Thane Gorek jokes that he’s only recently gotten good at oil painting. In actuality, he’s been painting since he was young. At 10 years old, his parents recognized his interest and talent in drawing, so they signed him up for one-on-one instruction with a local artist who taught at a nearby university.

Today, Thane is recognized for taking everyday objects and enlarging their scale significantly. The effect is twofold: he draws the viewer’s attention to overlooked subjects and transforms the ordinary into something extraordinary. He calls his genre contemporary realism, with a wink at surrealism.

“The first thing people notice is all the detail in my art,” Thane said. “My art is always changing because I get bored of doing the same thing all the time. Last year I had a lot of vegetables here (at the Celebration of Fine Art). This year I kind of changed it up.”

Inspired by nature and organic forms, Thane is particularly interested in botanicals and landscapes. His tight realism is so instantly recognizable to visitors, it’s hard for people to believe this is only his third year being a part of the show. But like so many things, Thane joining the Celebration of Fine Art came down to timing.

“I had young kids, so for a while I didn’t have the opportunity to come for a 10-week show,” he said. “I waited until they were older and knew it was time to give this a try. It’s been great!”

Among the highlights for Thane at the Celebration of Fine Art is the interaction with other artists and fellow art lovers. For those interested in attending the show for the first time, his advice is simple: Come to the show!

“There’s so many good artists here to see,” he said. “The main thing I’d say is to take your time. You can reuse your tickets, so you can come back. It’s a lot to take in one day.“

See more of Thane’s story below: