Advait Kolarkar started painting before he could walk or talk, and now some of the three-year-old boy’s abstract art pieces are selling for hundreds of dollars.

“When he started crawling, he used to grab colours when his sister used to paint,” says his mother, Shruti Kolarkar.

Kolarkar has already sold several abstract paintings – one of which sold for more than $500.

The Kolarkar family recently moved from India to Saint John. After living in the city for only a few months, Kolarkar is now gearing up for his own exhibition at the Saint John Arts Centre.

The city’s cultural affairs officer says Kolarkar will be the youngest artist he’s ever featured in an exhibition.

“I’ve never seen someone that age dabble with paints in the way that he does,” says Bernard Cormier. “It wasn’t messy. It was formulated in his head somehow.”

Shruti Kolarkar approached Cormier to see if her son could present some of his pieces at a local library. Cormier was so impressed by the boy’s work he insisted it should be showcased at the city art gallery.

“I’ve been exposed to artwork all my life and I see something special in this young boy, so why not encourage him?” says Cormier.

While some people may not appreciate abstract art, Cormier says there is a certain composition to Kolakrar’s paintings that can’t be ignored.

“I mean, most people look at abstract art and say, ‘I just don’t understand it, my child could do that.’ They often say things like that, or ‘I could do better than that,’ but yet they never do.”

Kolarkar’s mother says no one in their home is allowed to instruct him, and he is free to paint whatever comes to mind.

“And I think from his observation, what he is seeing around, what he is seeing in the books, what he gets from everyday life,” she says of what inspires her son’s colourful artwork.

Kolarkar’s exhibition will be on display at the Saint John Arts Centre for the month of January and most of February.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Mary Cranston