Mitchel at the clCC Greenhouse in Vernon

Mitchell’s Message

Mitchell is pictured here at the CLCC Greenhouse in Vernon, CT with his dad, Al.  They come to the greenhouse every Monday morning to get the week off to a great start harvesting and seeding new trays of micro greens!


My name is Mitchell. I am 22 years old and I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, the highest functioning form of Autism, at the age of 8. After the age of 21, my school system did not really offer any services. I had a lot of transition programs, but none of them were really a good fit for me. I also did not qualify for any state programs, which has left me nowhere to turn.

I feel like all my life, my world has been very difficult and now scary at times to navigate. There are some days where I don’t even feel comfortable in my own skin. Every day is a challenge for me and I hope I can one day get on the right path and resolve my issues. I know I won’t be perfect and that there will still be bumps in the road, but I hope that I can one day turn out to be the young man I was always meant to be.

I hope that with programs like CLCC, I can find others who are going through the same thing I am going through, and I can look forward to living and working in a supporting environment so I can look forward to a positive future. We all have potential. I just need to learn to grasp mine and gain self-confidence. I hope this may help someone that is struggling with high functioning Autism and feels like there may be hope to one day have a caring community to support them






Curtis Hall is fortunate to spend the better part of his working week with professional artist, David Lussier. When Curtis transitioned out of high school to adult services, it was our intention to have Curtis fill his days by being productive doing what he loves to do— create artwork!

David has been working with Curtis for seven years now. David writes—

I make my living as a professional artist; selling paintings in galleries, conducting outdoor workshops, holding classes in my studio and by attending plein air events around the country. Curt comes to work at the studio 3 days a week. He observes what is going on in a busy studio and absorbs the information like a sponge. On some occasions, Curtis will watch me paint a demonstration for students in a class. He enjoys it when other students are in the studio painting. He likes being a part of a working studio environment. He enjoys taking a break from his work to walk around and see what each student is working on. They in turn, like to walk over to see what Curt is working on. One example of Curt utilizing information given in a class is a day that I used a very specific color palette for my demonstration and later, looking at Curt’s work for the day, I saw that he was utilizing the exact same color palette in colored pencil that I was using for oil paints. Curtis processes what he learns in his own unique way that is personal yet universal. He sees the world in an abstract way and works with patterns and colors that vibrate on the paper. Curtis often likes to explore a subject by working in a series.

After three days at the art studio, Curtis also looks forward to work at the Creative Living Community of CT greenhouse! His favorite job is to fill as many trays as possible with soil in order to properly prepare them for seeding. Curtis is also learning how to seed and water the tender micro greens. There are other jobs, too, which include cleaning trays, vacuuming, greeting visitors and delivering the product. Through his participation, Curtis is able to be a productive member of the community. Curtis will be 30 in September and lives at home with his mom and dad, Randy and Cindy in Coventry. Curtis’ older sister, Crystal, lives in Baltimore, MD. Trips to the local farmer’s market to get Kettle Korn or riding in his dad’s 47 Ford farm truck are some of his favorite activities.

About David:
David is a compassionate and encouraging plein air workshop instructor. He is one of the top plein air painters working in the United States today and his passion for painting and teaching runs deep. David has a unique ability to reach each student where they are at with their knowledge of painting and to help them understand their painting strengths and weaknesses. David is committed to helping each student reach that goal. With his laid-back and friendly personality matched with an intense passion for painting, a workshop with David is a rewarding experience.