Tim's Travels: Artist with Autism

By: Tim Elliott Email
By: Tim Elliott Email

A local artist has a new exhibit up and running in downtown Janesville. Sam Brickman has a very low-functioning form of autism but that won't stop him from putting pen to paper. And now, others are recognizing his talent and even buying his work.

Sam Brickman doesn't say much.

“He's not terribly communicative,” said Alicia Reid, owner of Raven's Wish Gallery and Studio. “You get a 'hi' from him and that's about it,”

But his artwork says it all.

“It's colorful, it's humorous,”

Sam is 20-years-old and has autism. But that doesn't stop him from being creative.

“He's never met a pencil, pen or marker that he couldn't have or didn't want,” laughs mom Kathy.

She says Sam has been drawing all his life.

“It started with the alphabet, letters,”

But she never thought his work would be on display.

“It's interesting work,” said Reid.

A former teacher of Sam's approached Alicia to see if she would be interested in putting together an exhibit.

“Sam is a sweet fellow,” said Reid.

Alicia agreed.

“We just got a phone call later in on in the day saying he's having an art show and it was like excuse me...who is this again?” Kathy chuckles.

“It was very overwhelming that other people were very impressed with his work and that they wanted to do this for him,” she adds.

Two weeks ago, Sam even had a public showing...

“When he came in on the day of his reception, he had on a bright blue shirt and a pretty red tie and he marched down the aisle like he owned the world,” said Reid.

“He was a star!” said Kathy.

His work is simple but detailed.

“It's transportation, car, truck, school buses,” said Sam.

“Disney characters...Mickey, Dumbo, Pocahontas,”

For Sam, art is an outlet.

“I think he finds it very relaxing to sit down and do the artwork,”

And he may not be very talkative, but you only need one word to describe his work.

“Cool!” said Sam.

Sam Brickman's Art is on display at Raven's Wish located 101 W. Milwaukee St., in downtown Janesville. The exhibit lasts until May 7th. Visit www.sambrickman.com for a closer look at his work!

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