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Jim Adams

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<I>CENTURIAN (SELF PORTRAIT)</I>

CENTURIAN (SELF PORTRAIT), 1977

ACRYLIC ON CANVAS

74.25 X 50 IN

BRIEF BIO


James Lowell Adams was born in 1943 in Philadelphia, PA. His father, an artist, musician, and band leader, was one of the youngest members of King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Bandand went on to form his own orchestra, "Jimmy Adams and his Continentals". For a few years they were the toast of the town, sharing the stage with such greats as Count Basie, Louie Jordan and Fats Waller. Growing up among the tenement building canyons of Philadelphia Jim Adams’ world was comprised of only pavement, bricks and sky, under the flight path of the local airport, and so the symbol of flight, of being free, translated into an insatiable desire to venture beyond his confines.


Adams received his Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Temple University (1965) and his Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania (1968). While in university he focused on printmaking, and it wasn’t until he discovered acrylic paints that his dream of becoming a painter soared and with it 20 years of paintings dealing with his passion for aviation and flight—today considered a seminal body of work in the artist’s career. Adams began his teaching career while in graduate school at the Fleisher Memorial Art School and as a lecturer for the Print Club of Philadelphia. He also taught in California at Cal State Long Beach and the Laguna Beach School of Art and Design. In 1969, he moved to Surrey, British Columbia, and he took up a position in the Fine Arts Department at Douglas/Kwantlen University College where he taught until his retirement in 2000.


Jim Adams’ work has been in constant evolution since he transitioned to painting in the late 1960s, exploring ways to express universal concepts at their moment of greatest impact. This search has led him to employ a range of subject matter over the years, from flight to the flight environment (landscape) to the figure to the figure in the landscape to an ultimate landscape—views of the planets and star we call the Sun. Adams’ paintings and sculptures challenge the viewer to examine themselves, and engage in a critique of violence, war, power, equality and economics. Each painting is structured within multiple layers of political and social commentary, homage, mystery, and provocation. The artist uses the figure and infuses symbols and metaphors that reveal the fragile elements of human conditions, portraying concepts such as endurance, discipline, hope, loss, hatred, and a host of other virtues and vices. Adams’ work also nods to the Romantic landscape, combining traditional compositional elements with contemporary issues. While the sky dominates in these paintings and many of the settings depict the Western landscape, the most intense interaction takes place in the bottom third of the painting. It is in this portion where human interaction is depicted and where the psychological drama of the painting is centered.


Among Adams’ most prominent exhibitions are “The Irretrievable Moment” (2017), a retrospective presented concurrently at The Surrey Art Gallery in Surrey and The Reach Gallery in Abbotsford;Mythic Sketches” at the Newton Cultural Centre, Surrey; “Re: Mix” at the Surrey Art Gallery Museum; and “Tribute: The Art of African Canadian Artists” at the Peel Art Gallery Museum + Archives, Brampton, ON, and the Mississauga Art Gallery, Mississauga, ON. He has also been featured in solo and group exhibitions at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC; Amelia Douglas Gallery, New Westminster, BC; Thames Art Gallery, Chatham, ON; Richmond Art Centre, Richmond, BC; A Space Gallery, Toronto, ON; Metro Hall, Toronto; The Berkeley Centre, Yale University, New Haven, CT; Peterson Library, University of Connecticut, West Haven, CT; and numerous other venues. 


Jim Adams’ works are included in the collections of The Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, BC; Tuskegee Airmen National Museum, Detroit, MI; International Women's Air and Space Museum, Cleveland, OH; The United States Air Force Collection, New York; and Kozlekdesi Museum, Budapest, Hungary; as well as in numerous private collections in British Columbia; Philadelphia, PA; Los Angeles, CA; Seattle, WA; Portland, OR; Washington, DC; New York, NY; Princeton, NJ; Wake Forest, NC; Parma, Italy; Rome, Italy; Lausanne, Switzerland; London, England; Gravesend, Kent, UK; Pittenween, Scotland; and Budapest, Hungary.


At age 75, Jim Adams is an accomplished artist, an advocate for the visual arts, a Surrey Civic Treasure laureate, and a member of two public art advisory panels.He is included in “Black in Canada” and the “Canadian Who’s Who.”

