"There is always something inspiring to photograph when walking through the gardens of the NY Botanical Gardens. Flaming Flowers is an acrylic painting inspired by the beautiful gardens that are outside of the conservatory. My photos taken on this beautiful fall day inspired Flaming Flowers. The gardens were alive with color, shapes, and textures. It's totally inspirational. Flaming Flowers reflects the colors and serenity of fall afternoons in the gardens."
- Andrew Weatherly
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Acrylic on Canvas
24" x 36"
Andrew Weatherly’s view of the world emerges through the confluence of his writing, painting, and photography, allowing him to overcome obstacles living with Down Syndrome presents. Channeling efforts towards poetry or finding inspiration in his photographs helps center and redirect Andrew’s focus when facing a creative block with painting. The three media work in tandem to create a whole vision, reflecting each other thematically and emotionally.
For Andrew, painting releases feelings of happiness and positivity from within, which is then projected onto the canvas. With the intent of “allowing the viewer to see there are many dimensions that make up who [he] is", Andrew uses brushes, sponges, and layers of acrylic paint to achieve artistic freedom and self-expression. His whimsical manipulation of color and shapes is grounded by inner thoughts of reflection and a desire to reveal his sides that are not necessarily visible on the surface.
When getting to know Andrew, his people-centric approach to life is immediately evident and infectious. He continuously builds and connects to communities through his desire to share, create, and learn. This focus on connecting to and inspiring others lead Andrew to form his town’s Recreation Commission’s Challenger Program for students with special needs. Andrew’s enthusiastic interest in sports and community service activities began at a very early age, shaping his engagement with mission and arts oriented initiatives as he became a natural leader.
After years of participating in the Challenger’s year round activities, Andrew continues his relationship and support of programs by volunteering as a coach in addition to being a Special Olympics’ athlete. Whether it’s fellow ArtLifting artists or a community event in Bergen County NJ, Andrew values connecting with others, imparting his positive and infectious outlook on all those around him. His involvement in art, special olympics, and local engagement has afforded Andrew incredible opportunities. In 2019, Special Olympics International invited Andrew along with seven other artists who are also SO athletes to design the logo for the United O, the 2022 USA Games in Orlando. “We all worked together and developed a really cool design. It was an amazing experience!”
Andrew is moved by the responses and ways in which people have connected to the display of his artwork in their offices. “Knowing that someone is enjoying my artwork is pretty amazing. My art is very abstract and I hope it encourages a feeling of inspiration to the viewers. If I were to describe my work with one thought, it is to hope my work offers the viewer a glowing freedom to express themselves. Being a member of the Art Lifting team is pretty amazing too. It is more than being in a gallery; it is bringing me fascinating opportunities to share my work with others and to advocate for abilities. It’s all pretty awesome.”
ArtLifting champions artists impacted by homelessness or disabilities through the celebration and sale of their artwork. Learn more here.