Local Artist with Autism Launches Greeting Card Line for Holidays and Beyond
10 December 2018
HUNT VALLEY, Md., Dec. 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Local artist Brian Watkins (Brian Watkins Gallery) is pleased to announce the release of his line of holiday stationery, including greeting cards, thank you notes and complementing gift wrap, providing work opportunities for Brian and others on the autism spectrum.
The newest seasonal designs accompany his full suite of stationery featuring greeting cards for all occasions, birth announcements, note cards, and more. Since the company's launch in late 2017, Brian Watkins Gallery has grown its distribution throughout the region, with its newest locations at Itineris gift shop in Baltimore, The Catholic Information Center bookstore in Washington DC, and at local events.
His online sales growth in particular has been significant in recent months, with sales leading to the employment of a neuro-diverse workforce from Itineris, the Baltimore-based program that specializes in creating meaningful employment for adults on the spectrum.
A video about Brian's story was released in September and has garnered over 30,000 views on Facebook alone. One viewer was moved to tears, sharing her fears around her own son's future. "What happens when we can no longer provide him with 24/7 care? Who will advocate for him and keep him safe? That's our biggest fear. Once kids with Autism become adults, many services disappear. They're left to fend for themselves. Brian has been able to start a small business making gift cards and wrapping paper. Yes, it's a little more than Costco. But you're helping build a dream and giving hope to an Autism family. And THAT is priceless."
Brian's parents Tim and Susan remember that uncertainty. "Brian was 18 and at a school, and we were told he ages out of the school system at 21. We had no idea where he would end up or how things would come together," Mr. Watkins says. Tim and Susan are thrilled with the dedication they've seen from their son, and the opportunities that have opened up for his future.
Brian's love of art began in 2008, in Art Therapy sessions with Occupational Therapist Amy Cooperman. Brian, now 24, is not only passionate about art, but excited that his work creates opportunities for his peers at Itineris. As the effort grows, he is hopeful to be able to give back and support organizations like Itineris. Brian is proud to share his work and be a productive part of society.
See Brian's artwork at brianwatkinsgallery.com.
For more information about Brian Watkins Gallery, contact Kathy Knapick at firstname.lastname@example.org / 410-667-1400
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SOURCE Brian Watkins Gallery