Featured Artist Gallery

Jalyn Bishop Weston

Jalyn Bishop Weston is a 15 year-old artist from Sweetwater, Tennessee who began drawing as a toddler while simultaneously receiving services to address a developmental delay. His innate interest in drawing was used to advance his language and social skills, and despite being diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder at the age of four, Jalyn began exhibiting his work and began to speak publicly about the positive impact of the visual arts on the lives of people with disabilities shortly thereafter.

Jalyn works with envious abandon, unconcerned with the outcome, and fully immerses himself in the creative process. His favorite subjects range from dinosaurs and trains to characters and action from film. He works primarily in watercolor, ink, and acrylic, but also enjoys clay and assemblage. Over the years, his work has increased in complexity and although primarily two dimensional, he manages to portray an ever widening interval of time which allows him to invite the viewer to participate in a broadening engagement of the senses.

Weston’s work has been included in exhibits at the Frist Museum, Parthenon, TPAC, Lipscomb, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, Knoxville Museum of Art, Emporium Center, Princeton Arts Center, Dixie Carter Center, Athens Arts Center, and Etowah Arts Commission Gallery. His work has also been exhibited at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, Union Station, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC as well as the Art Gallery at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, CO. His work can be found in the permanent collections of individuals as well as that of the Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Woodlands Children’s Museum in Woodlands, Texas, and in the corporate collection of CVS Pharmacy. His work has been published in Breaking Ground’s Annual Arts Edition and was recently the subject of a mini-documentary created by the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Jalyn Weston has been an invited speaker for the Junior Civitan Valley District Convention, Partners in Policymaking Conference, MTSU College of Education, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, and has been a contributor to the Tennessee Arts Commission’s professional development webinar series A Guide to Career Development Opportunities for Visual and Performing Artists with Disabilities.

Weston’s arts education has included VSA TN workshops Art of Cartooning with Tim Oliphant 2009, Myspace with Yvette Renée Parrish, Heroes and Heroines Costuming 2011, Stop Motion Animation and Foley with Anne Winsauer and Bob Stagner, Golden Ratio with Pamela Weston 2012, Lip Prints with Yvette Renée Cowden, National Call for Art with David Heustess at Sarratt Art Studios 2013, and National Call for Art with Kathy Donahue Plourde 2013; visual arts camps at the Knoxville Museum of Art and the Frist Museum; and introduction to acrylic at the Athens Arts Center.

Despite his disability, Jalyn Weston has been the recipient of several academic awards throughout the years and he is currently a freshman in Tennessee Online Pubic High School through Bristol City Schools. He is currently a student member of the Tennesseans for the Arts.

You can see more of his work on the artist’s page at www.facebook.com/jalynweston/.

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