Both Artist and Researcher Celebrated at the 2023 ‘AUTISM WITHOUT BORDERS’ Award Event

In 2023, the ‘AUTISM WITHOUT BORDERS’ Award was held at the Institute for Research Hospitalization and Health Care (IRCCS) in Pisa, Italy in November 2023. This Award was supported by the Falanga Foundation and hosted by the Stella Maris Foundation in collaboration with AIMS-2-TRIALS Consortium Team.

This distinguished Award is to honour Italian researchers who have made a global impact outside of Italy in the field of Autism research. The 2023 Award was proudly presented to Adriana Di Martino, Director of the Autism Centre at the Child Mind Institute based in New York, U.S.A, for her outstanding work in brain imaging, specifically the connectivity and the co-occurrence between autism and attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity.

For the first time an additional award was presented, to artist Maria Bellisario for her wonderful artworks, including her winning piece ‘Cactus’ in the ‘More Than Meets The Eye Competition’ (MTMTE). This competition celebrated the works of autistic artists, organised and co-designed by the AIMS-2-TRIALS team and members of the autism community, and it had over 61 entries from 43 autistic artists across Europe. The artwork of the other winners and participants in the competition can be seen in an online gallery on the MTMTE website.

Artwork: Cactus by ©Maria Bellisario

A key highlight at this awards event was the interview with Professor Andrea Pagano, who has supported Maria on her artist journey for several years, speaking about both their personal and professional experiences together. Maria’s artwork was additionally celebrated in the local newspaper and her winning work was displayed at the award event, alongside other pieces of her works.

A massive congratulations to both Adriana and Maria on their awards.

Image: Artworks displayed by ©Maria Bellisario