Gentry Groshell was diagnosed with autism at the age of two. She has tried many therapies, from traditional and biomedical to Applied Behavior Analysis, but has found her most soothing and desired therapy to be art. Faced with many challenges related to autism, including lack of verbal language and other aspects of autism that affect her mind, body, and emotions, she also suffered the sudden loss of her father and grandfather at age ten.
At age twelve, Gentry attended a ground-breaking art instruction program dedicated to children on the autism spectrum at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville. For the first time in her life, Gentry had a medium that allowed her feelings and vantage point of the world to be expressed. At age eighteen, Gentry learned to type to communicate and shared that her body often doesn't listen to her mind.
Now a non-verbal twenty one year old with autism, Gentry perseveres in the face of obstacles and lets her light shine. Her art allows her to filter her autism by keeping undesired motor movements and vocalizations at bay. Gentry's creations are a menagerie of vibrant colors and bold brushstrokes, often layered many times. Her art gives others a glimpse of her interpretation of the world... a world that she says affords her a "good gift of colors". Gentry has attended multiple solo exhibitions of her work. Through typing, Gentry speaks of hope and is now able to title her own paintings.
Proceeds from sales of Gentry's artwork directly benefit Peace of Heart Community, a non-profit organization founded by Gentry's family. Their vision is to create an environment where a meaningful life for persons with autism can be realized by fostering an atmosphere of love, happiness, and belonging where all life is valued, voices are heard, and talents are developed to make a difference in the world.