A look inside Autistic Arts Club, a welcoming space for neurodivergent people in Ireland

Zoe McCormack tells us about The Autistic Art Club, a safe space to create and socialise without the pressure of neurotypical social norms.

The image shows Zoe McCormack, founder of the Autistic Art Club. The photograph shows her head and shoulders leaning on a table. She is smiling and has her arms folded on the back of a chair. She is holding a yellow and pink figurine against her mouth. In the background are drawing easels.
Image: Zoe McCormack

Now in its fourth year, The Autistic Art Club provides a safe, inclusive and welcoming space for neurodivergent people to come together and express themselves.

After receiving her own autism diagnosis in 2020, founder Zoe McCormack wanted to connect with other autistic adults in order to learn more about herself.

She explains, “I knew I connected best when engaged in an activity I enjoyed, and art was a passion of mine.”

Initially starting out with meet-ups on Zoom, Zoe now runs in-person groups for adults and teenagers in the Autistic Art Club classroom space in Dublin 8.

All activities and events are specifically designed with neurodivergence in mind. Prior to each session, members are provided with an event guide, including details of the planned activities, location photos, and a map. 

An integral part of the Autistic Art Club’s efforts to create an inclusive space is that members are not required to participate in any of the art activities if they don’t want to. 

Zoe explains, “Many of our members bring their own artwork supplies to do their own thing, and that is very normal in our art clubs.

“I always listen to what the members want to do and build our programmes based on that,” she continues. 

“We do all sorts, from learning about different artists and art techniques to working with clay, paint, pencil and oil pastels. We’ve done life drawing, collaborative art projects, and art activities focused on building a positive autistic identity.”


Zoe suggests that the Autistic Art Club is a great place for members to come together and chat about all aspects of autistic life. 

“Our conversations are nearly always about navigating challenges as an autistic person, whether that is in the workplace, college or with friends and family. 

“It is also a fabulous space to share information on your special interests and hyperfocuses. But it is also a space where you can just be; nobody is forced to interact conversationally at the art club.”

Crucially, the project is movement-positive. Participants are encouraged to move, stim, and regulate themselves however they need to during all events.

To find out more about The Autistic Arts Club, follow them on Instagram @theautisticartclub or email [email protected].

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