Spokane artist’s past as mysterious as the art he creates - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane artist’s past as mysterious as the art he creates

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

A Spokane man is expressing himself in a way that he’s never been able to before. 

21-year-old Eddie Kerr is a painter and it’s the unique process in which he paints that is grabbing people’s attention.

The lines and designs displayed in Eddie’s work are created using Frisbees. The 21-year-old can balance and spin the circular disk with precision and flow.  When people watch Eddie work, they don’t turn away. 

That hasn’t always been the story for Eddie, though.  People have turned away from him before.  He was given up at birth and became a ward of the state. He was born premature and blind with cerebral palsy and autism.  The director of the group home where Eddie lives, Christine Wardle, says she doesn’t know what happened to Eddie during his childhood.  She’s only been able to trace back to when Eddie was 13-years-old.

"Some of our people don't come with full case histories, which can be tricky, especially if there's no family involvement.  But we are totally down to be your family, Eddie, because we love you.” says Wardle as she sits on a coach with the 21-year-old who is fed by feeding tube.

Wardle’s connection with Eddie is obvious.  The 21-year-old painter can’t speak but he can communicate by gesturing yes and shaking his head no.  And, his giant smile is one way Eddie shows his love and affection for the woman and staff that take care of him at his group home.

Even Spokane artists are paying attention to Eddie’s work.  Jesse Swanson runs Hatch, a creative business incubator that provides studio space to artists in Spokane Valley.  Swanson says he’s happy to give Eddie the space he needs to create. 

“It's incredible to see someone maneuver around their disabilities and create a work that is incredibly unique,” says Swanson, who is inspired by Eddie. 

Swanson and Wardle’s words are a testament to Eddie’s art. Even though he was born with severe intellectual disabilities, Eddie is expressing himself through his art and inspiring everyone who watches him create it. 

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