The “11one9” art show at Philosophy Gallery this weekend is full of pieces that the Paducah area does not have readily available. From sci-fi pinups by New York artist Adam Carlson to the intense, “Where’s Waldo?”-like paintings of Thom Whalen, the show can be described as, at the very least, unique.
“We all have our own styles,” show organizer John Romang said. “The show is meant to inspire people, to show that art is still evolving and there are so many new people taking on these amazing new ideas.”
This is the second year that Romang has organized a show of this nature. Along with Carlson and Whelan, Romang shows his ink and resin panels and ceramicist Shane Harris adds his work to the mix. All of the returning artists, however, agree on one thing: Paducah is the place to have the show.
“The community is so supportive, and they really want to come down see what we have for them,” Whelan said. “Last year, there must have been over 400 people. It was overwhelming to see a place embrace art like this.”
Whelan’s art is the perfect example of work that has its own flavor. His paintings take up to two months each and include hundreds of layers and elements that are sometimes are centered around socio-economic topics like stem cell research or oil spills, leaving art enthusiasts staring at the wall for extended periods of time.
“People look, then keep looking,” Whelan said. “Then they ask questions. They want to know my process and my purpose.”
Romang said the show will probably stay at the Philosophy Gallery for about a week after the opening on Saturday night, but the main message will resonate in the community for some time after.
“We have artists in this town who are pushing the envelope and doing great things, and we have a culture that supports that,” Romang said. “This show puts that culture, those cutting-edge techniques, right in front of your face so they can’t be missed.”