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Brown Bag discusses public and private art

By Priyanka Navani

Adams hopes to capture a sense of community in his artwork. (Photo courtesy of Hubert Hsu)
Adams hopes to capture a sense of community in his artwork. (Photo courtesy of Hubert Hsu)

Adams, an international artist whose work is widely displayed in his home base of Philadelphia, presented his most favorited pieces to a wide-eyed audience of art enthusiasts and critics alike in Mayo Concert Hall on Friday, April 24.

His pieces, which, Adams admitted “some will not understand,” have been featured at Arcadia University, Moore College of Art, Institute of Contemporary Art and Bridgette Meyer Gallery, among others.

However, though certainly prominent in the world of gallery art with a noteworthy and enviable reputation, it is his public art that has everybody buzzing.

His public pieces are meant to bring about community awareness to a variety of topics including war, autism and climate and social change.

“I liked that he’s actually trying to make a difference with his art,” said attendee Rosemary Nivar, a freshman engineering major with a concentration in social justice.

From murals in Montreal to panoramic street art in Trenton, it is Adams’s hope that his work will also help to capture the “atmosphere (and) physicality of the whole community.”

In 2009, he painted President Barack Obama riding a wave in a photo entitled Spring Break, which was made as a “release from our turbulent times,” according to a press release.

“Often we think of art as decorative, but that is far from (its) capacity,” Adams said.

With an obvious passion for the topics he so skillfully illustrates, Adams was eager to share his journey and advice with potential future artists.

Having never taken an art class in high school, Adams entered the University of Georgia without the slightest idea that his future would be filled with such color.

He always had a knack for drawing and was the editor of his high school yearbook, but did not put the skills together until his friend suggested he take a class in art.

He now encourages students to explore their own abilities, find what makes them come alive and develop a well-rounded perspective in that area.

According to Adams, regardless of which path one chooses to take, “you still have to find a bit of joy, playfulness.”

His last recommendation was one fit for all in this graduation season.

“Ask yourself if your journey will take you somewhere that you want to stay,” he said. 


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