Kelli Rae Adams
My art practice centers upon encouraging awareness through direct experience, making manifest latent energies and revaluing qualities such as slowness, mindfulness, patience, and connection that have become increasingly undervalued in contemporary culture. In my recent work, I apply these practices to the concept of labor by offering a participatory inquiry into the nature of value and the mechanisms through which we receive and quantify the work and efforts of others. I seek to understand the value of experience by examining the relationship between an experience, the labor necessary to generate it, and what must be sacrificed to enable it. I also continue my ongoing exploration of the relationship of vulnerability and impermanence to value. Do these qualities render the labor pointless? Or do they instead imbue it with greater value? Is the endeavor ultimately wasteful or meaningful?
Engaging the audience as collaborators in the activation of my installations, viewers have the opportunity to become complicit in the life story of the works. Viewing and handling, perhaps unmaking or breaking the works, visitors are given time and space to consider and assess the values of materials, their states and aesthetic forms, and the artistic labor required to produce them—each deciding for themselves what constitutes a valuable experience or exchange.
Kelli Rae Adams currently lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island. In 2013, she was invited to complete a special project for the David Winton Bell Gallery at Brown University, which culminated in her first solo exhibition. She has also exhibited internationally in private galleries in Japan and India and at the Museum of International Ceramic Art in Denmark and the Contemporary Urban Centre in Liverpool. Her study of ceramics began in Japan, where she apprenticed over a period of five years with Tetsuro Hatabe, a master potter in the Karatsu tradition. Kelli holds an MFA in Ceramics from the Rhode Island School of Design and a BA in Visual Arts and Spanish from Duke University and currently serves as adjunct faculty at RISD. She is also a certified yoga and meditation teacher and a longtime student of contemplative traditions.
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