AN ARTIST with a vision to establish an inclusive art gallery for people with and without learning difficulties has been nominated for the Gazette's Community Champion award.
Lynda Elson set up the Ealing Art Collective 18 months ago in a renovated disabled toilets behind the cafe at Brent Lodge Animal Park, in Church Road, Hanwell.
The idea came to life when she joined forces with Ealing Mencap employee Matt Coulam and artist friend Sarah Fraser.
It is more than just an art club for people with learning difficulties but a studio and gallery where talented artists can create professional pieces of art.
Lynda, who worked with people with special needs at Southall College for many years, said: "I was continually saying artists with learning difficulties are incredibly talented artists but cannot access art because mainstream centres cannot accommodate them.
"Matt had the same idea and put together a business plan to set up an art collective for people with learning difficulties.
"We want to exhibit together as artists, we don't want to be labelled. We want to be taken seriously as artists working together and supporting each other."
Lynda was nominated by co-worker artist Judith Pepper-Cox, saying: "It's a fantastic group which gives people an opportunity to practice art without feeling different. It's purely art for arts sake."
The group runs workshops on Tuesdays, and on Sundays when the gallery is open up to the public for people to purchase art pieces. For more information pop in and ask for Lynda or visit http://ealingartscollective.blogspot.com.