Addison Wahler, a native of Charlotte, NC, attended Northwest School of the Arts for high school. While at Northwest, he received numerous awards for painting, including the Scholastics National Silver Award for his senior portfolio. This award, which was given at a ceremony in Carnegie Hall in New York City, was only given to nine other students in the United States in 2007.
Following an illustrious highschool career, Addison continued his art education at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) where he pursued classical training in figure painting. His MICA education was partially funded by several merit scholarships, including a Presidential Scholarship as well as a second scholarship from Scholastics Art and Writing.
While Addison continues in his passion for figure painting, he has chosen to challenge himself with combining abstract painting with figurative narrative, a pursuit he finds much more difficult and exciting while also sharing a personal story and journey.
After graduation from MICA, Addison employed a different set of technical skills he’d acquired into a career creating architectural renderings for Stewart Engineering. Towards the end of his three-year tenure at Stewart, Addison successfully earned a Master’s in Urban Design from the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. After graduating in August 2020 at the height of the COVID pandemic, he focused on abstract painting and other commissioned work until securing a position as a landscape designer in May of 2021, a position he held until January of 2022.
Following his departure, Addison decided to take the leap and pursue painting full-time while continuing with architectural and landscape design work on a contract basis. The flexibility this work arrangement provides has been a boon to his creative process.
Addison hails from a family of artists and creative thinkers. He credits his grandmother Beverly as his greatest inspiration. While she painted as a young woman and through school for fashion design, her desire for a career in the arts became a dream delayed when she married and started a family. Although she used painting as an outlet while her children ruled the roost, she was only able to fully dedicate herself to her craft when they went off to college. Beverly’s style was abstract expressionism; she was greatly influenced by the stylings of Morris Louis and Paul Jenkins. She passed away at the age of 93 in 2018.
Addison’s father Robin, who has also painted as a creative outlet throughout his career in landscape architecture, has influenced Addison’s style as well. Robin’s friends, family and clients credit him with creating “Rothko-esque” pieces.
Addison’s mother Deb, followed her creative path as an urban designer, landscape architect and professor at UNCC. Her work inspired Addison to pursue urban design, earning him a masters degree in 2020 from the University of North Carolina Charlotte. Addison attributes his talent and work ethic from the unconditional love of his parents.
When Addison was old enough to appreciate and learn from his grandmother’s and parent’s work, he incorporated many of their techniques and practices into his own creations. Although his work is very similar to that of his family members, he has his own voice. His paintings are intended to be glorified Rorschach tests. The viewer is intended to make their own conclusions and interpretations.
Addisons most recent work focuses on his personal struggles since moving back to Charlotte, NC from Baltimore, MD. These paintings illustrate, depression, loneliness, solitude and the journey he went on to overcome those factors. The recent work is also communicative of the women in his life that have saved him from self-destruction. This new series was started with the painting entitled '' Blondzai " and is continued into " Re-Ignition. " These paintings share a theme of unconditional love and support when Addison was struggling the most.