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Michigan teen sells colorful artwork, advocates for others with Down syndrome

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Posted at 11:15 AM, Jul 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-28 14:30:40-04

WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ) -- Since the third grade, 15-year-old Zoie Abrams has loved to paint.

"I like to paint animals," said Zoie.

Through vibrant colors, the West Bloomfield, Michigan teen has put paint to canvas as a way of expressing herself, a way of sharing joy. Zoie has Down syndrome – and painting, her mother says, has given her a way to really share how she’s feeling.

"She's a very vibrant person and it shows through her art and she ... wants everybody to be happy," said her mother, Simone Abrams.

It was during the pandemic, and the heaviness of that time, when her artwork became a bright light.

Images courtesy the Abrams Family

"We took a look at a lot of the paintings that she had done and was like, 'oh, my gosh, this makes you feel happy when you see it,' because ... the vibrant colors just jump at you," said Simone.

Zoie’s paintings caught the attention of family, friends, neighbors and the National Down Syndrome Society.

"They featured us on their website," said Simone.

When you take a look through Zoie's works of art, you can see the passion and a love of nature. Her favorite creation? A painting she calls "colorful trees."

Images courtesy the Abrams Family

Zoie and her mom decided to launch Zoie’s ART 21, a platform where Zoie can sell her art, with part of the proceeds benefiting the National Down Syndrome Society.

It’s also a wesbite that aims to advocate for individuals with Down syndrome and their many talents.

"They're able to do things that everyone else can do. And it's a joy to be able to let the world know they've got talents. Just because they have Down syndrome, doesn't put them in a box," said Simone.

During the interview, Zoie told her mom she wants to "make people happy." And, she added, she hopes people "love her art."

Images courtesy the Abrams Family

Zoie recently had her first art show and plans to do more, her mother says.

In the future, she says her dream is to become a fashion designer.

To check out Zoie's art and to find out more about Zoie's ART 21, click here.

This story originally reported by Alexandra Bahou on WXYZ.com.