BRIEF CV

Born 1943, Philadelphia, PA


Lives and works in White Rock, British Columbia, Canada



EDUCATION



1965    Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA


1968    Master of Fine Arts, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA



SELECTED SOLO / TWO-PERSON EXHIBITIONS



2017    The Irretrievable Moment, The Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, BC, Canada


            The Irretrievable Moment, The Reach Art Gallery, Abbotsford, BC, Canada


2014    Mythic Sketches, Newton Cultural Centre, Surrey, BC, Canada


2010    Mt. Olympus Redux, Myths Revisited, ACT Gallery, Maple Ridge, BC, Canada


            Myths and Reality, Amelia Douglas Gallery, New Westminster, BC, Canada


2007    Statements and Studies: Jim Adams Paintings, Community Arts Council of White Rock and DistrictGallery, White Rock, BC, Canada


2000    Jim Adams: In Advance of the Millennium, The Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, BC, Canada


1998    Forms of Conflict, Amelia Douglas Gallery, Douglas College, New Westminster, BC, Canada


1994    CHANGES: Recent Work of Jim Adams, Community Arts Council of White Rock and DistrictGallery, White Rock, BC, Canada


1991    Selected Works by Jim Adams, Genesis Gallery, White Rock, BC, Canada


1986    The Art of Jim Adams and Kay Bonathan, Station Gallery, White Rock, BC, Canada


1983    Paintings by Jim AdamsThe Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, BC, Canada


1982    Jim Adams/ Bill Mc Murray, Richmond Art Centre, Richmond, BC, Canada


1978    Recent Paintings by Jim Adams, Presentation House Gallery, North Vancouver, BC, Canada


1976    The Plane Part: Paintings by James Lowell Adams, Richmond Art Centre, Richmond, BC, Canada


1975    An Exhibition of Works by James Lowell Adams, The Marvin K. Peterson Library, University of Connecticut, West Haven, CT


1975    Adams/Artwork, The Berkeley Centre, Berkeley College, Yale University, New Haven, CT


1974    James Lowell Adams, Richmond Art Centre, Richmond, BC, Canada



SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS



2015    Re:Mix,The Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, BC, Canada


            Views from the Southbank, The Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, BC, Canada


2009    Community Arts Council of White Rock and DistrictGallery, White Rock, BC, Canada


2006    Tribute: The Art of African Canadian Artists, Varley Art Gallery of Markham, Markham, BC, Canada


2005    Tribute: The Art of African Canadian Artists, Peel Art Gallery Museum + Archives, Brampton, ON, Canada


            Tribute:The Art of African Canadian Artists, Mississauga Art Gallery, Mississauga, ON, Canada


2002    Journey, The Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, BC, Canada


1998    Reflections and Revelations / Artists’ Self Portraits, Community Arts Council of White Rock and DistrictGallery, White Rock, BC, Canada


1997    Transforming the Image: African Canadian Visions Entering the Millennium, Thames Art Gallery, Chatham, ON, Canada


1997    Why Can’t Things Stay the Same? Transformations in Artmaking, The Surrey Art Gallery,


Surrey, BC, Canada


1996    Kwantlen University College Faculty of Fine Arts Exhibition, Surrey, BC, Canada


1995    Pelekeana, Vancouver Central Library, Vancouver, BC, Canada


            Pelekeana, Metro Hall, Toronto, ON, Canada


1992    Celebrating African Identity: Politics and Icons of Representation, The A Space Gallery, Toronto, ON, Canada


            Works and Statements 6:A Kwantlen Fine Arts Faculty Exhibition, Community Arts Council of White Rock and DistrictGallery, White Rock, BC, Canada


1984    Kwantlen University College Faculty of Fine Arts Exhibition, Surrey, BC, Canada


1979   Creative Flight, The Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, BC, Canada


1973    Books, Wallbooks, and Prints, The Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Canada


1972   SCAN: Survey of Canadian Art Now, The Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Canada



COLLECTIONS



The Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada


The National Museum of Tuskeegee Airmen


International Women's Air and Space Museum


The United States Air Force Collection


Kozlekdesi Museum, Budapest, Hungary



SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY



2017    The Irretrievable Moment, Surrey Art Gallery (exhibition catalogue)


            The World Inside the City, Westcoast Design and Homes, Spring 2017


            Jim Adams Chasing the Irretrievable Moment, Spotlight on the Arts, April 2017


            An Artist for Life, The Peace Arch News, April 7, 2017


            An Artist for Life, The Surrey NOW-Leader, April 7, 2017


2015    Re:Mix(exhibition catalogue), Surrey Art Gallery


            Views from the Southbank, Surrey Art Gallery (exhibition brochure)


