These Artists Prove You Don’t Need 46 Chromosomes to Create Stunning Art


One organization is ensuring the world gets to see some incredible art created by people with Down syndrome.

After Suzie Moffat’s son, Max, was born with Down syndrome in 2007, she became increasingly fascinated with the creative nature of people with the condition. With a background in the art world, it made sense that Moffat, from Cheshire, in Northwest England, began to interpret this new perspective on the world through art.

“It was my way of trying to understand his condition,” Moffat told The Mighty.

Suzie & MaxMoffat
Suzie and Max Moffat (copyright Paul Moffat Photography)

She began working with the Down Syndrome Association in the United Kingdom to put a call out for artists.

“The idea originated just as a way to meet other families,” Moffat told The Mighty. “But, then I started to realize the talent was incredible and the artists deserved to be recognized.”

So Moffat and her partner, Paul Moffat, put together a small public preview exhibition in 2012. It was a success, and Heart & Sold was born.

Since then, Heart & Sold’s public acceptance has continued to grow — the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge even accepted one of their original works of art for Prince George’s nursery in 2013.

Heart & Sold’s goal is to support and encourages all kinds of artists with Down syndrome, from photographers and filmmakers to various types of visual artists and sculptors. Its staff works closely with the artists and their caregivers and are often thrilled to see them go off on their own to host successful solo exhibitions and receive commissions.

Screen Shot 2015-07-10 at 10.15.12 AM
Suzie Moffat with Heart & Sold artist (copyright Paul Moffat Photography)

The organization continues to grow — this fall it’s putting on exhibits in London and Manchester, as well as hosting its first international exhibition in New York City in October.

But despite all the exciting progress, Moffat says it’s really all about the art. Art, she says, that can stand on its own merits and doesn’t need to be defined by the condition of the person who created it.

“At the end of the day, who made the art, whether or not they have Down syndrome, doesn’t matter,” she told The Mighty. “It’s whether or not you want to put it on your wall.”

Check out some of the Heart & Sold artwork and artists in the images below: 

'Dollar Pancakes', photograph by Rachel Handlin
“Dollar Pancakes” photograph by Rachel Handlin (Copyright Heart & Sold on behalf of the artist)
Sunset & flowers, Cornwall
“Sunset & flowers, Cornwall,” acrylic painting by Tazia Fawley (Copyright Heart & Sold on behalf of the artist)
Dominic Bennett, Artist
Dominic Bennett, Artist (copyright Paul Moffat Photography)
Aurora Freeze, acrylic painting by Anthony Childs
“Aurora Freeze” acrylic painting by Anthony Childs (Copyright Heart & Sold on behalf of the artist)
Robert Dixon, Artist
Robert Dixon, Artist (copyright Paul Moffat Photography)
Sonic Screwdrivers, Ceramics by John Groarke
Sonic Screwdrivers, Ceramics by John Groarke (Copyright Heart & Sold on behalf of the artist)
unnamed-1
Amy Ellison, Artist (copyright Paul Moffat Photography)

 

Check out the Heart & Sold website for more information on upcoming exhibitions, or to learn more about the artists. 

TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Down Syndrome

Why I Don’t Have to Ask If My Brother With Special Needs Knows I Love Him

Sometimes, I casually throw into a conversation that my brother is my favorite person. This is a truth. This is something I know for sure. Benjamin is 3 years younger than me, and I don’t remember life before him. My older sister insists I was feisty and the terrible twos hit me hard. Apparently, I [...]

Teen’s Interview With His Grandma Reveals Harsh Realities of Alzheimer’s Disease

Justin Boswick sees film as more than just a storytelling medium — he views it as a way to make a difference. The 17-year-old from Medford Lakes, New Jersey, recently created “The Word Search,” a short five-minute documentary (video below) about his family’s experience with Alzheimer’s disease and a loving tribute to his grandmother. The [...]

Why This Amputee Army Veteran Is Suing a Six Flags Theme Park

“I’ve never felt disabled,” Larry Panayi says in the video below, “until that day.” Panayi, an amputee veteran from Fort Worth, Texas, was visiting the Six Flags Over Texas theme park with his family in 2013 when ride operators refused to let him on as many as 13 rides, CBS News reported. Now, he’s suing Six Flags [...]

The Practical Special Needs Mom Survival Guide

As special needs moms, we frequently find ourselves frazzled, scattered and well, quite honestly, tired. And when we’re in this scattered, frazzled and tired state, we don’t necessarily make the best decisions. So pour yourself a cup of coffee and glance over this Lilliputian list. My hope is that maybe, just maybe, it will help [...]