Local teen turns compulsive habit into art, recognized as congressional contest winner

July 4, 2013 4:52:42 PM PDT
A local artist is just back from the nation's capital where he was recognized as a congressional contest winner. But we learned he was a winner even before our nation's leaders recognized that.

Grant Manier is not your typical 17-year-old. And he's not your typical artist either. He took a compulsive habit, ripping paper, and turned it into something magical.

A brush, some glue and strips of paper are expertly applied to canvas by the hands of a genius. The paper can come from newspaper, magazines, wrapping paper, and puzzle pieces.

"By slowly peeling the print off the puzzle pieces, I can get this much flat surface," eco-artist Grant Manier said.

It is no coincidence the puzzle piece is the symbol for autism. Because for Grant Manier art is more than a passion. It's therapy.

"This helps me relax. It's meditation to me," he said.

Grant's mother Julie Manier says she's amazed when she watches her 17-year-old work.

"I see him again at seven years old. Every time I watch him, he's seven years old again. There was more mess when he was seven," she said.

From an owl made from movie posters to a dolphins crafted from applesauce lids, Grant is breaking the mold and changing perceptions. He's also crafted a business, won awards and international recognition -- a career maybe put together piece by piece.

"I have a feeling Grant has a future in art," Julie Manier said.

Grant makes appearances at local schools, teaching young children that they too can paint by paper and create what he calls "cool-lages."

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