Hundreds of people will proudly wear this year's 2021 Torch Run T-shirt. The shirt, which will be donned by both community members and law enforcement during their runs, is an important part of raising awareness for the Law Enforcement Torch Run and Special Olympics Virginia.
But this year’s shirt is much more than just an awareness opportunity.
The shirt was designed by Area 14 athlete, Forrest Holbert. Forrest, who competes in swimming, golf and basketball, has been an athlete for 13 years. The 27-year-old claims, however, he's been an artist his entire life - and he's got the resume to back it up.
While some may have low expectations about what someone with an intellectual disability is capable of, Forrest shatters those expectations through art. When he humbly presents his work, jaws often drop. His optical illusion art leaves people both confused and in awe. He paints and draws using both pencil and charcoal. He completed a certificate program at the Corcoran College of Art & Design, and studied graphic design at Northern Virginia Community College.
Recently, he's taken on creative projects with Special Olympics Virginia on a part-time basis. You may have seen his work in promotions for the Polar Plunge and Plane Pull fundraisers, and for the state-level competitions Summer Games and Basketball Championships.
While Forrest is a man of few words, don't mistake that for someone who doesn't have anything to say. His art is simply one of the ways he expresses himself to friends, family and the community at large; he also works 30 hours a week, enjoys spending time with family and goes on weekly bike rides with his Dad.
Forrest, who currently lives at home, dreams of living independently some day. First up, getting his drivers license, which he’s studying for at this very moment.
To see more of Forrest's art visit his website: https://www.forrestholbert.net/.