Person of the Week: 3/28
Her article got me to thinking about all of the passionate people I know in my own network. I first thought of my husband, Anthony “Spark Plug” Thomas, whose passion is publishing and public speaking. Since Spark Plug is my “Person of the Week” every week, I thought I’d highlight an American Treasure who lives in metro Atlanta, and is a good friend of ours . . . Mr. Gilbert Young.
My husband and I were with Gilbert this past weekend in Tifton, Georgia, at an Arts Festival. He was displaying some of his famous paintings, namely “He Ain’t Heavy” and many other pieces in his valuable collection. If you’ve ever met Gilbert, you would know without a doubt that his main passion lies in the stroke of a brush, bringing colors to life on canvas and other mediums. Art has been a part of his life, seemingly forever.
Gilbert is nearly seventy years old, but you would never know it if you ever meet with him in person or speak with him on the phone. He has the ability to connect with everyone he meets as if he’s known them from the cradle. He has a calmness about him that comes from a great understanding of human nature, the human condition, and many years of life experiences.
While at lunch one afternoon, he shared an interesting story about his childhood. Gilbert said when he was in elementary school, a teacher labeled him as a slow learner; he was then placed in their Special Education Program.
When he was in the sixth grade, another teacher came along who really believed in him and discovered he had artistic abilities. This teacher encouraged Gilbert’s mother to enroll him in a program that was free to the public at the local art academy. Shortly after being enrolled in this program, he had immediate success.
Gilbert attended a vocational high school and upon his graduation, he had won an astounding forty-seven Key Awards in the arts. He also received a full scholarship to the Cincinnati Art Academy. Gilbert started competing and exhibiting in art shows at the age of nineteen. In the U.S. Army, he served as the battalion’s artist.
Years later, this so-called slow learner impressed his family and friends when he became the curator of the University of Cincinnati Fine Arts Collection – a multi-million dollar collection.
Gilbert Young’s famous painting, “He Ain’t Heavy” has sold nearly one million prints and his art has been featured in more than 5,000 galleries around the world.
At People You Need to Know, we’re proud to salute, our good friend, Gilbert Young as our Person of the Week … a true American Treasure whose passion is expressing real life through his art.