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My Story

Years ago, when nobody was expecting it
such a great miracle happened.
She came to us straight from heaven,
a star with the face of an agel.
Prayed for, longed for,
such a beautiful petite woman.

Julia Leto was born on July 14th, 2002 at 22:35. The first and only little girl who has brought peace and comfort to her family. Then a moment came when it showed up that she is unique but not everybody was able to accept it at the beginning. Many times difference brings about misunderstanding. That, to somebody, „strange behaviour“ brought a great change in the thinking of all family and people around. Moments of helplessness and attempts for integration into „normal state“ was changed for hope in the form of private elementary school for children with autism, which was founded by Eva Turákvová, MA. And then came first words, sentences, reading, writing … and see. She has her own wonderful world and enables us to peek into that beauty …

The artwork of the girl, Julia Leto, shows us and opens our eyes so that we could understand how important it is to use the elements of therapies in life.

Not only with children and adults who suffer from different disorders but also to whole society. It applies to Julia´s pictures as well. They were made during art therapy in ARTEstudio in Prešov. It is impossible to resist her love of colours, her surprising strokes and ideas in artistic world. Julia is still a pupil of elementary school. And it makes us happy that she is growing. She is also growing in artistic sphere. The process of her creative work can be divided into phases. In the first phase, almost seven years ago, she refused to take a pen, brush or colour pencil into her hands. However, she wanted people around her to draw pictures with strange urgency. I had a chance to experience it in person. How could I show to the child with the autistic spectrum disorder that taking a pencil or brush into her hands would not hurt her? In this case we continued into the next phase thanks to the transfer from kindergarten to elementary school.

Very often Julia had her world in front of her eyes. A puppet of Krtko (Mole) known thanks to a famous Czech fairytale helped us change the course of her attention and start perceiving reality. In the hands of the art therapist, the puppet painted, drew and gradually motivated her to try this activity. The third phase followed when she expressed who was important for her on that day, week or month through her wonderfully naive realistic pictures. They were her family, teacher, friends but also characters from serials and fairytales.

Then came the period when ARTEstudio in Prešov, under the cover of Healthy Family Upbringing NGO started its activity. A group of people got mobilised when they discovered how the processes used in art therapy influence, enrich and work in a healing way not only with children and people like Julia but also for wide population. Thanks to art therapy, Julia got a chance to discover the size, depth and space of her artwork. We have a chance to see works which sparkle energy but also pictures which were created during sleepy summer evening. Scary beautiful scene from a fairytale or a naive portrait of the female lead from a serial. And then there comes the moment of surprise, how is that possible that such a child could create a picture of lavender fields of Provence on one day and the following one she produced an abstract picture resembling a coulour mess on a canvas.

It is hard to associate Julia with a particular artistic style or technique. If you order a picture from her, you never know how it is going to look like. Will she decide for an oil pastel? Acryl paints? Will it be a sculpture? Or a genius-like naively-realistic artwork? One thing is sure, however. The finale will always bring the feeling of joy, interest and unbelievability.

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. She is loved by such love also thanks to you … Praise God, Julia, that you are.