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Promoting the Creative Power in People with Disabilities

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please visit their web site

Sculptor · Prodigious Savant

Savant Alonzo Clemons  cretes a sculpture
Alonzo Clemons modeling one of his clay sculptures

See Youtube video

In the early 1980's, the movie Rain Man, which featured Dustin Hoffman in the role of a disabled man with remarkable skills of memory, brought national attention to a phenomenon known as Savant Syndrome. People with Savant Syndrome have both a developmental disability (mental retardation or autism) and a spectacular, genius-level skill in a specific area.

The interest in savants created by the Rain Man character resulted in several television specials on the subject that featured some of the real savants in the country. One of these individuals was Alonzo Clemons, an artist known for producing marvelous animal sculptures from memory alone. His appearance on the shows including 60 Minutes, Geraldo and the Discovery Channel's World of Wonder provided Clemons with the exposure which gave the opportunity to become represented in fine arts galleries and gain worldwide recognition for his work.

Dr. Darold Treffert, America's leading expert on the Savant Syndrome served as a consultant to Dustin Hoffman for his role in the Rain Man and also is a personal friend of Alonzo Clemons.


Dr. Treffert writes this about the Savant Syndrome:

Savant Syndrome is a rare, but spectacular, condition in which persons with various developmental disabilities have astonishing islands of ability or brilliance that stand in stark, markedly incongruous, contrast to the handicap (talented savants).

In others, with a much rarer form of the condition, the ability is not only spectacular in contrast to the handicap, but would be spectacular even if viewed in a normal person (prodigious savant).

There are fewer than 100 reported cases of prodigious savants in world literature. There a probably fewer than 25 prodigious savants living at the present time. Some of those include Leslie Lemke (music), Alonzo Clemons (sculpting), Richard Wawro (painting), Stephen Wilshire (drawing) and Tony DeBlois (music).


An online studio of Alonzos Clemons' artwork can
be seen by clicking on the thumbnail below

Alonzo's Studio

More information about the Savant Syndrome is available in the following resources:
Genius Among Us: Alonzo Clemons: article by Dr. Darold Treffert
An entire chapter is devoted to Alonzo Clemons.
Available through the web site.
The magazine SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, “ Islands of Genius,” June 2002
by Dr. Darold A. Treffert and Gregory Wallace.
The Wisconsin Medical Society web site page titled "Savant Syndrome: Frequently Asked Questions," by Dr. Darold A. Treffert
This web page sponsored in part by
VSA Arts of Colorado:
Promoting the Creative Power in People with Disabilities

For information on VSA activities
please visit their web site

Gifted Hands is the Official Representative of Alonzo Clemons:

For purchase information contact
Nancy Mason at:

Gifted Hands
11510 Gold Hill Road
Boulder CO 80302-9716

Telephone: (303) 459-3397

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