Nicholas Gammicchia was awarded Third Place in the Amateur category for his painting entitled “Nature’s Abstract” in this year’s NAP Exhibition for Detroit Medical Center. While everyone is always delighted to be recognized for their artwork, winning this award provides Nick with another opportunity to help a child facing the same disability as him.
You see Nick was diagnosed with severe Autism as a child. During that time, he received treatment from the Children’s Hospital of Michigan where he worked with a variety of professionals. In addition, Nick also attended art and music therapy via the FAR Conservatory in MI via his Children’s Medicaid Waiver Program. These additional therapies assisted him greatly in self-regulation often associated with Autism.
Nick’s mother states that, “initially he could not even put his hands in paint and had a sensitivity to sound. Now you will see he is an amazing artist in several mediums, plays the drums and piano, and writes his own music, lyrics and screenplays for films.” Through this exploration, Nick developed a love of the arts and is currently attending college where he is working towards a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree.
In addition, Nick has also been awarded the Corey’s Courage Award by the Autism Society of Michigan for his volunteerism, courage, perseverance and empathy for others. A wonderful example of this is the non-profit organization Nick started called Nick’s Art Project. The non-profit not only serves as way to showcase Nick’s artwork, but the organization donates proceeds raised from the sale of his work to provide scholarships for art and music therapy to other children with Autism and other disabilities. Through this effort, Nick has been able to provide several scholarships to families whose children are living with disabilities in hopes that they are able to find the same creative outlet in the arts and benefit as he did from the therapy. Additionally, with the funds Nick was awarded for his Third Place National Arts Program® win ($100), he will be donating them to Nick’s Art Project for such scholarships. He will also be giving a piece of his artwork to the Children’s Hospital of Michigan’s art collection.
To learn more about Nick and his non-profit, please click here to visit his website.