John Tyler Dossett describes his life's work in four words: "Painting is my superpower." To see one of John's (or JT, as he is widely known) paintings, you might think the same way. To see the complete body of work of over six hundred paintings he has created in a little over a decade, one would certainly agree that painting is, indeed, JT's superpower. And it is definitely his purpose.
But to see JT himself, you would wonder how it's all possible. JT was born with a genetic condition called Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome, similar to cerebral palsy, only with deeper complications. Part of his disease involves chronic kidney issues, frequent ICU stays due to pneumonia, and (probably most horrible) self-injurious behaviors. He is a quadriplegic, unable to care for even his most basic needs. But his left hand is powerful, and his brain is filled with rich, saturated landscapes and visions of colorful abstract elements to deliver to his canvases in thick textures of acrylic paint.
JT's paintings are remarkable on their own, but what is even more important to JT is what he does with his talents. JT sells his paintings at public and private art shows across Illinois, with the proceeds going toward charities. He has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Relay for Life - Upper Illinois Valley, the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, and donates limited-edition prints of his artwork to worthy benefits and fundraisers.
2016 was a banner year for JT. He was the featured artist at the prestigious Peoria Fine Art Fair in September. His artwork "Angel of Hope" was featured on a wine label of the same name by August Hill Winery in Utica, Illinois, which evolved into an entire street festival/fundraiser, "Angel of HopeFest" in October. And, last but not least, he just finished a one-man gallery show at the Jacoby Center for the Arts in Alton, Illinois, that ran the entire month of December.
JT lives at home with our parents in our hometown of Bethalto, Illinois, in southern Illinois. He also spends much time with me in Mendota, Illinois, where our family keeps him well-stocked in paint and canvas. JT is forty-two years old, which is an amazing blessing, considering his life expectancy was twenty. Love, creativity, and purpose have certainly lengthened his life.
JT's art can be viewed on his website, www.jtdossettart.com, or through his Facebook page, JT Dossett Art.