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Lafayette Jeff High School student with autism hosts art show

High school senior Chase Taylor is finding his voice through drawing and painting.

Posted: Mar 9, 2020 12:02 AM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — A high school art class has led one Lafayette student to find his passion. On Mar. 7 through Apr. 4, Lafayette Jeff High School senior Chase Taylor’s painting and drawings will be displayed at ART of Framing in Lafayette.

When it came time to schedule classes for his senior year of school, neither Taylor or his parents knew the impact adding an art class would have.

“At first, he was kind of hesitant and he didn't want to do it but it has turned out to be a great thing for him,” said Tammi Taylor, Chase’s mother.

Taylor has a mild form of autism that affects the way he expresses and receives language. Through his art class, he's learned that drawing and painting can share a message that doesn't need words.

“It makes it easier to think some things out and calm yourself down a little bit,” said Taylor.

Taylor's work includes his favorite things, dogs and vibrant colors. His process of making his art pieces is what caught his teacher's eye. From there, she helped organize the art exhibit.

“I just think he's a natural, I love the color, the texture, he's very interested in expressing certain ideas,” said Mara Battiste, Chase’s painting and digital design teacher. “You notice in a lot of his pieces there's almost like a grid of repeated shapes and colors so he likes to work systematically, he starts at the top of the page and just keeps going and going and so I’m interested in the system.”

Taylor is thrilled with the support he's received.

“I feel like I'm not nervous anymore, I was a little bit nervous before this all started and now I'm not anymore,” said Taylor. “I do like people seeing my art a lot and I'm proud of them seeing it actually.”

“He has grown so much over his school years and it's just amazing,” said Tammi Taylor. “We definitely attribute that to all of his teachers, without them this would not have been possible,” said David Taylor, Chase’s father.

Taylor will be graduating this spring. He said this will be the first of many art shows to come.

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