Eclectic Goat Hosts Guest Artist Jimmy Reagan


Jimmy Reagan, a prolific young Minnesota artist who faces the challenges of autism will be a guest artist at the Eclectic Goat on March 22 from 5-8 p.m. Eclectic Goat, which showcases the work of over fifty regional artists, has selected Reagan’s work to be on display throughout the end of the month and into mid-April.

Although Reagan’s language was lost at about the age of two due to the regressive on-set of his condition, the 18-year-old artist from Mendota Heights’ future shines bright today. His art has become a way for him to communicate, in great depth and intensity, his passion for life. “It’s opened doors,” said his mother Peg Schneeman Reagan, and “the viewer is transported into Jimmy's world, genuinely experiencing the world as he understands it.  It is full of bold color, imagination, and beauty … a celebration of life.”

The talented artist has garnered some notable attention as of late. Reagan was recently selected as the featured artist for the 2012 University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital WineFest No. 17, benefiting children’s health research. His painting, "Cafe at Night," provides the inspiration for the two-day event. In addition, six of Jimmy's images are on magnums of wine from the William Gordon Winery in California.  His art is also featured in collections adorning the walls of private and public residences, law offices, investment firms and physician clinics.

Dutch Masters, Impressionism, Cubism and Pop Art have inspired him. Renowned artists such as Rembrandt, van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso and Warhol fuel his imagination, yet Reagan’s artistic style speaks for itself – it’s both distinct and uniquely his own.

Eclectic Goat co-owner Shona Brooks was drawn to the artist’s use of vibrant colors and simplistic composition. As a mother of an autistic son herself, Brooks felt a strong emotional pull to this success story. Jimmy's style and colorful compositions align with the store’s one-of-a-kind approach and mission to assist artists on their road to discovery and embrace the "inner artist" in us all.

Jimmy speaks through his artwork, which is both sophisticated, yet innocent. And his art continues to evolve. He doesn’t really care about what people might think; he’s sort of uninhibited in a flurry of creation but appreciates and recognizes a fond onlooker’s praising remarks.

According to his mom Peg Schneeman Reagan, Jimmy had a very engaging smile when he was little. She explains, “What art has done for him, is his natural smile has returned. And that says it all to me. Here’s a human being whose life has been changed by what he’s doing. He’s happy and healthy and that’s hope for other families.”

With all the obstacles one might come across in life, there is peace in knowing the human spirit still prevails. Great art and expression stems from an authentic self. Little is based on society’s standards of what art should be. And Jimmy Reagan is living proof and inspiration to others that no one or any condition can strip you of who you are to become.