From left to right: Valentina, Maryse, Noriko and Mickaël Casol, Charles, Maxwell and Ashley Bitton
L'Art d'Être Unique
L'Art d'Être Unique Vernissage, an exhibition featuring the works of Maxwell Bitton at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, on February 15, 2016.
Photos: Pierre Longtin
Maxwell Bitton - 2016
Part of The Art of Being Unique programme organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, this installation is the result of an artist’s residency for adults with autism spectrum disorder. Aimed at creating an art project that will develop their talents and social skills through contact with art, it is part of a series of initiatives designed specifically for people living with autism.
For this residency, Maxwell Bitton took part in an art training programme, three days a week for seven weeks. He was supported by artists and educators who helped him develop new skills. Maxwell began by visiting the Museum’s galleries to gain inspiration from the works in the collections. Then, in the studio, he created the works on display. Also included are works he created in 2015, in the company of artist Lucie Chicoine, with whom he has been working for three years, and others created with artist Pierre Durette over the past year.
In anticipation of the opening of the Michel de la Chenelière International Atelier for Education and Art Therapy in late 2016, the MMFA is developing innovative research projects with partners in health care and art therapy to assess the impact of a Museum visit, studio practices and even employment reintegration in the healing or rehabilitation process. In the area of autism spectrum disorder, the Museum works in partnership with Concordia University (Art Education Department) on pilot projects with the Miriam Foundation, Les Petits Rois, Giant Steps and École Irénée‐Lussier. And, a world first, the Museum’s Education Department has added two employees to its team, one with autism and the other with an intellectual disability.
Maxwell Bitton was born in Montreal. In 2011, while he was taking a computer course, his remarkable talent was discovered by Ross White, a teacher at Giant Steps school. Maxwell had drawn a Pinocchio on an iPad, which would set his life on a new course. To encourage him to develop his art, his father signed him up for lessons with professional painter Lucie Chicoine. In October 2014, his first solo exhibition, entitled Son monde/His World was presented in Montreal, with proceeds donated to the Giant Steps Foundation.