Ashton Gallagher, a 2002 graduate of Plainfield Central High School, said he got the call last summer from Gallery 1988, an LA-based gallery specializing in pop-culture themed art.
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"Through a series of connections and getting my art out there, I was approached about a year ago by the gallery owners," said Gallagher.
The 29-year-old artist produced two pieces for the show, which was scheduled to coincide with the release of "The World's End." The film marks yet another collaboration of Wright with actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost after the success of "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz." The trio of films has been dubbed the "Cornetto Trilogy," a nod to a running gag referencing the ice cream dessert.
"I'm a huge fan of the movies 'Hot Fuzz' and 'Shaun of the Dead,' very simple storylines with kind of over the top events happening," said Gallagher, who created artwork inspired by the films.
Gallagher, who works out of a studio in his Plainfield home, created the massive artworks here at home, then had them shipped to Los Angeles.
"We just showed up and the show was ready to go," he said.
Gallagher said he knew from a young age he wanted to pursue a career in art.
"It's something that I've always done since I was a little kid," he said. "As I got older it was always part of my life."
After studying under Plainfield Central art teacher Laura Racich, Gallager decided to attend the American Academy of Art. Today, he is an independent art contractor. His murals can be seen at Ira Jones, John F. Kennedy and Aux Sable schools in District 202. He's also done concept artwork for NetherRealm Studios, the company behind video games including Mortal Kombat.
For the Los Angeles art show, the Plainfield Central grad didn't just get to draw the stars of the films — he also got to meet them.
On Aug. 20, Gallagher attended the opening reception for The Official Edgar Wright Art Show, rubbing elbows with Wright, Pegg and Frost.
Though he's a big fan, Gallagher said he tried to play it cool.
"You always try to find that balance between being a really excited fan and not trying to scare people," he joked. Gallagher said the three stars were more than happy to take time out to chat with fans and pose for photos as they browsed the art show.
"These guys were just totally cool, he said. "It was kind of a humbling thing ... they were just there to support the artists. In the art world, you don't always get that, especially from people like that. It meant a lot."
As for the third installment in the Cornetto Trilogy, Gallagher urged fans of the first two films to see it.
"It won't disappoint," he said.
For a look at Gallagher's work or to contact the artist, visit his websites: