Chicago Artist Dwight White Gets Hit With A Purpose

Chicago muralist - Dwight White

To many, Dwight White was always destined for greatness, however, in the beginning it was not about art at all. Being the son of two extremely athletic parents in Texas, his life seemed predetermined. He was going to be a top tier athlete. Starting at the age of seven, his day to day revolved heavily around two things; football and school. On rare occasions, Dwight would have some down time in between. He often used this time to draw. Art gave him a different sense of freedom that didn't exist on the field. Regardless, his creative emotions were left on the back burner, as he reached for his helmet. "


"I've always been a creative deep down. I just never made time for it."




By the time he was a junior in high school, his athletic commitment began to really pay off. He was recognized as one of the top defensive backs in Houston. Then later awarded a full ride scholarship to Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. During this time, life seemed surreal for Dwight White. With a schedule now even more rigorous, finding time to draw became a challenge. However, he still managed to do it. Drawing was his creative outlet to rid himself of societal pressure. Yet deep in his mind were painted portraits of beauty yet to be discovered.





The Hit That Changed It All


While the creative flame quietly burned, Dwight continued his pursuit for athletic excellence instilled within him from childhood. The story of his life was being written in a positive yet predictable fashion... that is until the unpredictable happened. During his junior year of college football, he was hit so hard that it caused internal bleeding. Upon further inspection, doctors discovered something unusual. Dwight White was born with just one kidney and it had already sustained some damage. At this point if he continued to play football the results could be fatal. Severely depressed, he was left with no choice but to walk away from the only life he knew.






 A now lost and confused young man, Dwight needed to take his mind off the issues at hand. He reminisced of the joy that art had brought him growing up. How it was always there for him as a form of stress relief. With his current schedule now wide open and full of frustration, the once star athlete channeled his focus in a new direction. He purposely trapped himself in his basement for several weeks just to focus on art. At this time he made the decision to dive deeper into a new path, picking up a paint brush for the very first time. Using the tenacity previously found under the bright lights of a football stadium, he persevered on a new voyage. During his last semester he even changed some of his courses to ones on painting. "From there I opened my doors to the art and street culture of Chicago."






It's not often we hear about athletes with strong creative abilities, which is what makes this now Chicago muralist very uncommon. He replaced his padding with palette knives and his cleats with canvases. While a college football championship ring is now out of the question, becoming portrait artist of the year is not. In hindsight Dwight began to realize that maybe he was meant to be an artist. He subconsciously had a passion for it all along. There was just never a time in his life when he could really devote energy to it, until now.

1 comment

  • David Breedlove

    Interesting and inspiring story. I have a better understanding of his work now. Will definitely invest in a piece.

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