Claire the Crayola creator: Pittsford girl’s work on display inside Memorial Art Gallery

Claire the Crayola creator: Pittsford girl’s work on display inside Memorial Art Gallery

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – There’s a new exhibit you might want to check out at the Memorial Art Gallery. The artist is from Pittsford and her preferred materials are Crayola crayons. And her work is displayed in a one-woman show.

Claire is a pretty busy young lady.

“I love theater, dance, horseback riding, karate,” she says.

But her passion is art, and all of her art is created with crayons.

“I really, really love pink and purple,” she says.

Take a quick look around her home and you’ll see hundreds of her pieces.

“I can’t even imagine how many I did. I did so many. I can’t keep it all straight,” she says.

Her dad occasionally helps with some sketches, but the color is all Claire.

Claire McLaughlin, artist: “I feel happy, sad, frustrated or panicked.”

Jennifer Lewke, News10NBC investigative reporter: “Depending on the piece of art you’re working on?”

Claire: “Yeah, and depending on what color I use.”

It’s amazing because I can say how I feel and no one will judge me for it. I can say what I like and I’m happy about that

Claire McLaughlin, artist

A few months back, Claire sent a piece to the CEO of Crayola crayons.

“I even did his own portrait and it’s hung up in the outside of his office,” she says.

Jennifer Lewke, News10NBC: “That’s amazing.”

Claire McLaughlin, artist: “It is amazing.”

CEO Rich Wuerthele sent Claire a personal letter of thanks and thousands of new crayons.

“This is what Crayola is all about. It’s all about showing who you really are,” he wrote.

And Claire is a confident artist.

Jennifer Lewke, News10NBC: “So, you chose to do the pastels in the middle and then the brighter colors?”

Claire: “They’re not pastels. They’re neon and confetti.”

It was that take-charge attitude that kicked into gear during a recent visit to the Memorial Art Gallery.

Claire was waiting for her dad on a bench when she struck up a conversation with the man sitting beside her.

Turns out, it was the general manager of the Brown Hound restaurant that’s inside the gallery. He and Claire had worked out the logistics for her exhibit before her family even had the chance to say hello.

Jennifer Lewke, News10NBC: “When they said, we want you to do a one-woman show at the MAG, what did you think?”

Claire: “I was completely freaked out. I was totally floored. I couldn’t believe it.”

That show is now officially open inside the restaurant. Claire, who has Down syndrome, is hoping it will be an example to artists of all abilities to share their work as well.

“It inspires me, and it might inspire other people who inspire other people. A domino chain reaction,” she says.

“You can do anything you set your mind to, even when life gets hard. Don’t let yourself stay down, and always try again.”

No ticket is required to see Claire’s show at the MAG. Since it’s housed in the Brown Hound restaurant, you can walk right in and check it out.

It’ll be up until March 31st.