"Nick is essentially non-verbal, so he can't answer these requests. I'm his father, Steve, and what I recall is that this is an unusual piece by Nick because it involves a lot of vertical lines and hence represents a different energy from his other abstract art."
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Nick Morse is a colorful abstract painter who is on the autistic spectrum. He talked when he was younger but has become non-verbal through the years, though he now expresses himself through liberating, high-energy, motion-packed paintings full of life and spirit. He uses acrylics and is known for powerful, strong strokes with bright colors that jump out with a unique symmetry.
"Nick's work is wonderful. So vibrant and full of speed and blur and curve and movement. It's the color I love above everything else though," says Sebastian Smee, the Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic with the Boston Globe.
Nick has not had an easy life -- his mother passed away of diabetic complications when he was 12 -- and he struggled through several schools before becoming a resident in his teenage years at the world-renowned Cardinal Cushing Center in Hanover, MA. That's where his talent was discovered by art teacher Randy Wiskow.
He now exhibits annually at the Cambridge Arts Council's Open Studios, at venues such as Club Passim and ZuZu, and at events for the nonprofit Music Cures. The Harvard Innovation Lab has ordered three large prints of his work for their Director's Office. Nick has been written up in the Huffington Post and was one of Artlifting.com's leading tote bag sellers in 2015. His designs have been featured on everything from T.J. Maxx notebooks to an album cover for a compilation release, "Boston Artists for Autism," to benefit Surfers Healing.
He is currently a day student at the well-respected Outside the Lines Studio in Medford, MA, which assists artists with disabilities. He also loves movies and concerts, many of which he attends with his dad, Steve, who was a staff music critic at the Boston Globe for nearly 30 years.
And full disclosure: His dad, who was also an editor, titled Nick's paintings because Nick cannot do that. Call it a team effort, but please let the paintings mean what you want them to mean. Nick smiles at the thought of titles and he also doesn't mind which way you want to hang his art -- upside, down or sideways.
Nick is a friendly, often smiling figure who has been recharged by his association with Artlifting. He has exhibited at their early gallery shows and taken pride in his sales. When people embrace his art, his self-esteem skyrockets. Suffice it to say he is a magical young man.
This biography is contributed by Steve Morse, Nick's dad.
"It's obvious that his connection to artmaking as a discipline is profound, both emotionally and as a way to communicate some of which he's not able to verbalize. That's crucial, and testament to the power of image-making as a medium often more powerful than words. I see in his work a vibrant, active mind whose inner world finds outlet in a symphonic array of color and line. Thought can be verbal; it can also be more like music, which is what I see here. It's an expression of liberty."
- Murray White, Art Critic of the Boston Globe
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