Browse all articles Down Syndrome in the Media By Kat Abianac / June 23, 2015 Josie Webster with parents on the beach Josie Webster is an 18 yr old girl from Sydney, Australia. She has Down syndrome and a talented eye for landscapes. Josie spent her early years in a mainstream primary school. While she attended a standard high school which had a special needs unit, her family felt it was more like a special school ‘within’ a mainstream system. Although “token inclusion” was practiced such as carnivals and roll call each day, Josie’s mother felt it was not meaningful in any way towards practicing true inclusion. “If it’s not right, keep looking. You are bound to find something that works. You might just be surprised, as we were with Josie and her talent for art”. – Julie Webster, Josie’s mother Josie was removed from high school when she completed year 10, to increase her educational opportunities. At 18 she is now working on her second TAFE qualification. She attends an art class with other adults at Hazelhurst Regional Art Gallery. I asked Josie a few questions about herself. When did you start painting as a hobby? “When I left school.” What are you favourite things to paint? “Beaches, and places I have been.” Have you got any big plans? “I have an exhibition! I am exhibiting in London, New York and Manchester this year. I want to see The Lion King and Wicked.” Cherry Blossoms by Josie Webster. Oil on Canvas 24 x 18 Josie’s mum says, “After setting up her facebook page about a year ago, I was contacted by Suzie Moffatt. Suzie is the director of UK Based “Heart and Sold”, which represents a small collective of artists with Down Syndrome, from around the world.” “Josie was invited to be a part of the Heart and Sold collective last year. She is the first and only Australian as part of this collective. Heart and Sold are exhibiting in London from July through Sept. All the works are then packed up and shipped to NYC for their exhibition there from Oct through December. Josie has had 4 of her works selected for the exhibitions.” Josie with her mother Julie Another artist with Down syndrome in the Heart and Sold collective, Tazia Fawley, famously has one of her works hanging in the palace in Prince George’s Nursery. Josie and her mother are hoping her hard work results in more opportunities for her to display her talents into the future. Final words from Josie? “My art is taking me to NEW YORK!!” Click to follow Josie’s upcoming New York adventure on Facebook.