Tommy Dean Stewart – Guest Instagrammer
My name is Thomas Dean Stewart, and I grew up in the farm-lands of Wingo, Ky; not too far from Paducah. My passion is photography. As my nom de plume suggests, light itself is the source of my main inspiration: the way it behaves and reacts, the fact that it’s a fundamental building block of the observable universe and that we have tools like cameras so capable of capturing and manipulating it. As a guest with @cityofpaducah I hope to convey through this passion, my love, and gratitude for this unique city.
I love this city. It’s given me a home and a haven. It’s given me unconditional love and unforgettable lessons. Whether you’ve called it home for years, or you’re just visiting or passing through, I really hope you do Enjoy Paducah. If you look in the right places, and they’re everywhere (each place unique), it shouldn’t be too difficult.
With it’s rich history, Paducah has many artifacts hidden throughout. The wonderful thing about being a UNESCO Creative City is that our art and our history unify. This “Paducah Ky” inscribed Coca Cola bottle is only one piece of a much larger installment made for one of @thecokeplant newest editions @paducahmellow In fact, every piece of art in The Mellow Mushroom was commissioned by a local artist. And, if you’ve ever been to our Mellow Mushroom you know how many artists that really is.
As long as I’ve been able to, I’ve traveled. From my time volunteering in the Gulf on the coast of Alabama to my time exploring the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, I’ve always come back to Paducah. I want to start with this photograph because when I moved back most recently I picked up a part-time job with @maxsbrickoven and before the doors opened, for a brief hour or so, the sun would move into the space between the two buildings on 2nd street and subsequently fill the dark café with the most serene light. I would come to work early just to capture it. I’ve since worked with them as a photographer and have helped furnish their website.
If you’ve ever been at the top of Paducah’s skyline you’ll notice something that really doesn’t get the attention it deserves: It’s positively covered in trees. Large, mature trees at that. As far as the eye can see. No wonder it’s so easy to breath in the city.
One thing I’d be hard pressed not to display here is the river at the edge of Paducah’s downtown, where the Tennessee and Ohio rivers meet. Depending on when you go, the riverfront can be a place of quiet meditation and serene contemplation of nature or a lively market of culture, arts, food and music. Pictured here is a newly built docking station near the, again, newly developed park at the end of the flood wall. I’ve spent countless hours passing time here; catching live music, making new friends or just skipping rocks alone. If you’re new to Paducah just drive east on Broadway until you hit water. You can’t miss it.