Joanne Adams, May 2012 Featured Artist
I was born and raised in the Pasadena/Highland Park area. While attending Pasadena City College I studied art….or at least attended those classes with any kind of regularity. While I studied with several individuals whom I greatly respected, I was most influenced by Ben Sakaguchi who was direct, expected you work, provided interesting challenges and was extremely supportive. And he always remembered you outside of class, often stopping his car to say hi and ‘catch up’ a few.
In 1976, I moved to Seattle to escape some potentially very unhealthy situations, and remained for nearly 30 very long years. Upon relocation, I attended Highline Community College where my mentor, Bill Mair, exposed me to a plethora of tools and new methods of self-expression. His excitement for art was contagious and he did an excellent job of preparing me for art school. I earned my B.F.A. at the University of Washington where I studied painting and printmaking and had the honor of working with Glen Alps (who also taught my mentor) and Jacob Lawrence. Both influenced me greatly with their gentleness and love for art and the creative process. Mr. Alps shared Color, Form and his vision of beauty in all things. Mr. Lawrence shared his personal and cultural history and expression of the human condition. His stories and expressions touched that place in me that had also experienced challenges in navigating life. Line enthralls me and I found his use of it electrifying.
While attending Art School I became part of an art collective made up of a varied group of artists who were classically trained, self-taught and/or renegade in nature. The name “Trapeaze” was chosen for its concept of “launching” the artist(s) into community awareness. As a result, “Trapazoids” began and continue to exhibit in the Seattle area both collectively and individually. Several individuals are now exhibiting nationally and worldwide. After a weekly figure workshop, it was customary to go to a local pub and continue our artistic endeavors. Someone would begin a painting or drawing then pass it to the next person for their contribution. It didn’t take long for several works to be floating around the table wet with paint and whatever liquid used to spread it. Thus “Pub Art” was born with “Trapazoids” participating in several public appearances demonstrating the process. BTW, beer makes a great watercolor medium.
Throughout my life, I have maintained a fascination with people, the human form as well as the human condition. Engrossed for hours with my mom’s medical books, I was fascinated by their pictures of anatomy, how the body functioned and how we look under this skin (it’s all the same, folks). My drawings at age five were of rows of people walking on and off the page. People of all different cultures and time periods of history walked in line across the bottom of my canvas and walked right off again. Where they came from or where they went, I don’t know. They just walked across.
While I have continued to draw over the years, life, as it so often can, inhibited ability to paint and create as much as I would have liked. When an old boyfriend asked if I still made art, I was embarrassed and somewhat ashamed to admit to him my inconsistency. I had to come to terms that I had become distracted and perhaps a bit “lazy” in honoring my abilities. Since that time, I have made a serious correction, and while life continues to inhibit my ability to create as much as I would like, I am maintaining my “consistency”, re-developing my skills, giving thought to what I want to say and actively “putting myself out there”. I have no big “Artist Statement” to make about my art as I feel most of these are contrived bullshit. What I CAN say is that I am currently in the process of re-evaluating my life, my role in it and how I want to grow, both personally and creatively. What I CAN say is that I love drawing the figure and at this time, working with the female form, seems way to process my self-exploration and honor the feminine in me. It only seems right to dedicate this show “In Honor of Woman”.