In her own words…
“I’m Kimberly Gerry-Tucker. My life’s been layer upon layer of ever-changing, all-consuming passionate interests like the study of history, rocks, anthropology, Buddhism, reading biographies, and so many other things. I’m a mother, a writer, an artist, and I have Asperger’s. It was the solitary things I enjoyed as a child, like picking mica sheets off boulders in the woods and cracking rocks to glimpse the sparklies. Nowadays, I am learning to carve wood using sharp knives and chisels. I love to create mosaics too, and I love to look at them and to look at patterns in general. I often decoupage cut-out pictures onto objects; it’s great fun.
“Artistic expression is an important, even therapeutic means of communication — to be able to “go to another place” for a while, especially since I struggle with effective communication. When I saw the movie The King’s Speech, my eyes stung with tears again and again. I related deeply to the main character’s humility, fear, anger, embarrassment, and frustration at not having a reliable voice in expected situations. His nemesis was stammering; and mine will probably always be selective mutism, which I’ve had all my life.
As for “all things art,” the art chose ME.
“I always did exercise my right brain more than I ever exercised my body. It was 1990, when I was 26 years old, that I first tried to paint. I started on saw blades, of all things, and sold at least a hundred. I progressed to canvas and put the blades away for good. My paintings began to show yearly with AANE and in places like New Haven, CT and Rhode Island. “Shattered Image (self portrait)” appears on the cover of the book Artism: The ART of Autism, Shattering Myths about People Living on the Spectrum, edited by Debbie Hosseini. From 2000 to 2005, however, I didn’t paint much because my husband was dying of a terminal disease. I was his sole caregiver. Recently, I published a book about that experience called Communication Breakdown (Living, Loving, Loss, and Aspergers/Selective Mutism). My book was reviewed by filmmaker/autism seminar leader Keri Bowers, by author Helen L. Irlen, MA, LMFT (executive director of The Irlen Institute), by Kathy Hoopmann (author of All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome), and by author and peer Wendy Lawson. They were kind enough to write blurbs for the back cover of my book. The foreword is written by international bestselling author and autism consultant Donna Williams.
“‘You must do the very thing you think you cannot do,’ said Eleanor Roosevelt, and this is fast becoming a personal mantra. It’s one of my favorite sayings. She went on to say, “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience by which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'”
Kim’s Communication Breakdown website.
Another website of Kim’s where you can find out about the services she offers, contact her, and more.
Go to Kindtree Productions to purchase reprints and postcards of Kim’s artwork.
Visit Glimpse Online to read a short story by Kim (page 4).
Visit King’s Speech and Learning Center, where Kim has taught adaptive art to developmentally delayed children.
Purchase Voices of Autism: The Healing Companion: Stories for Courage, Comfort and Strength; Kim contributed a story to this anthology.
Purchase Women From Another Planet?: Our Lives in the Universe of Autism; this is another anthology, in which Kim has two stories.
Check out Reborn Through Fire, the story of the miraculous burn survivor Tony Yarijanian; Mr. Yarijanian credits Kim (back cover) as the writer to whom he told his story for this publication.
Visit Normal Films, where you can find autism-related documentaries, including ARTS, by Keri Bowers, in which Kim was interviewed.
Read Kim’s latest book, Under the Banana Moon: A True Story of Living, Loving, Loss and Asperger’s.