CTV Northern Ontario: Moonbeam, Ont. an autistic boy organizes his first exhibition in an art gallery

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Nine-year-old Teagan Gravel brings joy to his hometown of Moonbeam with his artwork.

He’s been developing his talent for drawing cartoon characters and famous logos since he was four years old, his mother told CTV News.

“It’s a way for him to express himself as well as to calm down or place himself in another world so that he understands his feelings and all that,” said Cindy Nadeau, Teagan’s mother.

She said Teagan asked her every day if they could go to the Moonbeam Cultural Center and Art Gallery so that he can draw and color.

“It’s a bit difficult to explain, but it helps channel his energy in a positive way,” said Nadeau.

Over the past two years, there have been few visits to the gallery due to the pandemic, but Teagan has still amassed hundreds of drawings while waiting for the closures to end.

The gallery became aware of Teagan’s art through social media and asked him to organize an exhibition at the gallery this month for “World Autism Awareness Month”.

Nadeau said this opportunity demonstrates the city’s support.

“It just helps us feel a lot more comfortable taking him out in public because it’s very difficult when he starts screaming and people are staring at you, so I don’t feel like that at Moonbeam. I feel like everyone welcomes him with open arms and they’re always open-minded when it comes to him,” she said.

Visitors are invited to drop by the gallery next week, April 20-April 23, 1-4 p.m., to meet Teagan. He will be on hand, creating more images of his favorite characters.

And if you’re willing to buy them, his mother said he might be willing to sign them for you.

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