Emmett Kiyoshi Wilson, Glenview artist with Down syndrome, to auction painting to benefit Greater Chicago Food Depository

GLENVIEW (WLS) – His parents first put a brush in Emmett Kiyoshi Wilson’s hands when he was 4 years old. Little did they know that it would soon become his strongest means of communication, and the prolific artist’s work would soon fill their home.

“At first we just thought we were just the proud parents,” said his father Paul Wilson. “But everyone who saw it seemed moved by their stuff, so it started to develop.”

Emmett’s family was born with Down syndrome and was determined to have the same opportunities as other children. While writing by hand is a challenge, it expresses yourself in brilliant colors and shapes with a brush.

His paintings are in demand and fetch hundreds and even thousands of dollars each. One with the title “USA” hangs in the US embassy in Croatia.

“In all honesty, I can’t, I can’t do any of this,” said his mother, Kathy Menighan Wilson, indicating his artwork. “For me, the most important thing is probably to give him the platform to show others what I can do now.”

Emmett is a freshman at Glenbrook South High School and is studying remote like almost everyone else. The accomplished artist happened to be in art class while attending ABC7.

Emmett selected the painting, titled Mom’s Packed Lunch, to be auctioned online this weekend, raising money for the Chicago Food Depository. He said he selected the painting for auction because it is very down to earth.

He also hopes to raise awareness of hunger and food insecurity. His family says Emmett makes his own impact by teaching them.

“Emmett shows us something new every day and I almost feel like he always had that as a mantra. You will teach us something new and learn something new every day,” his mother said.

Typically Emmett holds a fundraiser every year in a gallery filled with his work, but that doesn’t happen this year so he moved it to the online auction. This enables him to deliver a check to the grocery depot next week – and also volunteer.

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