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-An Artist with Autism-
Art work and Gift Items
Blake Henkel is a 27 year old artist from the Piedmont-Triad area of North Carolina with 15 years of experience. Blake’s art is especially unique because of his story and also, because he has autism. Blake was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3. His form of autism affects and limits his ability to communicate and verbalize his thoughts. (You can read more about autism by going to the tab in the header above.)
Much to Blake's mother's dismay (who is, also an artist,) he despised art class during his time at public elementary school. The mere site of crayons would induce a meltdown. In fourth grade, he began homeschooling for various reasons in his best interest. During the quest to find enriching activities to fill his day, an art studio for special artists located at the Arc of High Point was discovered. Art is often utilized as a form of therapy and communication throughout millennia. Blake's enthusiasm was immediately apparent and he began formal painting lessons at age 12. It was then realized, his former exposure to various art media had just not been appropriate to unlock his passion. If it were feasible, Blake would be completely content painting daily. The art studio is one of his favorite places to be. He continues to take lessons at the Arc of High Point, as well as private lessons from renowned artists from High Point, Waynesville, and Thomasville, North Carolina. While he paints, Blake’s jubilant chatter echoes from the studio, filling the ears of everyone in the building, and they know that “Blake is in the house!"
Despite the challenges Blake experiences with verbal communication, his paintings give the world a delightful glimpse into how he brilliantly views the world. Through his paintbrush and canvas, he easily conveys the innocence, beauty and peculiarities of the world from his own unique perspective.
Blake enjoys painting most subjects. His animal works are the most sought out due to his ability to depict whimsical expressions on the animals faces. He frequently paints cropped, partial subjects. He has a propensity for focusing on the intricate details before he visualizes the subject as a whole. Blake will see the veins on the leaves of a tree before he notices the forest.
Blake accepts commissions on a very limited basis. He has developed unique methods of choosing what current subject he desires to paint. He may be presented with a recommendation or request that he is not keen on painting, yet it may eventually be something that sparks his interest. A masterpiece comes from an artist who is passionate about his or her subject. Therefore, no guarantees can be made as to when a commission request will make it to his easel. As you may have heard, artists can be temperamental. There is a list of requests on file for him to review when he begins a new piece to see what he will want or is willing to paint. Blake does sell originals when they become available. However, many Blake Henkel originals are sold each November at an annual charity silent auction at the High Point TAG Art Gallery, to benefit The Arc of High Point's creative arts program.
Blake was recently signed to Yosemite Home Decor for nine of his prints to be sold to their customers. Products from YHD can be found at places such as Overstock.com, Lowe's Home Improvement and many other home decor and furniture stores across the country who chose to carry Blake's line. (See the Photo Gallery below) This is a new partnership, and we won't know all of the retailers who carry his line as the wholesale orders are placed by retail stores for what they will carry in their own stores. Each piece sold will carry a hangtag with information about Blake and a portion of their sales will be donated by YHD to The National Autism Assocation.
Blake began painting images of St John (US Virgin Islands) in 2017 from photos his mother took on her first visit there. Soon after her visit, Hurricanes Irma and Maria destroyed the island paradise. Blake began selling his St John inspired artwork prints and sent the money to the schools on the island to help in their rebuilding and recovery efforts. He was able to donate in 2017 to St John Christian Academy in the months just after the hurricanes. The resilient people of St John are doing an amazing job on the recovery and rebuilding in the aftermath of the devastation and Blake was able to visit the island in 2018, for the first time, and brought a donation to Gifft Hill School. In 2019, he was able to visit again and present another donation to St John Christian Academy. Blake has plans to donate to Julius E. Sprauve Elementary School in Cruz Bay, St John next year.
Blake fell in love with St John and has painted many more images from his trips and he continues to sell them with proceeds going to the schools and hurricane recovery efforts. Blake is looking forward to visiting the island again in 2020, because as Blake says, he needs to swim and snorkel at the "good beaches with turtles."
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We love our customers, so feel free to email, or message to set up a time for an in-person visit. Blake's physical "store" is located in a space provided by Precision Fabrication Inc. Blake takes part in various craft shows in the area throughout the year and hosts an Open House Sale Event the 1st Sunday in December each year.
2000 Nuggett Road, High Point, North Carolina 27263, United States
Copyright © 2020 Art by Blake Henkel LLC. - All Rights Reserved.