The World Within: Wil the artist



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Posted on December 29, 2009 at 4:56 PM

At the "Best of the Northwest" art show in Seattle, Susan Mooring displays the latest creations of her 14-year-old grandson, Wil Kerner.

"But I mean he goes at it like there's no tomorrow. Those things just cut away, cut way, where ever he wants to cut," said Susan.

Wil's cutting and snipping began several years ago when Susan, his weekday caregiver, noticed him making a mess of her Renton home. Then she noticed something else.

"I was just like picking up and I did a, 'Oh, my gosh!' I was startled!'" she said.

Wil was arranging the paper with an artist's eye.

"And he'll stand back and he'll look at it and he'll go over and he'll move it with his thumb," said Susan.

Grasping his scissors without using the holes.

"It's very mysterious how he makes his scissors work," said Susan.

He's a paper cutting Picasso, creating images that follow their own laws of physics.

A buoyant head tethered by a sliver of neck, a penetrating gaze from a single eye - and eyes appear everywhere - another mystery.

"People with autism don't look at you in your eyes," said Susan.

The images that express so much can be fleeting. Wil usually just whisk's them aside.

"He plays with the paper and the pieces and sometimes he just throws it all away," said Susan.

But not before Susan takes a picture and painstakingly puts each piece of paper back in place. She now sells Wil's work at Northwest exhibits.

"I'm wanting Wil to have self esteem, to know that he can create for the rest of his life," she said. "But also and just as important I'm selling hope to people with autism.

Susan also believes when others see the world through Wil's eyes. They see some of the magic that can shine through autism.

"And then they'll start looking at them for what they can do, rather than what they can't do," she said.