Through My Eyes: Works by Derrick Freeman, an Autistic Artist

February 3-24, 2017
Through My Eyes: Works by Derrick Freeman, an Autistic Artist
Opening reception: Friday, February 3, 5:00-9:00 PM

Exhibition hours are Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Over the years, Derrick has exhibited his art at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, the Tennessee Disability Mega Conference, the Art Fair of Madisonville, Very Special Arts (VSA) of Tennessee, Knoxville Museum of Art, East Tennessee Historical Society, Blount Mansion, Davis Art Studio, Beck Cultural Exchange Center and Wilbur N. Daniel African American Cultural Center at Austin Peay State University. In addition, Derrick’s art has been featured in several newspapers and magazines throughout Tennessee including: Knoxville City View Arts and Entertainment Issue, the Tennessee Disability Mega Conference Cover Book, the Break Ground Annual Arts Issue and the Knoxville News Sentinel.

Derrick has received several awards for his artwork and contributions to the Autism community. In 2009, he was the recipient of the Temple Grandin Award for outstanding contribution to family, community and self; he also received the Humanitarian of the Year Award and Outstanding Artist/Performer Award from the Arc of The Mid South. In 2011, he also was awarded the Clinton T. Walker Foundation Grant. In 2012, he was selected by Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, to design an ornament for Governor Bill Haslam and Crissy Haslam, First Lady of Tennessee, annual celebration “Tennessee’s Home for the Holidays.” Derrick’s work entitled “Reflections of the Sunsphere” was featured on the “Tennessee
Counties Tree.” In December 2015, Derrick’s Christmas Series was featured at Envision Art Gallery’s “Art for the Holidays.” In December 2016, Derrick was the featured artist of the month at the Regas Building, displaying hand painted glass ornaments and his Christmas Series. In addition to his art business Eyes of Faith, Derrick and his mother Angela Freeman-Hunter founded “Our Place Art,” a 501C3 non-profit, which provides art workshops for individuals with and without disabilities.

Derrick Freeman resides in Knoxville, Tennessee. Derrick is a 26 year old young man who at the age of two years old was diagnosed with autism. Soon after his diagnosis he stopped talking. By the age of three, he began to draw. Thus, Derrick started communicating to his family through his artwork. He has shown outstanding contribution to his community through his gift of art. His art is and has been an inspiration to many families affected by disabilities. Each piece of Derrick’s art has its own story to tell. Derrick has proven that regardless of any disability that one might have each of us has something to give back to our community. For more information, visit

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