The mystery of James Castle is nearly as all-consuming as the man. Profoundly deaf, he mainly communicated through art, using soot, spit and pigments squeezed from saturated crepe paper to create likenesses of buildings and landscapes. Largely eschewing brushes and pencils, he fashioned tools from discarded sticks and broken fountain pens, but it wasn't until Castle was in his 50s that his work was recognized as extraordinary.
Idaho’s most famous artist, James Castle, was born profoundly deaf in Garden Valley at the end of the nineteenth century. The self-taught artist spent his…