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Blind student takes to art

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Posted: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 7:00 am

Adonis Watt discovered a skill found in a most unexpected place.

As part of the art curriculum at his school, Kyrene del Milenio Elementary, he and his fellow students were asked to paint a picture while listening to music. Afterward, the art teacher, Stephanie Yorio, entered into the Phoenix Symphony’s “Paint to Music” Competition. Adonis’ work was chosen to be displayed during a ceremony at the Phoenix Symphony.

What makes it even more incredible is that Adonis lost his sight two years ago after succumbing to the effects of congenital glaucoma.

“I have to admit I was more than a little concerned about how much Adonis would enjoy art! I spend a lot of time talking to kids about things Adonis can not see,” Yorio said in an email. “However, I have found that it doesn’t mean he cannot participate and benefit. Adonis listens to me describe things and we make art a sensory experience for him.”

His art will be displayed during the opening night reception for the “Music in the Arts 2012” program.

Adonis said he sometimes receives help from a classroom aid but he also likes to do it on his own. He enjoys many aspects of painting — the visualization as well as being able to touch the finished product.

“When I first started painting I didn’t think it was going to be fun,” Adonis, 8, said. “If I’m painting a bowl I’ll put it in the microwave and I can feel what I put on it.”

Adonis said his favorite color to paint with is yellow, adding that is the most vivid color that stands out in his mind.

“You know how the sun is yellow? That’s why I remember it,” he said. “But I remember all the colors from before (I went blind).”

The “Music in the Arts 2012” reception will take place on April 6 at Young Art’s Purple Space Gallery, 2009 N. 7th St. in Phoenix. To RSVP, email

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or

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