Canadian artist Niam Jain with his mother, Nina Jain
TORONTO TEEN WITH AUTISM TAKES THE ART WORLD BY STORM
Niam Jain is a typical 15 year-old teen from Toronto. He loves video games, pizza and idolizes his hometown music hero, Drake.
He is also a world-renowned artist living with Autism.
I was invited to his Scarborough studio where he was busy creating new pieces for his first major exhibition at The Abbozzo Gallery in downtown Toronto.
Any artist would dream of having a space like this one, with every imaginable colour splattered on every surface from the floors, walls and tabletops. It’s like Jackson Pollock came to decorate.
I ask Niam’s mother, Nina Jain, how they discovered his talent.
“When he was 12 years old, we were at home looking for activities for him to do so we bought some canvases and paints,” she recalls. “He finished a beautiful painting which I posted on Facebook and a friend shared it.”
Little did she expect that it would catch the interest of a collector in New York City who purchased it.
With the sale of this first piece, Nina realized that Niam found a focus and possibly a source of his own income.
Niam’s speech and comprehension are very limited. He picks-up on a few words and repeats them, but his art is a way for him to communicate to the world.
He uses different colours and layers to represent what he feels and makes the painting his dialogue.
Over time he has gained a following through social media and his website which are managed by his mother.
“He loves when his paintings are sold,” she says. “He feels good and realizes that people appreciate the work he’s put into it.”
He has found a passion and the art world has given him a fantastic response.
His mother has also channeled her energy into helping others manage autism through a website she developed called, Able2Learn. Visitors can download manuals, build a community, learn recipes and educate themselves on the many different aspects of autism.
As Nina puts it, “We’re showing the art world the potential of people with disabilities.”
To see the art of Niam Jain, visit www.niamjain.com
The first painting sold by Niam Jain called, Waves (2015)
The artist's signature