August 2, 2012

Not to be Taken for "Grant-ed"!

Anyone who knows me, is aware of my love for working with the Special Needs community. There is just something so inspiring about this community that makes you see the world in a different light. Recently, I had the chance to see this brighter world when the law firm I work for (job no. 1) hosted a special needs workshop as part of our community program.

One of our vendors, and let me be honest, the one I was most anxious to have agree to participate,was Grant and Grant's Eco-Art. Now Grant's story as well as his art are amazing and inspiring. I can't do it justice, so let me let him tell you, in his own words ...

My name is Grant, I am an author, artist and speaker.

I also have Aspergers, a form of autism. Having autism is not a bad thing, my disability has become my ability to help change the world.

I paint by paper....

I reduce, reuse, recyle and create collage art using magazines, calendars, wallpaper, posters, food wrappers, puzzles and more.

Each work of art contains 1000 to 6000 cut or torn pieces of recycled paper. I use cool colors, cool shapes, and cool textures.. I call my art "COOLAGES."

Let's all become environmentally responsible by protecting and saving our earth together in a "coolage" way.

I was first "introduced" to Grant or at least his art by one of our attorneys, but this was the first time I was going to meet him in person.

I admit after spending countless hours on his website and engrossed in his art, much like the "Bibier teens" of today's generation, I was smitten with him. He had a "Justin Beiber" effect and I fell for it! So meeting him in person was exciting.

When he and his mom Julie arrived, they got to work setting up their table and soon the beautiful artwork was right there before my very eyes. I was close enough to touch it, to bask in its inspirational powers. I was even close enough to chat with and hug Grant ... a few times actually.

Here are some of the pieces on display.

Amazing, huh!?! I even bought some for our home and my office. I also got his calendar and book. And he autographed a few of the items! (Yeah, me!) That's me and Grant! (Yes, I'm short!) I literally fell in love with the peacock from across the conference room and bought a print, but here is the original. (Feel free to click and enlarge the photos but please don't copy the images.)

According to his website, Grant is emerging as one of the most intriguing and captivating young artist today. His Eco-friendly artwork is capturing the attention of his community, gaining national media, and he is honored with awards for his eco-impressionism and outstanding contribution to the autism and special needs community.

- 2011 and 2012 Austin Rodeo Eco-Art Grand Champion

- 2011 Houston Mayor's Disabilities Advocate of the Year

- 2012 Houston Mayor's Student Volunteer of the Year

Really, who wouldn't agree that he is a champion!

I am defintely a fan of the Texas-themed ones and may consider changing the theme in out home office and get those later on (don't tell hubby!). I did get the Eagle and Flag one, so that will go in there once framed.

I am not the only one singing Grant's praises. He has a list of awards and articles to his name.

Grant also has written a book withthe help of his mother. It's a look at his amazing journey.

I encourage you to check out Grant's website and even buy a print or two. You will certainly be glad you did. When he is famous and shaking hands with everyone at the White House or being interviewed by Barbara Walters, remember you heard it here first!

1 Tea Party Guest:

Meari said...

Those are amazing pieces of art.