collage, is featured in a new book about artists with autism.

“Drawing Autism’’ celebrates the artistry and self-expression found in drawings, paintings, and collages created by people with autism. It was written by behavior analyst and educator Jim Mullin, with an introduction by Temple Grandin, a well-known author and speaker with autism.

The book, which features art coupled with artist interviews, illustrates how autism manifests differently in each person.

Williams, who has Asperger syndrome, specializes in portrait collages, piecing together small pieces of cut paper to create a likeness of his subject that reveals the person’s character and historical significance. He has a special interest in the Civil War. Three of his collages — “Lincoln,’’ “General Sherman,’’ and “Pharaoh’’ — are featured in the book.

Williams has a bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He is a member of ArcWorks, a program at Northeast Arc in Danvers that showcases the work of artists with disabilities. He also is a member of the Concord Art Association and the Civil Roundtable of Greater Boston. His work is exhibited throughout New England.

Visit For more on the book, visit the “Drawing Autism’’ Facebook page.

WOMEN TROUBLE: “Props,’’ a one-act dramatic play, will be presented by the Theatre Company of Saugus this Friday through Sunday.

Zach Murphy of Saugus plays a young artist obsessed with his work on theatrical props. He is, however, distracted by the four women in his life: his girlfriend, played by Kris Reynolds of Stoneham; his former love, played by Libby Schap of Newton; his best friend, played by Lisa Scopa of Revere; and his ideal woman, who may be his own creation, played by Ali Harrington of Saugus.

“Props’’ is produced by Nancy Welch of Lynn and Amanda Allen of Saugus and directed by Stephen Russo of Saugus. Lisa Gath of Lowell is choreographer. Megan Joyce of Saugus and Jessica Stockton of Lynn are stage managers.

The theater company plans on entering “Props,’’ which was written by Michael Roderick, in the annual drama competition of the Eastern Massachusetts Association of Community Theatres.

Performances are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. next Sunday at the Saugus Senior Citizens Center. Tickets are $15, $13 for students and senior citizens, $10 for children. Audience members are advised that the show includes mature language. Call 781-231-5204 or visit

AUTHOR’S CORNER: Declaring that traditional book signings are dying because they aren’t much fun, author C.J. West of Wrentham is taking a new approach. On his summer book tour, “Who Wants to Be a Hero?’’ he engages people in some of the adventures pursued by Randy Black, the protagonist in his thriller series. His visit to the Andover Bookstore at 1 p.m. June 5 will include poker lessons and a tournament. He also discusses “Gretchen Greene,’’ the third novel in his Randy Black series, following “Sin & Vengeance’’ and “A Demon Awaits.’’ . . . John Tittman, of Albert, Righter & Tittman Architects in Boston, discusses the book “House Architecture in New England,’’ at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Hamilton-Wenham Library.

IN LOCAL GALLERIES: Judy Metcalfe of Rockport demonstrates her watercolor technique at the Walsingham Gallery in Newburyport from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday. Her recent works are also on display. Metcalfe paints floral and still-life portraits. Although her work is naturalistic, she portrays the abstractness of intricate patterns she sees in objects such as glass vases, china, fabrics, and flowers. . . . The Malden Sketch Group’s annual exhibit is at Commerce Place in Malden through June 11. The show includes paintings, drawings, etchings, and collage by 30 artists from 11 communities. The Malden Sketch Group is one of the longest-running drawing groups in the Boston area. It meets from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays at the Oak Grove Community Center. Members range from full-time professional artists to enthusiastic beginners. No instruction is given, with the artists rather supporting and encouraging each other.

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