Jeremy Sicile-Kira is a 27-year-old living with autism as well as synesthesia, which means he sees letters, words, and people’s emotions in color. When Sicile-Kira began to communicate these visions by typing or pointing to letters on a letter board, his parents took notice. Inspired by his passion and gift for seeing emotional color, his parents searched for an affordable studio. They found Space 4 Art, a thriving nonprofit arts center in San Diego’s East Village, where artists live, work, and interact in an innovative and educational environment. This arts hub is for both emerging and established visual and performing artists, and is an arts enrichment center for underserved members of the community. Here, Sicile-Kira found a home for his creative expression using paints and paintbrushes.
Today, when Sicile-Kira meets people, their colorful emotional landscape gains entry into his psyche, where he dreams their portraits and later paints them. Often he will write accompanying text to interpret his feelings. “My ability to paint the colors I see in my dreams is the greatest gift I have,” he says. His early series of dreams includes a painting of his dad with the following text:
“Last night I dreamt that I greatly painted my great Dad. It was kind of green and red. It showed my beautiful Dad’s calm with underlying unhappiness with life’s upsets. The finger strokes are the tears he cannot shed.”
Sicile-Kira’s paintings represent a large range of experiences and interactions with people seen through his unique visual processing. “Finding Jeremy an affordable studio space has been an important step in his journey for self realization,” says his father, Daniel. “His studio has provided him the opportunity to explore and experiment with greater freedom working on both large and small canvasses.”
During April’s Autism Awareness Month, Sicile-Kira will open his first curated solo show, Inner Dimensions, on view April 10-23 at ‘Space 4 Art’ Gallery. Sicile-Kira’s mother, Chantal says, “We are hoping this show will provide hope to families with autism and inspire society to focus more on the strengths of these adults rather than their challenges.” Mariza Sanchez, international art consultant and curator of Sicile-Kira’s exhibit, believes that his art is a thought-provoking body of work. “This artist is having a conversation with us, quiet; there is no need for words.” jeremysvision.com, sdspace4art.org INGRID HOFFMEISTER