Talented artist with a generous heart
Benjamin Lachapelle (fondly called Ben) is a young autistic artist who is passionate about animals. Ben, his brother Max (an excellent musician) and their mom Julie Chou live in Mirabel. Ben Animalia is a social enterprise inspired by Ben who is on a very special mission to spread joy and make the world a more caring place for animals and people (especially those with different abilities).
Ben is a “speedy” artist. People always comment on how fluid and effortlessly he creates his unique masterpieces. Ben draws in one shot, no need to erase or revise (often in one continuous stroke, his pen never leaves the paper). His art always involves animals because this is what he loves best. He cares deeply for the environment and well-being of all animal species and also about his community. He donates his time and artwork to various charities and local initiatives. When not creating or collaborating, Ben enjoys reading (about animals, of course), walking his dogs Hershey and Callie, riding his bike, paddling and cross-country skiing. He is also proficient at making all sorts of animal sounds and is a “darn good whistler”.
Ben calls himself an « Animal knower. » Diagnosed with classical autism at age 3, he is an emerging artist and published author-illustrator of numerous children’s books. He draws, paints, sculpts, illustrates and writes animal stories from his own unique perspective. Through his art, Ben expresses himself and engages with the world around him. His work has been commissioned by McGill University, Inspirations Newspaper, English Montreal School Board, Fondation Autisme des Laurentides, 4Korners and many other community organizations. He was a featured artist at the 2019 Autism Festival RTSA-TACC. Ben’s work adorns the walls of numerous establishments, businesses and private collector’s homes throughout North America.
Ben’s mom Julie Chou is very proud (rightly so) and supportive of Ben and his art. In fact, Julie is Co-founder of the fabulous Autism and Arts organization in the Laurentians that supports and encourages young English autistic Laurentian people to be creative and to express themselves freely to display their artistic or musical talent.
Ben’s work is currently displayed at the 2021 Autism Festival and is also exhibited at Maison de la culture Pointe-aux-Trembles from November to early 2022. Ben has many children’s books on Amazon and gives back to community organizations (by donating paintings for charity auctions/events, Christmas card design for McGill University for 4 years). With Ben’s big heart, he decided to donate three of his Yeti book series to many schools in the area. His mom Julie sums Ben up nicely «not bad for a 19 year old autistic kid from the Laurentians!» Never mind «not bad», Ben, your art is fabulous. Thanks for caring about Mother nature Ben! Check out BenAnimalia.com.