Derrick Freeman is a self-taught artist diagnosed with Autism, a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impaired verbal and non-verbal communication.
By age two, he was completely non-verbal and was unable to learn and use language like most children his age. By age three, art became his only form of communication. He learned to express his perceptions of life and everyday living through his drawings and artwork. Each piece of art tells the story of his journey with Autism.
Derrick continues to break down the barriers of Autism through sharing his unique artistic talents with the community. He has exhibited his artwork throughout Tennessee including the Tennessee Governor’s Mansion, Vanderbilt University, Lipscomb University, the Tennessee Disability Mega Conference and the Knoxville Museum of Art. In addition, he has been the recipient of several awards for his community advocacy work for the Autism community, including the Arc of the Mid-South’s Outstanding Artist and Performer Award and the Future Horizons Inc’s Dr. Temple Grandin Award for Outstanding Success.
As of January 2019, Derrick is the youngest artist and only artist with Autism with studio space at the Knoxville Emporium Center in Knoxville, Tennessee. Derrick resides in Knoxville, Tennessee with his mother Angela Freeman-Hunter. His hobbies include: reading, traveling, painting and advocating for more social inclusion for individuals with Autism through his non-profit Our Place Art Organization Incorporated, which he co-founded with his mother Angela Freeman-Hunter. Our Place Art was established to enrich the lives of individuals with Autism and other disabilities through the arts.
For additional information about Eyes of Faith by Derrick Freeman, visit his art website: www.derrickfreemansart.com.
For additional information about Our Place Art Organization Incorporated, visit the non-profit website: www.ourplaceart.com