Arts & Culture Community Maplewood Towns

Maplewood Teen with Autism Has Art Show at Knitknack

Nathaniel Bar Yaakov Facebook Page.
Nathaniel Bar Yaakov Facebook Page.

Nathaniel Bar Yaacov is a 15-year-old boy from Maplewood who attends Garden Academy in West Orange. He lives with his parents, his 17-year-old sister, his identical twin brother Jesse and his cat Nip.

Nat, who has autism, is an artist who creates paintings using oil on canvas and acrylic on canvas, as well as greeting cards, picture frames, and clipboards. He has sold his work to customers all across the United States as well as in the UK, Belgium, Norway, and Israel.

This month, Knitknack in Maplewood is celebrating Nat’s art by displaying his work in the store. “He will be selling his pieces and I promise that they will go fast,” said the store’s owner, Marie Downes.

Knitknack will host an art opening for Nat’s work on Saturday, April 11 from 2 – 4 p.m. at the store, 1914 Springfield Ave, Maplewood. April is National Autism Awareness Month, and Knitknack will be accepting donations for autism awareness.

Nat’s teachers at Garden Academy discovered three years ago that he loved to paint. He began painting using finger paints, then graduated to dot paints, and eventually worked his way up to using different brushes, strokes, and mediums.

Learn more about Garden Academy, founded in Maplewood in 2006 by a group of parents including Nat’s mother, Jenny, in this Village Green article. The accredited, non-profit school serves students with autism ages 3 and older.

To see more of Nat’s work, visit his Facebook page.


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