Inklude – Empowering Those with Autism Through Art

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Elba Ribera was an avid artist for years but it wasn’t until recently her work was put on public display for the first time.

“I feel good! And I feel that I’m doing artwork for me, for somebody, for the art show or something like that,” said Ribera.

It’s all thanks to Inklude, an art program Little Friends formed over 10 years ago whose mission is still seeing success.

“So I think art is an avenue to help the artists be able to express themselves and show their thoughts and their feelings through their artwork. And then by placing it in a public gallery is huge because. We also want to bring awareness to community as well and let them know about individuals with developmental disabilities and just the talents that they can have,” said Nikki Bozzano, the Inklude studio manager for Little Friends.

The Inklude studio exhibition at the DuPage Art League came to be after a year of collaboration, when the art program received a grant to fund materials and a gallery space for its clients.

“We have about 430 members, we were contacted [and] they asked for volunteers to help with their program. And our exhibits chairman said that we had exhibit space for them if they wish to have a show here and they took us up on it so I think a whole year later we have this wonderful show of Little Friends artwork and we are very pleased to do this,” said President of DuPage Art League Kay Wahlgren.

The work of 17 different artists is displayed in the gallery, and they’re open to view and buy until October 19.

Almost all of the money made from the artwork sold goes back to the little friends artists and teaches them about the business side of the art world as well.

Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.