"Joe helps me take my own art seriously...helps me remember there is a real beauty in creating, and that if you're not following what's in your heart, you're not doing your job." Paul Heath, VSA/Art Access Mentor, Salt Lake City, UT


Joe's Art

 Joe Fairbanks is an emerging artist with Down Syndrome whose work of making black ink sketches on white paper has been his avid passion since early adolescence.  

Joe is using digital paint brush techniques to apply color

His longstanding fascination with archaeology, geology, maps, angles, lines and number calculations seems to be his way of rummaging around in the right hemisphere of his brain to find inspiration for his artistic work. 

Remnants of ancient Egyptian, Mayan and African cultures are shadowed in much of his work. At an early age, Joe's passion for drawing and artistic expression became his conduit to the world.  Artistic expression enriched every aspect of his life through learning, curiosity and powerful family support.

As his art flourished, his language and his independence flourished. Confidence with art became confidence all areas of his life. His original 500 glyph figures soon became 1500 glyph figures...then 3000+ glyph figures...with no two images exactly like another. The number continues to grow.  Joe's artwork presents the viewer with a unique glimpse into the neuroscience of a pristinely gifted and differently-abled mind.

Joe enjoys scanning his original sketch into the computer, saving it in a folder and pulling it up later to make color applications.  In 2007, he was awarded an art grant from VSA/Arts Access Gallery in SLC, UT.  for a three month partnership with professional artist, Paul Heath.  That experience introduced Joe to a wide array of techniques for applying vibrant color to modeled clay, wood cuts and digital prints

Later, in 2010, Joe's friend, Jamie, tutored him on some of the simpler aspects of ADOBE Elements software.  Soon he was independently erasing paper grid lines and separating multiple images onto single pages.  

Through Jamie and her intuitive mentoring process, Joe developed some pretty sophisticated computer skills which serve him well when combined with his keen eye for detail.  

Joe loves to point and click his mouse and watch explosions of color burst onto the page. When this happens, you realize a new-age hieroglyph has come alive before your eyes.

As more of Joe's original works are fully displayed on this site, viewers will be introduced to the brilliant line-up of figures that march unceasingly through his mind.

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