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Harrison Halker Heinks: The Visual Voice of Autism

George Morrison Gallery | April 1 - May 30, 2021

Harrison Halker Heinks, Vanity, 2017, Photograph-limited edition print (4/5), 20"x30" — $500 

“Photography captures not just the moment but the raw emotion that emanates from it” 

— Harrison Halker Heinks

Minnesota artist Harrison Halker Heinks examines reflective surfaces in his photography. By capturing multiple planes with one image, Heinks builds an experience where viewers can simultaneously look through, at, and in front of the subject. Uniting a single image from several layers evokes emotion with Heinks who intends to express how it feels to live with autism. “In my artwork, the things behind the reflection are my representation of the ordinary world; I live in the glass, being caught in another plane that runs parallel to the world in which everyone else lives.” By including self-portraits in some of his work, Heinks is motivated “to show how I sometimes see myself as in between reality and being overlooked by society.” Through his work, his voice emerges: “There is more to people with disabilities than what is on the surface.” In several underwater shots, Heinks takes this sentiment literally, diving beneath the surface to photograph both himself and others. According to Heinks, the results represent “seeing the world through a distorted and out of focus lens.” Ultimately, The Visual Voice of Autism connects to neurotypical viewers by creating an understanding of what it feels like to be living with autism.

Please be aware and prepared for video and auditory stimulus in the galleries. Noise cancelling headphones and light dimming glasses may be desired. If you have questions, do not hesitate to ask by calling the Duluth Art Institute, 218-733-7560.


Harrison Halker Heinks is an award-winning multidisciplinary artist who happens to have autism. His list of accolades includes multiple MN State Fair Blue Ribbons, two-time National Scholastic Gold Medal Winner, and a VSA Emerging Young Artists grant recipient from the Jean Kennedy Smith Arts and Disability Program and the Jerome Foundation.

Halker Heinks' Website

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  The Duluth Art Institute's programs and services are made possible in part through the support of the Minnesota State Arts Board through an appropriation by the State Legislature from the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2018.

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