Brian Austin, Founder + Executive Director
Brian is an accomplished animator, two-time Telly award-winner and Grammy-nominee, a published animation author and teacher, and a visual artist (group exhibitions at Exit Art, MoMA PS1 and Nexus Contemporary Art Center, GA; art work in the collection of MoMA’s PAD/D Archive and C.W. Post L.I.U., Art Therapy Collection). He has presented internationally and nationally, including the plenary speech at the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) conference in 2009. Brian was the inaugural chair of AATA’s Technology Committee and is on the Editorial Review Board of the AATA Journal and the Advisory Board of exalt, an internship program for court-involved youth.
After getting his BFA in Painting, Brian Austin spent two decades animating, co-creating (and trying to sell) an original cartoon series, building furniture, skateboarding, playing Capoeira Angola, and of course, painting. Brian returned to the School of Visual Arts for his Masters in Art Therapy. The idea for TAP came to life during his thesis work with adolescents in foster care. More accurately, it was the youth coming to life in the room while making their first animation that lit Brian’s fire.