Blind Artist Brings Vibrancy to North Texas

John Bramblitt | Image by Trinity Metro/Twitter

A vibrant mural is coming to North Texas, and it is being created by a man who has the gift of seeing things differently.

The City of Garland announced that John Bramblitt, a Denton resident, beat out 70 other artists to be commissioned to complete a mural at the northeast corner of State and Seventh Streets in the Bankhead Cultural Arts District, per the city’s press release.

This will be Bramblitt’s third piece commissioned by the City of Garland.

But what makes this work extra special is that Bramblitt lost his vision in 2001 from epilepsy and Lyme disease complications, and this mural will be painted on the side of the Visual Aid Volunteers headquarters.

Visual Aid Volunteers is a non-profit organization that created a pilot program approved by the Garland School Board and the Texas Education Agency in 1960 to “provide all braille materials for visually impaired students of Garland Independent School District. As a result of this initiative, GISD became the first school district in Texas to have blind and low-vision students attend public school with their sighted peers,” per the organization’s website.

While Braille helps people who are blind or vision impaired read, Bramblitt has come up with his own method to help him paint.

“Bramblitt mixes a special ingredient into his paints which gives them a certain thickness and weight that he can identify by touch. His sense of touch helps him create intricate shapes, from objects to faces and animals,” the City’s press release explains.

“We all have limitations and exceptional qualities that define us,” reads a statement from the artist on his website. “I think it is important to decide which of the two, your strengths or your weaknesses, that you wish to spend your time focusing on. The wonderful thing about art is that it is never about what you can’t do; it is only concerned with what you can accomplish and create.”

According to his site, Bramblitt’s artwork has been sold in more than 120 countries, has been the subject of award-winning documentaries, and has earned three Presidential Service Awards for his workshops.

The painter is expected to unveil his newest mural on April 6, Garland’s Big Art Day, per the press release.

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