Jonathan Whitlock recovered from a debilitating car accident to become a professional painter. Now, his work is on display as the inaugural artist at Lancaster’s Gallery One.
CONTACT: Jerry Buckwalter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 7, 2019—Jonathan Whitlock, an ASPIE artist who recovered from a brain injury in a car accident as a college student to become a professional painter, opened a solo show at Gallery One in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, today. He is the gallery’s inaugural artist.
“What better way to begin our gallery journey then to feature someone who has such an inspiring journey of positive outlook, patience, grit and faith,” Rebecca Firestone, the gallery’s curator, told local news outlet LNP. “Our space was developing, taking something existing and converting it and it parallels uniquely with Jonathan’s journey of art.”
The two-month show, called “ONE Point of View,” features the oil-on-canvas floral and landscape work that Whitlock has honed over the years. It also features more abstract work such as Discernment, a massive 72- by 54-inch painting that was started before his car accident and completed afterward.
“Whitlock’s art radiates mystery and beauty and is perfect for the opening of the new gallery,” reporter Mike Andrelczyk wrote in LNP.
Whitlock was involved in a car accident as a college freshman in 1999 that put him in a coma for five months. When he awoke he was blind in one eye, had difficulties moving and was confined to a wheelchair. Yet that did not stop him from pursuing his passion.
Whitlock spent years re-learning how to draw and paint, a process that his mother, Annette Whitlock, chronicled in her 2018 book, The Long Run. There were many trials and adjustments along the way. For example, he was left-handed before the accident and had to re-train himself to draw and paint with his right.
Over the years, Whitlock has continued to create, joining the ranks of professional artists with several gallery showings, multiple sales and a catalog all his own. He continues to live in Lancaster with his parents, Annette and Jeff. Whitlock affiliated with ASPIE, a nonprofit that helps artists with disabilities grow more self sufficient, to display and sell his work online.
“Jonathan’s story is inspiring and his paintings are stunning,” said Jerry Buckwalter, the co-founder and CEO of ASPIE. “We are proud to have him as part of the ASPIE family and this latest gallery show is an example of what our artists can do.”
About ASPIE. ASPIE is a nonprofit launched in 2015 to empower adults with cognitive disabilities to become more self-sufficient. We provide special-needs artists with an online gallery to display their work, which includes premium-quality paintings, photography, jewelry and other forms of art and craft. ASPIE artists are disabled adults who have talent and skills and medium- to high-functioning capabilities, yet cannot operate well within a typical work environment. Donations to ASPIE provide artists with sustainable supplemental earnings that do not interfere with their government benefits. The ASPIE gallery is free to our artists.