THE WOODLANDS, Texas -- Many challenges overwhelm today s youth, ranging from choice of career path to struggling through Algebra 2, but for some students these challenges can be greater.

Grant Manier is a 17-year-old boy who has autism, a disability that causes both communication and social barriers. However, Grant chose to turn this disability into a talent, becoming what he calls an Eco-Impressionist.

Grant is one of the only known artists who peels and layers puzzle pieces to collage onto his artwork, said Grant s mother Julie Manier. All of his artwork is 100 percent recyclable.

Not only does Grant use puzzle pieces to create his art, he also uses other recyclable materials such as old magazines, beads and wrapping paper. Grant s latest piece Caribbean Owl was created from 65 posters of The Pirates of the Caribbean.

Grant always loved art as a kid, and he also had a love for paper.

One day I had painter s block and couldn t finish a piece, Grant said. My mom told me that I didn t have to use paint, so I started collaging with shredded paper.

Using his collage art as an outlet, Grant's pieces soon developed into more than just a hobby, becoming a business. Since 2011 Grant has won various awards for his work including The Congressional Art Competition for the 8th District of Texas, Grand Champion in the Eco-Art Division at the 2011 and 2012 Austin Rodeo and New Emerging Artist at the 2013 Houston's Bayou City Art Festival.

For more on this story, visit our media partner The Woodlands Online.

Read or Share this story: