Seth Chwast was told he would become a dry mopper, but he found a more creative calling.
In Seth Chwast's world, pigs parachute over the Terminal Tower and a mermaid plays a violin near the city's edge. The Cleveland Heights painter has shown his works internationally, painted a guitar for country artist Zac Brown and created an image for a United Nations stamp. The 32-year-old also has autism. Although a vocational evaluator said he would become a dry mopper, Chwast found a more creative calling when, at 20, he took a Cleveland Museum of Art painting class. While he has few words, Chwast speaks his mind through painting, including the pictured Self Study No. 1. "Seth rocked me," says his mother Debra Chwast. "I had no idea." He says painting makes him feel "happy, glad and proud and gleeful." From April 1 to May 7 at the Valley Art Center, explore his world with Perspectives: A Collaboration between Seth Chwast and Herb Ascherman, an exhibit of 34 Chwast paintings and 34 portraits Ascherman snapped of Chwast. "There's an element [in Seth's art] that has peace, tranquility and joy," Debra says. 155 Bell St., Chagrin Falls, 440-247-7507, valleyartcenter.org