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'It blew my mind!' Special glasses allow artist to see true color for the first time

Artwork by Joey Edwards on display at the Horsehead Bar in Eugene. (SBG, AF)

EUGENE, Ore. – In the month of June, hanging on the walls of the Horsehead Bar in Eugene is a series of paintings...with an interesting backstory.

The artist who painted them is severely color-blind.

Joey Edwards is in the business of color, but he can't see any color - clearly, anyway.

Edwards said he has failed every color-blind test he ever took.

“I don't see in black and white by any means. It's just a lot of stuff looks very the same. The hues turned down on everything. Like if you're on an Instagram filter and you turn down the saturation by like 50%,” said Edwards.

The colors he really has trouble with are red, green, and purple.

Edwards found out he was color-blind when he was a child, which is also when he formed a love for art.

“Oh I didn't know until I got randomly pulled aside in kindergarten and someone was like 'what's wrong with you, you don't see this?' Then they pulled me aside, they put me through a special orientation and said sorry you're not going to see the world like everyone else," he said.

Seeing color the way everyone else does was just a *pigment* of his imagination.

That's until he bought a pair of EnChroma glasses.

Thanks to the color-correcting glasses, in 2016, Edwards got to see the bright side of art.

He saw his artwork through new eyes.

According to Edwards, different lenses for these gasses can bring out different colors for different people.

“I put them on and it pretty much just blew my mind. I had no idea like, green is green. That's a weird way to say it but it really is really really green," he said.

Edwards said the glasses correct color-blindness to an extent but it doesn't cure it.

They make shades much more vibrant.

"I guess it redirects the light that comes into your eyes, the cones that receive the color, and it's able to re-bend that light I guess it hits your eyes in a way that light hasn't hit it before,” he said.

The glasses don’t come cheap.

Edwards said he paid $350 for his pair.

But for him, it was worth it.

He can see his creations through the eyes of the audience he hopes to inspire.

And beyond that, he said he dreams in new color.

In October, Edwards will be at the Cowfish Club displaying some of his wire sculpture artwork.

He will also be back at the Horsehead with some of his pumpkin carvings.

To learn more about Edwards and his artwork, visit his website.

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