Autism 5K T-Shirts & Art

For some it’s about the course or the cause, but for many event runners, it’s all about the shirt!

The Autism 5K works with a different local artist each year, who will generously produce original artwork to commemorate the event.  These pieces are featured on our participant t-shirts to create what we feel are among the best race shirts in the Twin Cities.

2020 Autism 5K Artwork coming soon!

2019 Autism 5K Artwork:

Whether you’ve been running since 2009 and collected all ten past shirts, or this is your first event, you won’t want to miss out on adding this one to your collection!  We’re excited to announce our 2019 artist, Jeff Boutin!

Jeff Boutin contributed two custom pieces to the Autism 5K, one used in 2013, and now our 2019 artwork completes the set!

Mr Boutin has a unique background as a cherished Minnesota artisan having previously owned the only woolen mill left in Minnesota and has surpassed that legacy now as one of Minnesota’s top artists and painters.

Check out more of his incredible work at local galleries, or online at his website:
Jeff Boutin Art

Past Year Artwork:

2018 Design, by Adam Turman:

Adam Turman is an illustrator from Minneapolis, MN, whose bold style offers colorful takes on beloved landmarks and the great outdoors. Adam’s murals can be found throughout our state and the Midwest, and his prints in private collections worldwide. He works with major brands, independent businesses, and private collectors to make art part of our everyday.  You have likely seen some of his popular prints featuring icons such as Paul, Babe, The Pillsbury Doughboy and various MN Landmarks and brands.

Adam grew up in the Twin Cities and got his start as an artist by making gig posters for bands coming through popular Twin Cities venues. He drew influence from the bold, graphic style of 80s art and comics. Adam started his professional studio practice in 2003, and since then has become one of Minnesota’s most popular artists.  Adam

2017 Autism 5K Artwork:

The 2017 Autism 5K t-shirts will feature the above piece, Wolf Sail Boat.  Donated to the Autism 5K this year by the talented young Twin Cities artist, Ayden Mette; we are honored to have his artwork featured at our event!

2017 Artist Bio, Ayden Mette:

Ayden Mette is a 12 year old from Plymouth. Diagnosed with autism and severe apraxia at the age of 2, writing and art were difficult and very much non-preferred activities. When given an opportunity to color or paint, he would insist on using one color only (usually black) and quickly scribble on the paper to get the task over.

After many years of various therapies, Ayden has discovered enjoyment in various art mediums and loves to use lots of color. He has an amazing imagination when creating new pieces, always providing a story behind each piece. The piece used this year for the CADE Autism 5k is titled Wolf Sail Boat. It is based on lessons learned in art class when studying landscapes of Vincent Van Gogh and Ton Schulten.

Ayden is thrilled to have been chosen as this year’s artist!!! He has offered to provide autographs and photo opportunities to his family and friends in their Autism 5K shirts for a nominal fee, a portion of which he will donate to CADE.


2016 T-Shirt design:

Autism 5K Stamp Art 2016 by Reilly Forsmark

A fun new direction for the 2016 Autism 5K as we’ve been fortunate to connect with a talented young local artist who has created a custom stamp just for our event!  All shirts will feature this stamp print on a yet to be determined background.

2016 Artist Profile, Reilly Forsmark:!about/ciaa

Artist Reilly Forsmark’s projects can be described as interesting, unusual and diverse.

His work is influenced by a wide variety of artists from modern rap and hip-hop artists like Kanye West, Wu-Tang, and Odd Future, to surrealist painters such as Salvador Dali and Alex Pardee.

As a young child, he admired old-school graffiti from New York and Los Angeles for its unique style and vibrant colors.

Reilly has shown works at galleries in Minneapolis such as Gamut, The Abstracted, Pour House, Rusty Quarters Arcade, Cause Bar, and the Minnetonka Arts Center on 7. He and his business partner worked at both the Lake Minnetonka “Art on the Lake”, and Mankato’s “Paint on the Water” Art Fairs.

