Meet the Artists

During the All Born (In) Conference, several self-advocates feature artwork for sale. Stop by their displays to take a look and support our community’s artists. Thank you to Susan Cushman from United Cerebral Palsy for organizing the sale.

Marie Blanchard

I have been doing art my whole life. I was born with Cerebral Palsy, but that does not stop me from doing anything, including art. I have no limits in life. My art is enjoyment to me, and I have fun doing art! All my art is made in Portland, Oregon. I create greeting cards, ceramic bowls, magnets,ornaments and wall hangings, as well as paintings and painted wooden coasters. I have been selling my art at craft fairs since the 6th grade. I’ve sold at a lot of school craft fairs, and four times at the Buckman Art Show. I have had an etsy shop for six years. I am taking classes at PCC and just finished two years at my first job doing data entry at Multnomah Arts Center. For fun, I love to ride horses, ski, kayak, swim, go out to eat, play computer games, body movement and, of course, do art.

Visit Marie’s Etsy shop

Katie Adams

Katie Adams is a 25 year old young woman that loves to paint. She started painting flower pots several years ago and recently started painting bird houses.Because of Katie’s Cerebral Palsy she requires a little help from her Personal Support Worker. But that’s just fine with her, because she loves to paint. Katie is social, super fun, sassy and loves life!  When she’s not painting, she likes to shop for new painting supplies and spend time with her best friend!

Brandon Gruber

Brandon Gruber moved to Santa Cruz after middle school. Outside of school he was appointed a seat on the Santa Cruz Youth City Council and he was given a summer internship with a Congressmen for the Monterey Bay area. In his senior year he won the school popular vote of Homecoming King, “Best Dancer” and “Most School Spirit”, earned straight A’s both semesters in general education classes and joined the Migrant Student Association as the only non-Hispanic individual. He did that strategically because they were also marginalized and he wanted to collide the groups together for an inclusive experience. Brandon’s favorite motto: “People try to define me, but I’ll do that myself!”

Last year Brandon was in PEOPLE special American Heroes edition magazine for his 321life+1 foundation he founded in high school where he raised over $30k by selling his art cards to help under resourced individuals to have their first inclusive experiences. He’s modeled in several national fashion shows including 2016 LA Fashion week and is taking acting classes. Brandon is also a painter and four of his acrylic art pieces will be shown in a gallery in NY for World Down Syndrome Day celebration.

Meet Brandon at

Lupita Cano

Lupita Cano is a self-taught abstract painter who loves to share her unique perspective of the world through her art. She lives Seattle with her mother and siblings, where she enjoys being a business owner and contributing member of her community. You can read more about Lupita and her business, AE Designs by Lupita, at

Artist Statement

“When I paint, I let my mind do the talking for me. I let my hands do the talking for me. For example, I think about Dad, or what’s going on, and paint it. If I see cheetahs and mermaids, I do that. It doesn’t matter if it’s a red day, a happy day like Wednesday, or if it’s a blue, sad day like Monday. I paint, and I let the painting do the talking for me.
I see blobs of paint, I see aqua, or red, moving through the air. There are sounds, sights, smells, tastes. You gotta let the art move within you, as if you were the paintbrush.
Share whatever you’ve got within you. Gifts.
My art means a lot to me.”

Arlene Huggett

Arlene has been creating works of art for many years. Her work has been on display throughout Oregon. Due to her cerebral palsy, she accomplishes her work with the assistance of fellow artist, Patricia Jordan, who has been a mentor, caretaker and, most importantly, a friend.

Huggett Creations is Arlene’s newest venture in her never-ending quest to share her artwork with the public. She now offers greetings cards in addition to her paintings. She hopes her work brings smiles to the faces of all those who view it.

Joy Ross

Joy has been making a variety of hats for about five years. Joy finds knitting relaxing so she looks forward to it. Last year she added ‘coffee sleeves’ to her repertoire.

Dylan Kuehl

Dylan Kuehl (pronounced Keel), is sole proprietor of his own company, DK Arts (est. 2005) and a life-long resident of Olympia, Washington. An ambitious visual and performing artist, Dylan performs as a dancer and a drummer in community events as well as motivational speaking engagements. His art and poetry have received international awards, and he has had his art work and success story published in numerous publications such as Exceptional Parent Magazine, Logan Magazine, along with the Washington State Adolescent Transition Resource Notebook.

He is a Special Olympics gold medalist, has studied modern, tap and hip-hop dance as well as martial arts and is a fierce rock ‘n roll drummer in the Jackson Memory Band. “I mean fierce in a good way, not a bad way,” says Dylan.

An outspoken political activist, Dylan advocated for himself and others with disabilities, proving through his large life that Down syndrome is not the obstacle it is often perceived to be.

Dylan is now working with fused glass. He is making necklace pendants, pins, earrings, compact mirrors, night lights, and decorative tiles.

Clara Link

Clara Link is an award-winning photographer who has taken photos since 1993. Clara’s work can be seen in the book Just as I am: Americans with Disabilities. She has served as a Developmental Disabilities Council board member appointed by Governor Locke of Washington State for 3 years.

Other accomplishments include a “Living it Up!” calendar to promote people with Down syndrome for 4 years. In her spare time, Clara enjoys socializing, going to church, snow skiing, and attending Tae Kwon Do class. She is also a trained lifeguard. She says she doesn’t let having Down Syndrome limit her as an artist. She is proud to be an American with a disability and a photographer.

Please go to Clara’s website at to see sample photos.

Kristy Yawman

Kristy Yawman is an artist and her business is Taurini Designs. She makes drawings using sharpie markers. Her designs are put on greeting cards, journals, note pads, and clothing. Her art makes her feel peaceful and calm. Everywhere she goes she sees more art. This inspires her to continue her art and try new things. Her art is important to her life because it helps her express her true feelings. Kristy loves coffee and collects seashells, unicorns, skulls, and mythical Greek stuff. She likes candy, toys, music, singing, dancing, dating, parties, and being romantic. She has Down syndrome and is a motivational speaker and likes being a problem solver and being funny.

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