2006 - This was the very first introduction of "Don’t ‘dis’ the ability". "Autistic Savant Artworks: Don’t ‘dis’ the ability" opened at The Henry Gregg Gallery in Brooklyn, New York and Cooper Union, The Great Hall in NYC. Dr. Rosa C. Martinez and Dr. Laurence A. Becker introduced Ping Lian Yeak to the United States, and the exhibition included works by Richard Wawro , Christophe Pillault, and Temple Grandin.
2007 - Dr. Martinez accompanied Ping Lian Yeak and his family to participate in Dr. Darold Treffert’s unique “Windows of Genius” – Artworks of the Prodigious Savant Art Exhibition in Wisconsin.
Dr. Treffert is world-renowned as an expert on savants and is the author of "Extraordinary People." Dr. Martinez coined the term "Don't 'dis' the ability" and took on the role of “collections curator” for numerous exhibitions of these beautiful works. While expanding upon her mission of creating awareness of the abilities of those classified as "disabled", "Don't 'dis' the ability" became a traveling exhibition from New York City to California.
2007 - Dr. Martinez was contacted to curate an art exhibition at the United Nations.
On December 18, 2007 the United Nations General Assembly, by unanimous consent, passed the resolution of the Third Committee designating April 2nd World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD) in perpetuity starting in 2008. She featured “Don’t “'dis' the Ability: Artworks by Individuals on the Autism Spectrum at the United Nations inaugural event.
2008 - In honor of Autism Awareness, Don't 'dis' the Ability, was featured at The New York City Board of Education and The Manhattan Children's Center.
2009 - Dr. Martinez was contacted by Debbie Hosseini to co-author a book about the art of individuals with autism. Dr. Martinez initiated contact with many artists, created their content, and met with Temple Grandin to write a foreword for the book. Together (Debbie and Dr. Martinez) completed the book “Artism Anew": Shattering Myths". After investing time and money in many months of interviews, including national travel for book promotions, for this project, upon the book's publication, Autism Today sadly defaulted on their contract with Debbie Hosseini. Ultimately, I decided that my main objective of creating exposure for these exceptional artists, was still fulfilled. Debbie (now Debra Muzikar) proceeded to publish another book and in 2016 co-founded the Art of Autism as a non profit organization.
2009 - Dr. Martinez was contacted by Jill Mullin. Jill was seeking to write a book about artists on the spectrum and needed some leads and artists. Dr. Martinez invited Jill into her home and exposed her to the works of 16 artists with autism. Jill was permitted to select which artist's works she was interested in. Dr. Martinez proceeded to make the artist contacts, gain permissions and Temple Grandin wrote a foreword for the book. "Drawing Autism " was published in 2009. During a book release interview at The Center for Child Development in NYC, Dr. Martinez arranged a Book Release Art Exhibition featuring the artist works from her collection.
2009 - Dr. Martinez entered artists at Princeton University (Art First Competition). Ping Lian Yeak's art won 1st Prize for his painting "Christ Church Malacca IV".
2010 - Dr. Martinez formed Strokes of Genius, LLC Extraordinary Artworks to further advance opportunities for exhibitions, exposure, and livelihood for artists on the spectrum.
2010 - Dr. Martinez collaborated with Arts For Healing (Conn) to put on the FIRST-EVER Fifth Avenue gallery exhibition of artwork by individuals with special needs at the prestigious SALMAGUNDI CLUB SOCIETY in New York’s Upper East Side.
2012 - Strokes of Genius, LLC progressed to a nonprofit 501c organization Strokes of Genius® Inc , and developed The Train The Talent Program (TTT℠). We trained art therapists in our TTT℠ philosophy, and Dr. Darold Treffert and Dr. Temple Grandin accredited our instructor certification courses. We provided art studio workshops and part-time job opportunities as instructors for mentored artists with autism.
