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Maria Iliou

Disability: Autism

Maria Iliou lives in Long Island, New York, and is an advocate for the rights of people with Autism.  Her work has a "Nativist" quality, is serene and beautiful.  Inspired by the seashore of Long Island, Maria is an inspiration to the artists of the Chesapeake.

While you wait, we would like to share a gallery of artistic inspiration from talented artists who have disabilities.  

The artists below paint with their hands, their mouths and their feet.  Many are blind or suffer from cognitive disabilities, yet they produce some of the most beautiful and intricate artwork you can imagine. 

We hope that the artists in this post inspire you.

With our gratitude,

The staff of the ChesterWye.  


Peter Longstaff

Disability: Missing Both Arms 

Peter is a foot painter. He creates all of his artwork using just his feet, having no arms. Peter’s disability stemmed from the drug Thalidomide, which was prescribed for morning sickness until it was discovered that it caused deformities fetuses. After living most of his life without arms, Peter considers his right foot to be like the right hand of most people, using it dexterously to open doors and perform many other everyday tasks.

Michael Monaco

Disability: Quadriplegic

Michael Monaco is a quadriplegic who paints with his mouth. His work has been featured in global exhibitions and he is a member of the Mouth and Foot Painters Association.

Jessy Park

Disability: Autism

Jessica Park is an autistic artist from Massachusetts. She starts with a sketch of the scene and may refer back to a photograph for more detail later. Her mother wrote a memoir about Jessy’s story.

Amanda LaMunyon

Disability: Asperger’s Syndrome

LaMunyon is a talented child artist who was only seven at the time of this painting. In kindergarten, instead of cutting out letters to illustrate her alphabet, she drew her own.

Christophe Pillault

Disability: Autistic Savant

This French autistic savant artist was born in Iran. He is unable to speak, walk or feed himself, but he produces paintings of flowing, beautiful figures. His art has been exhibited globally.  You can see in his art, the influence of the French Impressionists.  His work speaks to the importance of outings, enrichment and inspiration for those with disabilities.

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