Iris Halmshaw: Pint-Sized Picasso

Three-year-old Iris Grace Halmshaw has set the art world abuzz. Iris has autism and is non-verbal, but her paintings speak volumes! Iris is just like any toddler—carefree, dancing in her own little world, but she struggles to interact with others or maintain eye contact. Iris’ parents stumbled onto her talent by accident but once she began painting, Iris was hooked. Hailing from Market Harborough, England, Iris’ talent was discovered during one of her art therapy sessions and since then her paintings have sold for £1,500 each and prints for up to £295.

“Her autism has created a style of painting which I have never seen in a child of her age,” Arabella Carter-Johnson her mother wrote on her website. “She has an understanding of colours and how they interact with each other. She beams with excitement and joy when I get out the paints. It lifts her mood every time.”

Her parents are currently seeking a sponsor for an exhibition in London that will be followed by an auction of Iris’s original works. Money raised will be put toward Iris’ therapy.

If you are interested in learning more about art therapy, check out the American Art Therapy Association and for parents who want to encourage their children with disabilities to uncover their hidden talents, Very Special Arts (VS Arts) provides arts and education programs through statewide and international affiliates.

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