We recently had the pleasure to photograph Jordan Lake School of the Arts 2020 graduate, Brian. In a few short weeks, this incredible young man will be college-bound to the University of South Carolina. We asked Brian's mother to share what the COVID-19 experience has been for Brian during such a milestone period in his life and this is what she had to say:
"Spring 2020 should have been a time of excitement, big celebrations, and adventurous new beginnings. Brian was a senior at Jordan Lake School of the Arts, set to graduate after 8 years at the school. In January, he learned the exciting news that he was accepted into the CaolinaLIFE program at the University of South Carolina. Brian saw his future bright and just on the horizon. Then COVID-19 happened.
Life, as Brian and his family, knew it, ground to a halt. School was closed. Graduation was canceled. Celebration parties were postponed indefinitely. Precious time with friends, classmates, and trusted teachers vanished. Even the fall opening of UofSC was in question.
When I ask Brian how he feels about life right now, he replies that "everything is going by so slowly." He plays Xbox and fishes, but that is no substitute for the predictable schedule of classes and regular activities. He just wants to go back to school, friends, and a sense of normalcy.
However, even in the most difficult of times, Brian's family surrounds him, and hardships make us all the more grateful for, the smaller things in life. School continued virtually and online. JLSA celebrated its graduates with a socially distanced drive-by parade. College move-in is just weeks away with lots of masks packed. Staying at home has given us precious time with Brian before he finds his way in the world. Our family has surrounded Brian in love and laughter. It has been the beautiful silver lining of the dark, dark cloud that has been COVID-19."
Thank you to Brian, his parents, siblings too and Jordan Lake School of the Arts, for allowing The Painted Chair Project to capture these beautiful images documenting this incredible young man during a significant time of change.
Windows by: Shira W Rose/The Painted Chair Project.
The Windows Project is designed to document imagery of children with Autism in a manner that best captures their experience during this significant time of change in a time of COVID-19.