When Cathy Anderson (1966-1995) died in December 1995 she was only 29 years old. She attended Gateway Arts from 1993-1995.
As a person with autism, she had probably spent her life trying to reconcile the differences between her personal experience of the world and the generally agreed upon reality to which most people subscribe. By modifying her behavioral responses through her observational skills, Anderson came a long way toward functioning successfully in society. Observation also played an important part in her life as an artist, and through her work she was able to communicate in ways that she could not communicate verbally. She had found her voice.
Her approaches to art were fascinating to observe. She enjoyed experimenting with color and creating spatial illusions with an intuitive form of perspective drawing. If Anderson needed more surface area to complete a work in progress, she would add more paper. Or, if she wanted to change an image, Anderson might have glued a piece of paper over the original image. Sometimes she would attach tape or other materials to her work just for the delight she found in their tactile qualities.
Anderson’s work has been exhibited at the Clark Gallery and Brandeis University in Massachusetts. In New York her work has been shown at the Outsider Art Fair and Bridges and Bodell Gallery. She has also shown at the Very Special Arts Gallery in Washington, D.C. In 1996, her work was featured in an exhibition at the Fuller Museum of Art called From the Outside In.