“Wade Made” Gallery Opens at UAH, Features Work of Late Wade Wharton

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- Huntsville is continuing to remember the legacy of local artist Wade Wharton. Wharton was murdered outside his home on Nassau Drive January 15th. He was beaten to death, according to investigators.

Wharton was known for his quirky, out of the box lawn ornaments and sculptures. Just before he was killed, Wharton scheduled a gallery showing with the UAH Art Department. The show opened on Sunday, and it was the perfect way to remember the legacy Wharton leaves behind.

"I had heard a lot about him over the years, I hadn't met him officially and within a week I was visiting him every other day," said Marylyn Coffey. Coffey helped organize the show for Wharton.

"Some of his work, particularly the metal pieces were of a caliber that was worth showing in a gallery." She described Wharton as 'addicting.' She said he had a jolly personality and those characteristics carried over into his work.

"He was incredibly prolific, he never was officially associated with the art world, he was sort of an outside artist, he did yard art."

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that's something Emily Flaherty preaches. Flaherty is Wharton's only child. "He told his family, the only thing he never wanted to see was something that he had made at a garage sale, so he just wants it to be appreciated," Flaherty said of her father's artwork.

It will be appreciated in the Union Grove Gallery on UAH's campus. "He was very creative, unique, one of a kind," Flaherty said of her late dad.

The "Wade Made" show will be on display through March 21st. The gallery is open 12 to 4 on weekdays. If you want to see it on a weekend, contact the UAH Art Department for a private appointment.