Cumberland County artist with Down syndrome turns passion into purpose

Some call him the Andy Warhol of Central Pennsylvania.

“This, I just do not know how he did this. He’s totally self taught.”

“He’s always been fascinated with technology, so I was a little surprised, but not too much.”

Taking photos on his iPhone, and editing them on different apps to make masterpieces.

But Harry Spilker says it's easy, and he composes his photos around one thing.

“Warm color and cool color,” said Harry.

Easy to him, maybe.

His father, Spike, says the talent came naturally to Harry, starting when Harry stole his cell phone about seven years ago.

“I was afraid that he was out there ordering stuff on the internet because he had done that. And so I thought that’s what he might be doing and I was looking at the phone and I noticed these pictures were there and they were pretty remarkable,” said Spike.

Pops of color, perfectly composed.

And as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

“I thought it was such a great thing for him to be able to communicate and express himself that way by showing us his view of the world,” said Kathy Spilker, Harry's mom.

And Christine Roggenbaum, services director for Goodwill Keystone, hopes that view will inspire others, too.

Harry is an intern for the Project Search program, which helps people with disabilities learn about work and independence, and Roggenbaum says Harry is a picture perfect example of success.

“He’s not just an amazing person with a disability, he’s an amazing artist, he’s a good friend, he has a lot to offer the world, and we hope by doing all of these things, the world will give him a chance,” said Roggenbaum.

And so far, they certainly have.

Harry’s photos have been shown in dozens of locations across Cumberland County, even winning him numerous awards.

“It felt good. Very cool,” said Harry.

Harry’s work is currently on display at the Square Bean Coffee House in Carlisle until the end of March, and the Veterans Administration Building in Perry County until the end of April.

You can also view and purchase his work by clicking HERE.

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