Artism: Autistic artist visits Stevens Point ArtsWalk
By Taylor J. Hale
STEVENS POINT – Waupaca-based artist Braxton Verner visited the Stevens Point 14th Annual ArtsWalk to display his unique pieces on May 17.
Verner, 19, has autism and sees art as a means to communicate and escape the stresses of everyday life.
“He used to run away when he was younger,” said Melissa Verner, Braxton’s mother. “So we told him to run away through art, and he has literally hit the ground running.”
Braxton also suffers from a connective tissue disorder, Ehler-Danlos syndrome (EDS) type III. EDS affects the young artist’s muscles, joints, and ligaments, but no obstacle will stand in his path to becoming a skilled illustrator.
“His hands aren’t working as well, so we had to kind of switch things up,” Verner said. “Instead of using the charcoal that comes in blocks, we get it in the pencils — it’s a little bit easier for his hands.”
Braxton describes his work as “artism,” or “art through autism.” He has always seen himself as a creative individual, but he started to study the arts around 2013. “In 2013, I got more into it when I was at the Boys & Girls Club and did colored pencils,” Braxton said. “Later I got into acrylics and did landscapes. Now I am working on learning alcohol markers.”
The gifted young artist has won awards from the Waupaca Fine Arts Festival, the My Feelings Matter Poster Contest and other events. This year was his first time at the Stevens Point ArtsWalk, and he was thrilled to have his work seen by so many visitors. “It is our first year here,” Braxton said. “We like it.”
The artist’s content ranges from pop-culture to abstract, and everything in between. His creative work offers new insights through a unique lens that is quickly grabbing hold of central Wisconsin. “[Art] is like an escape,” Braxton added.
To learn more about Braxton Verner’s artwork visit: https://artismbybraxton.com.
Contact Taylor J. Hale at [email protected] with Portage County news and information.