2014    Mythic Sketches,Newton Cultural Centre (exhibition catalogue)


2013    White Rock City Council Celebrates Local Artists,The NOW Newspaper, February 7, 2013


2012    Journey, Surrey Art Gallery (exhibition catalogue)


2010    Myth and Reality, Amelia Douglas Gallery (exhibition catalogue)


2011    Gentle Giant


2010    Mt. Olympus Redux, Myths Revisited,exhibition brochure, ACT Gallery, Maple Ridge


            Artist’s “Good Friends”on exhibit…, The Neighbourhood Bugle, January 27, 2010  


2008    Jewels of the City, The Peace Arch News, August 31


            Names to Treasure,The Now Newspaper, September 5


            Canadian Who’s Who, University of Toronto Press, Elizabeth Lumley Editor


            Who’s Who in Black Canada, University of Toronto Press, Dawn P. Williams Editor


2007    Politics Portrayed, The Peace Arch News, February 24


2005    African Canadian Art, Past and Present, The Hamilton Spectator, February 26


            Black Magic,Toronto Star, January 20


            Subjugation and Illumination, Globe and Mail, February 21


            Tribute, The Art of African Canadians,(exhibition catalogue), Peel, Mississauga Art Galleries


2002    Journey, Surrey Art Gallery (exhibition catalogue)


2000    Jim Adams: In Advance of the Millennium, Surrey Art Gallery (exhibition catalogue)


1998    Forms of Conflict,Amelia Douglas Gallery (exhibition catalogue)


1997    Transforming the Image - African Canadian Visions entering the Millennium,Thames Art Gallery


            (exhibition catalogue)


1995    Pelekeana,Metro Hall, Toronto; Vancouver Central Library (exhibition catalogue)


1994    Changes - Recent work of Jim Adams,The Community Arts Council Gallery, White Rock, BC, Canada


1992    Celebrating African Identity: Politics and Icons of Representation,A Space Gallery, Toronto (exhibition      catalogue)


1983    Paintings by Jim Adams,Surrey Art Gallery (exhibition catalogue)


1979    Creative Flight,Surrey Art Gallery (exhibition catalogue)


1972    SCAN - Survey of Canadian Art Now, Vancouver Art Gallery (exhibition catalogue)



TEACHING / RELATED EXPERIENCE



Chair, White Rock Public Art Advisory Committee, 2015-present


Vice Chair, City of Surrey Public Art Advisory Committee, 1998-present


Awarded,Community Inspiration Status, City of White Rock, 2013


Creator,Civic Treasures Awards, City of Surrey, 2007


Laureate,Civic Treasures, 2008


Chair,Public Art Policy Development Committee, City of Surrey, 1995- 1998


Chair, Public Art Advisory Committee, City of White Rock, 2016-present


Member, Cultural Strategic Plan Task Force, City of Surrey


Vice Chair, Public Art Advisory Committee, City of Surrey, 2014-present


Chair, Public Art Advisory Committee, City of Surrey, 1998-2004, 2007-2008


Chair, Host Committee, BC Festival of the Arts, 2002


Chair, Department of Fine Arts, Kwantlen University College


Founding Host, The Artists’ Café, Surrey Art Gallery, 2003-2004


Teaching Positions at:Kwantlen University College; Douglas College; California State, Long Beach; The Laguna Beach School of Art and Design; The Philadelphia Museum of Fine Art; The Print Club, Philadelphia; The Fleisher Memorial Art School, Philadelphia.


Created and organized the international invitational exhibition, "Creative Flight."


Created and produced: "S.A.G.A.", Western Cablevision


"On View", Shaw Cablevision (Interviews with artists and gallery reviews)


Awarded: Educational Scholarships (undergraduate and graduate) and one of "Fifty Best Books of the Year" American Institute of Graphic Design,1976


Canada Council Lecturer at the University of Waterloo


Researched various media such as offset lithography, cinematography as a Painter’s art form, books as an art form, the impact of flight on the Visual Arts, as well as educational directions for the Visual Arts.


Current research into the reinterpretation of the romantic landscape, classic myths and deity figures from the African continent.

EXHIBITIONS