2012 - The UNITED NATIONS AUTISM AWARENESS STAMP CONTEST- Two Strokes of Genius, Inc artists (Trent Altman and Seth Chwast) were winners among the eight artists chosen from thousands of artist entries throughout the globe to design a postal stamp in honor of World Autism Awareness. A series of their art was printed on postage stamps and launched in honor of World Autism Awareness Day. The U.N. Postal Administration, printed 1 million of the stamps to be sold at the United Nations: New York, Geneva, and Vienna.
2013 - Dr. Martinez curated the first solo exhibition of Donna Williams works in NYC with more than 100 artworks.
Suspense: Donna Williams 1st Solo Exhibition in NYC
2014 - The concept of our Train The Talent℠ mission and program was published in Autism Notebook Magazine (see pdf).
2014 - Dr. Martinez presented a symposium "Training The Talent℠ of Individuals with ASD" along with Temple Grandin at Pace University and an art exhibition at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, NYC.
2014 - 2015 - Dr. Martinez curated various solo and group art exhibitions at the NYC Port Authority.
“Menagerie of Nature”: Solo Exhibition by Oklahoma-based impressionist artist Amanda LaMunyon
“A Tale of 3 Artists” Trent Altman, Ping Lian Yeak, Jabari Clyne
"The Dust of Everyday Life": A collection of artworks by national and international artists with autism
Delwin Cheah (Malaysia) Leland Lee (Taiwan) Jonathan Lerman (NYS Grant Manier (Texas) - Daniel C. Wattenbarger (U.S; Stephen Wiltshire (London)
“Scroll Saw Artworks” Solo exhibition by woodwork artist Erik Warren (Kansas)
2015 to 2016 - Dr. Martinez included Strokes of Genius® Inc artists at a mainstream art gallery (Agora Gallery), initially without any mention of their autism.
“Out From Down Under and Beyond” - Ping Lian Yeak
“Enigmatic Visions” - Trent Altman Trent attended the opening and was very proud.
2017 - Ping Lian Yeak revisited NYC. He painted live at the Brooklyn OTC, and Tony DeBlois (blind, autistic musician) played live music and sang for the students at the Brooklyn Occupational training center where Dr. Martinez served as the Dean.
2017 - A return to The Treffert Center in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, with Ping Lian Yeak. Dr. Martinez was the keynote speaker to introduce The Train The Talent philosophy at The Treffert Lecture Series (Pioneering the Journey to Train The Talent℠). Temple Grandin was the keynote speaker the prior year in 2016. Following in her footsteps was quite an honor!
And an INTERVIEW with Dr. Darold Treffert
Tribute to Dr. Darold Treffert https://pinglian.com/images/drtreffert_tribute/pinglianyeak_drtreffert_tribute_withlinks_09012021.pdf
2018 - Chashama sponsored a 6,000 sq ft space for our exhibition “Don’t ‘dis' the ability featuring more than 30 artists on the autism spectrum and over 400 artworks, including live performances by musician Tony DeBlois.
2018 - Dr. Martinez was contacted by Utah University. They were opening The Sorenson Art Gallery and searching for artists. She exhibited the works of two artists. By the end of the exhibition 5 original paintings were purchased by the University to remain exhibited at their gallery.
2019 - Strokes of Genius® Inc participated in Mainly Mozart – Genius Week in San Diego, California. along with Temple Grandin. Dr. Martinez was a presenter and exhibitor and traveled with artist Amoako Buachie (from Brooklyn, NY), who sang at the event and presented Dr. Grandin with a portrait of herself.
2021 - Dr. Martinez published "The Covid Canvas: Interviews and Profiles of The Pandemic Era".
A book about the triumphs and hardships of artists on the autism spectrum during Covid-19.
Personal Note: "I thank Dr. Temple Grandin, Dr. Laurence Becker, Dr. Darold Treffert, Sarah Lee, and all my students for the road I have taken. This journey has led me to work with some of the world's most well-known artists and savants with autism. "
....................... Rosa C. Martinez, Ph.D.
A photo and video representation of this chronological Strokes of Genius journey