Student art project concept inspires teacher’s “Monster Lyrics” solo exhibit

Pinball Wizard

When music lyrics and cartoon monsters become the muse for a young father and elementary art teacher, you never know what unexpected personal art project will evolve. That’s exactly what happened to Paducah Arts Alliance (PAA) member and Massac County Art teacher John Romang.

John RomangRomang presents Monster Lyrics, a one day solo art exhibit, Saturday, June 10, from 4-8 pm at Studio Mars, 418 N 7th Street in Paducah’s Lowertown Arts District. The exhibit is the result of a school project to have students illustrate a song lyric using monsters.

“I thought that the concept would be a fun challenge for them,” said Romang. “I had to do a couple of examples so they could see what I was looking for in the project.” As the effort progressed, Romang did not think the students were choosing good songs, so he started making his own set of drawings. “I couldn’t stop…I created three full sketchbooks during my lunch breaks.”

The more he worked on creating new drawings, the more Romang got serious about the Monster Lyrics project and began making water color paintings. “I love creating these,” said Romang. “I constantly am thinking of what lyric I will hear so I can create another.”

Romang also printed a book to compliment the exhibit. The Monster Lyrics book will be available for purchase at the exhibition on Saturday.

Monster Lyrics

Romang is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University. He is employed at Massac Unit 1 School district, where he has been teaching art to grades 1-8 for the past 11 years. His ink, resin, and light works have been featured in publications and in exhibits and galleries in Kentucky, Illinois, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. He was one of the recipients of the 2015 Tanne Foundation Awards (Boston, Massachusetts) and received the People’s Choice Award at Yeiser Art Center in 2011.

For more information about the artist, visit his website at; for interviews, contact Romang direct by phone or email at 217.341-6015 or

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