OTHERS

I have CP and I am non-verbal: Art is my passion

Cerebral Palsy (CP)

Mike Young

Who I am

I am, what I think, is a talented artist who defies categorization. My painting, Steam Roller, was one of 87 pieces chosen from over 1,000 works submitted to Studio Montclair’s 20th Open Juried Exhibition. This is an international juried competiton, now init's 20th year. Titled ‘Viewpoints’, the showcase is on display at Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art until June 30, 2017.  When I submitted the painting, no one knew I had a disability. I was born with Cerebral Palsy, use a wheelchair and am nonverbal. Despite all that, my painting had the high distinction of being among several pieces that received an Honorable Mention from the jury. I am so proud that my work was selected solely on the basis of the art, and not by their gender, race, or disability.

Born to Create

My creations are a reflection of the man I am. . .interesting and inviting. While I don’t communicate verbally, I say a great deal through my countenance, body language, and craft. My facial expressions always show an acknowledgement of the individual speaking with me and a genuine happiness for their presence. Always smiling, people say I add joy to a room or any space I occupy. I listen intently to those around me and love a good joke.    

When it comes to my art, the finished product is the result of the tireless time and effort I have put into each piece. Vibrant and complimentary combinations of colors breathe life into my paintings. My careful pairing and placement of geometric shapes and panels turn the ordinary into something truly special.

Grateful to be a working artist

I have sold several paintings and digital art. My artwork has been exhibited at Morris Museum, Baker’s Treat, Johnson & Johnson, Monmouth Museum, Mondo, Grounds for Sculpture, and Full Circle. Several of my digital works have been dot-printed on canvas.    

Not one to rest on my laurels, I am proud to be one of ten artists participating in the second year of The Art Garden CSA (Community Supported Art).  The project, which is funded by a grant from the Kessler Foundation, is a partnership between Arts Access and Arts Unbound in West Orange. 

The Art Garden is based on the premise of people buying “shares” of art. Each share contains 10 pieces of art, and all pieces are created by artists with disabilities. The collection of art in this year’s share is a wonderful combination of wearable, functional and traditional contemporary art. Fifty (50) shares are available this year, and can be bought as full (10 pieces) or half (5 pieces) shares. To learn more and to purchase, please visit www.artgardencsa.org.

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