Laura Craig McNellis


Art making is the only means of communication Laura Craig McNellis has developed to connect with the world around her. Born in Nashville, TN in 1957, it was apparent early in her childhood that she had significant developmental disabilities that were compounded by autism. At the time, there was significant social pressure on her family to institutionalize her, but her parents decided to go against the grain and raise her at home, a move that was highly unusual in that era.

Laura remained completely nonverbal throughout her young adult life, but she demonstrated a love of painting starting at a very early age. Her family encouraged this creative pursuit, which eventually empowered her to communicate with her parents and three older sisters through objects, a very limited form of speech that only her sisters can understand and her painting practice.

Exhibition History

Selected Exhibitions:

SHRINE, NYC, March 2019