Art exhibit features projects from kids with autism

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COLUMBIA - An art exhibit kicked off Friday in Columbia featuring displays from some very special artists.

La Feria Gallery partnered with the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders to show off the Art for Autism Exhibit.

Participating children and their siblings work with Access Arts over multiple weeks to create these projects.

Thompson Center spokesperson Adrienne Cornwall said these projects allow kids with autism to express themselves in different ways.

"Children with autism have difficulty communicating, it's one of the primary features of autism," Cornwall said. "We offer the Art For Autism program because art is just another means of self-expression and we want them to have the opportunity to have some fun and communicate in a different way."

The Thompson Center puts together a few other exhibits like this throughout the year, and Cornwall said it's a great experience for the kids and their families to see their art in the galleries.

"The kids love to come in and show off the art they've created to family and friends and the sense of pride they get from seeing their art on the wall," Cornwall said.

Gallery owner Pablo Araujo said he's always happy to see the community come together for events like this.

"It promotes us and then it promotes them and it's a win-win situation for everybody and then the community gets to do something interesting and fun and be part of something that a lot of the time you don't get the chance to," Araujo said.

The Art For Autism exhibit will be on display through April 12. There will also be an event at La Feria Gallery from 11-4 on Saturday where kids and their families can come in and create their own art projects.