Ben Rose, who has displayed his artistic touch since nursery school, has found a medium to share his talents.


Rose, who is 21 and autistic, is the youngest of five children for Mike and Theresa Rose. Mike is the pastor for Hays United Methodist Church while Theresa helps Ben with his art. Ben now focuses on an acrylic pour technique to express himself.


"It’s something to help keep me occupied, something to do," Ben Rose said. "It is fun."


Ben sells his art at a Chicago-based organization, We Are Lions, that specializes in being a marketplace for artists with disabilities. The Roses take photo of Ben’s creations and his art is on everything from handbags to shirts. Go to benrose@wearelions to view his items for sale.


Mike Rose said his wife got Ben interested in the acrylic pour technique, which he has been doing for about three years.


"He just has a real gift for that," Mike said.


Theresa said her son will work on his acrylic pours when the mood strikes him. Ben might work on it every day for weeks then go a month without going down to the basement to create another piece.


"It just depends on how motivated he is," Theresa said.


To start an acrylic pour, Ben first chooses the colors he will use, and layers them in a cup.


"I think of what colors look good, look good together," he said.


Ben then chooses the size of the canvas and how he will put on the paint. He will either pour it on slowly or all at once. The canvas is then tilted to let the paint run off the edges to make sure there are no spots left uncovered. It usually takes about a day to dry.


"He’s got an eye for art and for color," Theresa said. "It’s fast and it’s easy – for him, it’s easy."


"I just do art that looks good," said Ben, who can finish an acrylic pour in about 15 minutes.


Aside from his artistic endeavors, Ben is a collector. Part of the income he receives is put in savings, otherwise he would "spend every nickel," Mike joked. Ben collects cards, belt buckles, just about anything.


"If it’s rare or valuable, he’s a collector," Mike said.


Mike and Theresa believe their son’s talent is a God-given gift.


"We like to think so," Mike said.