Friday, October 12, 2018

Baird Asher from Air Force, to homeless veteran, to discovered artist

Homeless Air Force veteran and street artist receives national attention after stranger buys his work

Deborah Wrigley
October 11, 2018

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As cars travel over a creek on a Katy Freeway service road, yards beneath out of view, a homeless vet applies paint to plywood, creating art.

It is where Baird Asher has lived for two months after he caught a ride to Houston from New Orleans, where he was a street artist. As an Air Force veteran who was an aircraft mechanic, "I can put an engine together," he said, but his real calling is his art.

"I'm an artist, and this is what I do," he said. "I don't necessarily refuse to do anything else, but this is what God gave me the talent to do."

Technically, Asher is homeless.

"I live under a highway bridge," he said with a laugh. But he needed the kindness of strangers to eat.

Two days ago, he was standing at an intersection with a sign that read, "Hungry Vet." That caught the eye of Suzanne Coppola, who was stopped at the light. At his feet was one of his paintings. It got Coppola's attention.

"I parked illegally and talked to him," she said. "He had an amazing story, and he's an amazing artist and I put it on my Facebook page, asking the creative community if we could do something for him."

The response amazed Coppola.

"I have artists contacting me about ideas they have for him, and a gallery owner from Dallas, who also has a gallery in Miami, asked to buy all his paintings," she said.
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