Joel Anderson, a Fallbrook resident and an active member of the Fallbrook Art Association, will be one of 42 artists representing America at the 20th International Art Exchange Exhibition in Japan. The art exhibition will be held at the Chiba City Art Museum in Japan from August 3-8, showcasing talented artists from around the world.
Anderson is an artist and speaker with autism, and this will be his second time as a featured artist in this exhibition. Her piece is called “Cub of Many Colors” and, out of 800 submissions, this piece was one of the paintings chosen to represent the United States in “USA Exhibition” curated by Julienne Johnson, Anderson’s mentor and friend of the family.
The piece “Cub of Many Colors” is a reimagining of one of his older paintings. He wanted to experiment and create a more abstract and colorful painting to catch the eye of viewers.
“Cub of many colors is actually a reworked version of one of my paintings, ‘Mentor Lion 2.’ I wanted to zoom in on the face and try some bright, vibrant colors,” Anderson said. “I was hoping to make the room abstract and creative. The little one’s eyes are like mine when I learn something from my mentor; filled with wonder and creativity.”
Anderson is grateful for the opportunity to represent his country at the show. Due to the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, Anderson will not be able to attend the event in person. However, he is eager to represent America for the second time in the exhibition.
“It is truly an honor to have my art in Japan during these very unique Olympics,” said Anderson. “I am proud to be an American and I hope my art inspires my fellow Americans and our friends from all over the world to come together and share a smile.”
Art has been a passion for Anderson since he started drawing at the age of 5. At the age of 11 he started painting, and a year later he started his art business. Since then, Anderson has traveled all over the world to share his artistic knowledge and experiences as a disabled artist and speaker. He has been a keynote speaker at several autism awareness conferences including conferences in China, Peru, Canada and more.
His art was recently exhibited at the Oceanside Museum of Art, exhibition Color of Sound. It has also been featured in many countries around the world including Japan, China, Yerevan, Canada, Africa, South America, and all over America.
Anderson also works as an illustrator of children’s books, and he wrote and illustrated his own book titled “The Medieval Trio Tales – Courage at the Concert” in 2012. This series aims to support those in need. Anderson is currently illustrating three new books in this series to help educate young people about persistence and teamwork.
Anderson hopes to continue expanding his business and continuing to educate students in schools and universities about disabilities. He also plans to continue participating in art exhibitions around the world. His next exhibit will be the San Diego Festival of the Arts September 11-12 at San Diego Surf Sports Park.
“I want to thank everyone who supports me,” Anderson said. “I thank the Lord for my family, mentors, teachers, friends, foundations and our Fallbrook community. God’s beautiful creations give me endless ideas for painting in such a wide range of colors, you can’t keep me from smiling. “