Atlanta Boy Featured in Russian Photography Exhibit to Celebrate World Down Syndrome Day

Atlanta, GA, March 08, 2012 --( Andy Meredith, 12, from Atlanta, GA was invited to share his photography as the centerpiece of an international art exhibit at a Russian medical college to raise awareness about the capabilities of people with Down syndrome. The exhibit will be coordinated by the US State Department in Yekaterinburg, Russia in celebration of World Down Syndrome Day on March 21, 2012 and will also include Russian artists with Down syndrome.

The director of the Sverdlovsk Medical College in Yekaterinburg invited Andy to share his photography after a meeting with the boy's mother, Stephanie Meredith, author of the Canister booklet, "Understanding a Down Syndrome Diagnosis," (, and Amy Allison, director of the Down Syndrome Guild of Greater Kansas City. As part of an international effort to share more up-to-date information about Down syndrome and improve social programs, Ms. Meredith and Ms. Allison were invited by the US State Department to make presentations to charities, government officials, and academic leaders about how opportunities for people with Down syndrome have improved in the US over the past 30 years. In Russia, the majority of babies with Down syndrome continue to be institutionalized largely because of outdated views of the condition and limited social supports.

The exhibit will include ten to twelve 20x30 inch displays of Andy's photos featuring various images of people and animals with captions by Andy. His specialty is taking close-up shots from an interesting perspective. Andy is a fifth-grader and has won first place in his school PTA Reflections contest and second at the district level. Andy’s also an avid mountain biker, Boy Scout, and electronic geek. In addition, a website ( hosted by Canister will be launching this spring to feature an online gallery of his work and announce exhibitions.

Ms. Meredith says, “We’re incredibly proud of our son. He’s a typical tween who definitely needs extra help in some areas and also has these wonderful, evolving talents that can be a springboard for the future. However, it’s important to note that he’s not an isolated case of an exceptional child with Down syndrome. The truth is that more and more people with Down syndrome are dealing with their challenges and achieving their potential because of the improved health care, education, and social supports in the US during last 30 years, and we’re so impressed with the organizations, like Sun Kids and Downside Up, working to make that progress happen in Russia. We are also incredibly grateful to the Sverdlovsk Medical College for inviting us to share Andy's work.”

This year marks the first time that March 21 will be recognized by the United Nations as World Down Syndrome Day.

Justin Meredith