There are a few fresh(ish) faces around the River Arts District. One of those is Onicas Gaddis. For the last eight years, Onicas has been searching for the right place to showcase his incredible talents as an artist. He came across RAD and had a feeling it might just be the fit he was looking for. Onicas has been painting for over twenty years, having the privilege to study under master abstract expressionist painter Sarah Carlisle Towery. He discovered his talents at drawing after an artist visited one of many group homes he had lived in as a child. He knew he had found a purpose for living here in a world that was most often not a very kind nor happy place for him. Art literally saved his life.
After his early work drawing portraits, he moved to painting. While living in Florida, he was inspired to tap into his Florida Highwayman heritage (his uncle was one of the original traveling landscape artists of the 1950’s). But it was the time spent at the Alabama Art Colony studying with Sarah and other accomplished painters that taught Onicas how to put the paint to the canvas, give up on the idea of a finished piece, and allow the the painting to flow through him.
His paintings come to life through a “continuous stream of inspiration” (as he puts it). He’s able to pull inspiration primarily from his kids and friends, but everything seems to inspire Onicas. “Whatever I feel inside, it goes into my art.” His first mentor (Sarah) taught him to paint from the heart, without thinking. That’s a lesson he’s made a foundation of his work. “Painting from the heart makes it original and honest.”
His work is currently on display at L. Rowland Fine Contemporary Art at Riverview Station.
You can see more of Onicas’ art through:
RAD page– https://test-riverartsdistrict.pantheonsite.io/artist/onicas-gaddis/