John Bramblitt – A blind muralist that lost his eyesight during a seizure recently painted a 4 story mural on the 305 Melba location of Bishop Highline. He paints based on texture with the assistance of his wife Jacqui and Guide Dog, Eagle.
John Bramblitt lost his eyesight 20 years ago but that did not stop his creativity and his work. Today, he continues to work as a muralist, and as attested, a brilliant one at that. A sense of awe would overcome anyone who understands his story and witnesses the skill and beauty of his art. He is certainly one of those rare artists, who won’t let anything, not even his disability, stand in his way. His is an inspiring story.
Recently, a four-story mural on the wall of Bishop Highline was the result of Bramblitt’s talent.
The mural on Bishop Highline is his third mural project and also his largest. And with each mural, he pushes further, either in size or color. The mural portrays a woman playing the guitar, with hair blowing in the wind and blue skies in the background. It is, according to him, his best mural yet.
Bramblitt explained his preference for the bright and colorful theme of the mural; his inspiration was the Bishop Arts District itself. He thinks of Bishop Arts District as a fun and laid back place, filled with beauty, art, and music.
He currently lives in Denton. He is the author of an award-winning book (“Shouting in the Dark”), has been the subject of award-winning documentaries, has been featured in The New York Times and Psychology Today, and has appeared on several TV Channels, such as ABC, BBC, Discovery Channel. And unsurprisingly, his art has been sold in over 120 countries.
He is also a consultant for museums. Not only do his workshops allow people with disabilities to pursue art, but it also shows different ways of making art. Moreover, he is an art instructor to many visually impaired students across the USA. According to him, “Art is deeper than eyesight and I think that is just a wonderful thing.”
It was during college (University of North Texas) that Bramblitt had an epileptic seizure, which permanently damaged his optic nerve from lack of oxygen. And as a result, he lost his eyesight. He has had epilepsy since childhood and by college, his seizures had become life-threatening. After losing his sight, he became depressed. And art was his rescue bringing him peace and light.
At first, he didn’t believe he could pursue art. But with help and dedication, he learned how to be a visual artist once again, adapting to his disability at the same time. He developed a unique method to paint; which is using textured paints to feel around the canvas. Replacing the sense of sight with the sense of touch, he produces breathtaking art.
His genius is further evidenced by his method of dealing with colors; his bottles and paint tubes are labeled by braille and he uses recipes and portion measurements when mixing colors to get the right combination. To find his way around a canvas, he uses raised lines.
He also uses a method called haptic visualization, allowing him to paint see his subjects through the sense of touch. He has a preference for a special black paint as it feels slick and very different from bricks. He uses this paint to feel for the black line and then determines where to put his brush. During his first art shows, he didn’t share his disability for fear that the viewers would see his work differently.
He later started mural projects, relishing the challenge and the rush of going beyond his limits. “Working on something big like this, it’s an emotional sort of thing.” His first large-scale mural was on a building in New York for World Sight Day.
Bishops Art is a small district located in the heart North Oak Cliff Area, in Dallas, TX. A neighborhood rich with history and memorable events, Bishop Arts is host to a number of boutiques, trendy restaurants, art galleries, coffee houses, bars, and nightclubs. For those who are searching for feelings that are invoked by small towns and close-knit communities, Bishop Arts is the place to be. It is considered to be one of the best-hidden delights and one of the most unique districts of the whole of Dallas.
Before he started on the large wall itself, Bramblitt painted the design on a simple canvas, representing how the actual mural, once done, would look. He then, with his wife, Jacqui
Serie, and his guide dog, Eagle, would get to the site with paint and lift. He was organized and broke it down to stages. He does not claim that it was easy, he often did lose his way and worried if it would work out. No doubt, his patience, and belief in his skill produced amazing results.
Bishop Highline held an event to rightfully honor John Bramblitt on 6 June 2019. During the event, Bishop Highline also presented the Guide Dogs of Texas with a $5,000 donation. The talent of Bramblitt is there for all to see on the four-story wall of The Bishop Highline.
Many would come to the conclusion that blindness is an obstacle for an artist. But that is not the case with Bramblitt, it’s, in fact, the opposite. It was his disability that inspired his art.
Bishop Highline offers Studio and one-bedroom apartments for rent. One of the most prominent and famous apartment rentals of Bishop Arts, it offers comfort and fulfilling experience.
Furthermore, living in Bishop Highline means that everything is within walking distance. Hence, you have access to trendy eateries, upscale bars, yoga classes, and gyms.