Creed James is excited, although you wouldn't know it, as he poses for the camera with some of his artworks.
Creed, who has Autism, is one of more than a dozen local artists with disabilities whose work will be on display at the Bunbury Regional Art Gallery from next week.
The Gelorup artist's work is drawing praise from Ross Vaughan, a local artist, who has been running the group Art for Inclusion, that Creed has attended for more than three years.
"His work is amazing; it is like Marc Chagall. It is a form of expressionism with Picasso-like Cubism thrown in," Mr Vaughan said excitedly.
In recent years artists with disabilities have become vital contributors to Australia's arts and culture at both a national and local level.
Creed's mother Nicole said her son's experience and liking for art was crafted with love by her Grandmother Marjorie Buswell, a well-known identity in the Bunbury area.
"My dad, Gary, would take Creed to Ma's house on Saturdays where he would get out his books and draw; it was a generational thing," said Nicole.
Enable WA, which, along with the City of Bunbury and Combined Team Services, is a major sponsor of the exhibition, has, for many years, supported artists in the community with disabilities.
Enable WA chief executive officer Robert Holmes said he believed it was important that local business and community groups got behind programs like Art for Inclusion, supported by Enable.
"We are part of the community, and I think if we can strengthen any part of the community, it is our mission.
"We are very proud of what we have achieved working together, the opportunities that have been created for those taking part is a great outcome and is at the very heart of what we strive to do in the community," said Mr. Holmes
Indeed, it is the sense of community that attracts many of those who attend the Art for Inclusion program.
Mr Vaughan explains the class was a mix of all sorts of people.
"I've noticed that students feed off each other's enthusiasm, which gives them self-worth, motivation, and belonging to a group of like-minded people," he said.
"I find it extremely rewarding seeing people with mental health disabilities, physical and others get along despite their different backgrounds. They discover themselves, what kind of artists they are."
Creed James has discovered art. It makes him feel "relaxed," and he says he hopes people come along to see the exhibition because "art is fun."
The Art for Inclusion exhibition will open at the Bunbury Regional Art Gallery on Friday, July 23, at 6 PM.
Tickets can be obtained through Eventbrite; entry is free.
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