Paducah artist creates strong statement in black and white at prestigious international drawing exhibition

2016 marks PSAD Associate Professor Randy Simmons’ fifth inclusion in UNC’s highly competitive Drawing Discourse

The Paducah Arts Alliance is proud to announce that board member Randy Simmons’ work Gravity has been accepted into the international juried exhibition Drawing Discourse 2016 at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Asheville. The exhibit will be on display through February 12 at S. Tucker Cooke Gallery located in Owen Hall, One University Heights, in Asheville, North Carolina.

As part of an ongoing commitment to promote drawing practices in the visual arts, UNC Asheville invited artists to examine drawing as it is practiced and defined by today’s artists. The exhibition demonstrates the continued significance of drawing through both conventional and innovative methods. Juror Edgar Jerins, an adjunct faculty member at the New York Academy of Art, selected 43 pieces from 908 entries that were submitted by 307 artists from 7 countries.

“It’s an incredible honor to be a part of such a fiercely competitive international drawing exhibition, notes Simmons, an Associate Professor of Drawing at the Paducah School of Art and Design. Now in it’s 7th year, Simmons’ work has been accepted into four other shows, winning the first place award in 2010. Simmons was one of four equal award winners in the drawing exhibit in 2014 and was invited to be a guest lecturer at the college. Organizer Tami Beldue, drawing professor at UNC, confirmed that Simmons holds the highest record for inclusion in this distinguished exhibit.

Simmons recently presented a solo exhibition showcasing a collection of recent large charcoal drawings mostly based on iPhone portraits of friends, narrative portraits, and street people in Italy. FACES: An Exhibition of Charcoal Drawings, premiered in November 2015 at BiLan Liao Studio & Gallery in Paducah’s LowerTown Arts District.

“Drawing shows are a rarity on their own,” notes Simmons. “Drawing has been and continues to be an overlooked medium, losing favor to the likes of painting, often viewed as a preparatory stage to other mediums. It’s my opinion that black and white drawing is fine art stripped to its technical bones. There’s no color to overwhelm, the composition, the subject, the meat of what’s communicated, is put down on paper. Anyone that can correctly draw the figure from observation is the most gifted of artists.”


In addition to his work at the Paducah School of Art & Design, Simmons teaches for the Kentucky Institute for International Studies with the Italy program. He travels abroad with students each summer, preparing them to be globally competent by exposing them to international culture, art and history–an effort that enhances Paducah’s efforts as an UNESCO Creative City.

In addition to Simmons’ Drawing Discourse recognition, he has been a merit award winner in the 57th Mid-States Art Exhibition, Evansville Museum of Arts and Science in Evansville, Indiana; and a First Place award winner at the Cedarhurst Biennial, Cedarhurst Center for the Arts, Mt. Vernon, Illinois.

Simmons can be reached for interviews at or by calling 270.994.6213. To see more of his work, visit Randy Simmons’ website.

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