Clinton Hill – Pratt Institute's Brooklyn campus is hosting British artist Stephen Wiltshire this entire week. Wiltshire is drawing – from memory alone – a stunningly detailed 18-foot-long panorama of New York City.
Wiltshire was born in London to West Indian parents, was declared autistic at an early age, and began to draw as a way of communicating with the world. He became famous in 1987 when he was featured on a BBC program and was introduced by former president of the UK's Royal Academy of Art Sir Hugh Casson ‘the best child artist in Britain.’
Since then, Wiltshire has continued to draw and paint prolifically, travelling all over the world to create his work and achieve worldwide fame. He has twice been featured in the list of top 100 most influential black people in Britain and in 2006 was awarded an MBE, or membership to the Order of the British Empire, for services to the art world.
Wiltshire has a particular talent for drawing extraordinary accurate representations of cities, sometimes after having only observed them briefly.
His New York panorama will complete his collection of nine works depicting some of the world’s best-known cities and will be the first and only North American city represented. The first eight panoramas include London, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Rome, Madrid, Frankfurt, Dubai and Jerusalem.
Founded in 1887, Pratt Institute is one of the largest and most prestigious independent colleges of art and design in the United States offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the school of architecture, art and design in formation and library science, and liberal arts and sciences.