Reilly attends University of Wisconsin-Stout, and plans to major in industrial design and apparel design. During high school, Reilly participated in a two-year intensive International Baccalaureate Visual Arts course and High Potential programs. He pursued Post-secondary education options at Normandale Community College, and created multiple art clubs & after school programs.

Original Stamp created for the 2016 Autism 5K:

Stamp Art created for the 2016 Autism 5K.

Stamp Art created for the 2016 Autism 5K.

What color t-shirt do you think we should print this stamp on?

Visit our Facebook event page to chime in!

2015 T-Shirt design:

We are thrilled to announce that local artist Thaddeus “TJ” Jameson has granted the use of his incredible panting, “Red Ride Along”, for the 2015 Autism 5K!  “Red Ride Along” was adapted for the 7th Annual Autism 5K to highlight the central piece of the painting: The Minneapolis Fire Chief’s vehicle!

Minneapolis Fire Chief Car by Thaddeus TJ Jameson

“Red Ride Along” by Thaddeus TJ Jameson, adapted for the 2015 Minneapolis Autism 5K.

Visit TJ’s website and the online gallery there to enhance your day and share our awe of his amazing talent. The Star Tribune described some of TJ’s pieces as “mind maps” and they are indeed remarkably detailed, yet full of feeling and beauty amidst the gritty subjects they can portray. His website says it best though… “Words cannot describe.”   We are honored to have the opportunity to work with TJ!

2015 Shirt Mockup:

2015 Autism 5k T-Shirt Mockup

2014 T-shirt design:

Devin Wildes provided the use of his piece, “Garden Party” for the 2014 Autism 5K. Devin is an autistic teen from Stillwater and a terrific young artist, who won the “Davinci Fest” with this piece.

2014 Autism 5K T-shirt Deisgn

2014 Autism 5K T-shirt Design

The concept of “Garden Party” is taken from an insects point of view. What it feels like to be them. The grass is upside down because the insects are upside down. They can’t understand language or read so they only see letters and symbols. Hands are constantly swatting at them.

The artist depicts what it is like for them to not understand our world. Devin’s family feels that this piece may have correlations to his own life, to which many families in the autism community can probably relate.


2013 T-shirt design:


2013 Artwork (last year) – Jeff Boutin

Jeff Boutin is a fantastic Minnesota artist and has created not one, but TWO custom pieces for the 2013 Autism 5K as a set.

Mr Boutin has a unique background as a cherished Minnesota artisan having previously owned the only wool mill left in Minnesota and now is making his mark as a painter.



2012 Artwork – Caden Larson

Our incredible 2012 piece was created by Caden Larson, a local child with autism.  Caden is a dedicated artist and loves to express himself through painting.

Set against a black background, this piece has a dramatic, vibrant and emotional effect on the viewer.  We look forward to watching Caden’s bright future as an artist unfold through the years ahead.


2011 Artwork – Michael Birawer

Michael Birawer’s work is unmistakeable being one of the most popular artists working in Minnesota today.  His 2011 contribution to the Autism 5K is one of our favorite pieces from his scores of remarkable works – and we’re still amazed at having had the opportunity to work with him.

Mr. Birawer has previously been commissioned to do landmark pieces for events including the opening of Target Field and the State Fair.  He has completed paintings of numerous local institutions from around the Twin Cities as well as cities around the country.

Please shop his store and visit his local studio.  More information online at his website:

2009/2010 Artwork – Mary Grand Pre’

Acclaimed artist and illustrator, Mary Grand Pre’, gave the Autism 5K a legacy piece for which we can never properly thank her.  The detailed, gorgeous chalk illustration depicting runners circling the Minneapolis lake has set a standard that all of our artists strive to match.  Her experience as an illustrator of complex stories is on display having artistically woven in many themes including the seamless jigsaw pattern.

The work of Mary Grand Pre’ will be celebrated for generations, having illustrated all seven of the Harry Potter novels for author J.K. Rowling.  Ms. Grand Pre’ was educated at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design (MCAD) and is renowned for her editorial designs, illustrations and for her own children’s books.

Learn more about Ms. Grand Pre’ online:


If you have any questions about our t-shirts or artwork for the Autism 5K, please email us –