Artistic Ambition sarah December 28, 2023

Artistic Ambition

Business Boom: Entrepreneurs with disabilities follow their passions to profits.

By Lisa Danford

Aaron Strait has a specific artistic style. His repetitive strokes perfectly capture the details on iconic structures like the Roebling Bridge. 

“I am a great artist, historian and researcher,” he said. Strait, 31, grew up around art and developed his skills during high school.  

His mom, Dawn Wallace, enrolled him in classes where everyone could work at their own pace. “He’s very fast at drawing, has a natural ability, and a unique perspective,” she said. “He starts at one part of a canvas and continuously draws the image.” 

Strait, who has autism and apraxia, had trouble finding a job after high school that matched his skills. “I was frustrated, so that’s when we started doing more with his artwork,” Dawn said.  

They created Aaron’s Art for Autism, with proceeds going to different programs that help people with disabilities. Strait said painting feels “relaxing and calm.” He likes using acrylic to paint cityscapes, oceans, and trains at the holidays. “Trains are my favorite transportation, especially steam engines,” he said. “I love painting the different sizes and shapes that make up steam locomotives.”  

Strait also created a series of paintings based on the Cincinnati Ballet set designs for The Nutcracker, and he completed a commissioned piece of Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World. Strait and his mom sell cards based on his paintings, and they will be part of the St. Andrew Church Day of Art this April.   

A young man stands with a table behind him of his various artworks and a red wall.
Aaron Strait in his home art studio.
A collage of two photos. The left is a painting of Roebling Bridge in downtown Cincinnati with dark blues and golds. The right is a photo of a young man focused on a cityscape painting with dark blues and black.
A painting of the Roebling Bridge in downtown Cincinnati. Aaron Strait painting a cityscape.

Find art, cards, cheesecakes, bandanas and more at Just Brew in Silverton, 6940 Plainfield Road.  

A group of people hold an oversized check made out from Aaron's Art for Autism to a disability program in Cincinnati. Santa is on the right.
Presentation of $555.00 check to Brewhaus Bakery and Dog Bones, a training program for young people with disabilities. All photos provided.