Lisa Adams in the Claremont Courier

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Lisa Adams in the Claremont Courier Powered By Docstoc
					                                                                                                                                        Claremont COURIER/Saturday, December 10, 2011   8

A little luck, a lot
of career:
Claremont artist
finds her path
        isa Adams, an alumna of Clare-
        mont High School, Scripps College
        and Claremont Graduate Univer-
sity, knew beyond a shadow of a doubt at
age 10 that she was going to be an artist. It
was 3 years later (and more than 4 decades
ago now), that an epiphany illuminated her
path and helped shape her artistic voice.
The life-changing moment happened
while peering inside the window display of
what is now Raku in the Claremont Vil-
lage, marveling at a painting by Clare-                     “It was not a take it or leave it thing, I didn’t want to do                             Photo by Joerg Metzner
                                                                                                                           Los Angeles based artist Lisa Adams is a graduate
mont’s own abstract painter, Karl                           anything else.”                                                of Claremont High School and Scripps College who
                                                               Although passion and talent were raging from an
Benjamin.                                                   early age, Ms. Adams firmly believes that nothing
                                                                                                                           has been working in the arts for more than 30
   “I thought ‘Oh man, that’s a painting. You mean you                                                                     years. Tomorrow, Sunday, December 11, Ms.
                                                            would have happened without luck, and without Clare-           Adams will open a solo show a CB1 Gallery in
can make paintings that don’t have any representational     mont.                                                          downtown Los Angeles.
things in them?’ That was a huge idea for me,” recalled        “I was so naïve and knew nothing, I could not have
Ms. Adams who, until then, was painting only land-          engineered it if I tried, but I had luck and somebody
scapes and still lifes. “This experience took my mind to    looking after me,” she said. “Having been in Claremont
another level.”                                             and not Butte, Montana or on the great plains of Ne-
   Since then, she has enjoyed a successful career as a     braska was an incredible stroke of luck. I was in a place
visual artist, exhibiting and curating shows around the     of unbelievable educational institutions, and just being
world; serving as an international artist-in-residence at   in that environment enabled the gods, the spirits, the cir-
places such as the Nordic Institute for Contemporary        cumstances, whatever you want to say, to play in my
Art in Finland and the World Design City in Japan;          favor. I’m telling you, otherwise, nothing would have
teaching at numerous institutions such as the University    happened. Nothing.”
of Southern California and the Otis College of Art and         Raised by parents who “didn’t know anything about
Design; serving as a Fulbright scholar in Slovenia; blog-   college or why you would go, and why in the hell
ging on Los Angeles art for the Huffington Post and         would you spend that kind of money,” Ms. Adams did
much more. Tomorrow, her next solo exhibition, “Par-        not have guidance or encouragement toward advanced
adise Notwithstanding,” will open at the CB1 Gallery in
Los Angeles.
                                                                                             FINDING HER PATH
   “For me, being an artist was not a choice,” she said.                              continues on the next page
                                                                                                                                               Claremont COURIER/Saturday, December 10, 2011   9
                                                                                                                                             “The best way I can put it is that I live in
continued from the previous page
                                                                                                                                             ‘Lisa Land’.”
                                                                                                                                                In “Paradise Notwithstanding,” open-
education. But she learned of the Clare-                                                                                                     ing tomorrow, Ms. Adams’ paintings
mont Colleges, and one day rode her                                                                                                          continue her exploration of dichotomy,
bike to Scripps and told the admissions                                                                                                      juxtaposing the real and the ideal, the
staff: “I want to go to school here.” Once                                                                                                   melancholic and the beautiful, “all the
she found out what a portfolio was and,                                                                                                      undesirable stuff and all the great stuff,”
with mega-help, made one (sort of: she                                                                                                       she said. The paintings also represent the
mailed Scripps loose slides in an enve-                                                                                                      juxtaposition of technique, equal in their
lope), she was in.                                                                                                                           attention to abstraction and representa-
   “Seems that they were impressed with                                                                                                      tion.
my work, but definitely not with my ap-                                                                                                         “Everything happily coexisting in the
plication,” Ms. Adams said.                                                                                                                  same art,” she remarked.
   The “somebody” looking after Ms.                                                                                                             Bringing her paintings from her small
Adams was artist, art professor and                                                                                                          studio into the larger space of the CB1
COURIER cartoonist Paul Darrow who                                                                                                           Gallery offers Ms. Adams the pleasure of
orchestrated a full scholarship to CGU                                                                                                       understanding her own work better.
for Ms. Adams after she graduated from                                                                                                          “There’s a much bigger conversation
Scripps.                                                                                                                                     going on when you can see a bunch of
   “He said, ‘Look, Lisa, I found a schol-                                                                                                   them at one time. They’re talking to each
arship for you and I’m going to tell them                                                                                                    other,” she said. “I’m curious to see what
they have to give it to you’,” she recalled.                                                      Photo by Jayme Odgers                      that conversation is about. What are they
“He was the most influential person. He        Ms. Adams, a graduate of CHS and Scripps College, will open a solo show to-                   going to say, going to say to me?”
was wonderful.”                                morrow, Sunday, December 11, at CB1 Gallery in downtown Los Angeles.                             And what are they going to say to you,
   With luck and support and an unwa-          doing other adjunct sorts of creativity is   paintings tell me what they want. I don’t        readers? Listen in at Ms. Adams’ exhibi-
vering commitment to art—“It is the            that when I came back to painting, it was    impose or say ‘that’s stupid, let’s try this.’   tion, “Paradise Notwithstanding,” open-
centerpiece of my life,” she said—Ms.          renewed. Not different. Refreshed.”          It’s intuitive. It’s about listening very        ing tomorrow, December 11 and running
Adams has now displayed her work in               Thematically, Ms. Adams embraces          closely and letting the paintings guide          through January 15, 2012. An artist’s re-
more than 20 solo exhibitions and over         dichotomous concepts and images in her       me.”                                             ception will be held tomorrow from 5 to
150 group exhibitions and public art           paintings, receiving ideas from an inter-       A mysterious process results in myste-        7 p.m.; and an artist’s talk and book sign-
projects, is prolifically published, and has   nal vision that she does not summon: it      rious artwork, which often puzzles ob-           ing will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. on
received many unique commissions,              just comes.                                  servers.                                         Sunday, December 18. CB1 Gallery is
such as painting an art car for BMW of            “My process is very mysterious, even         “It’s not as widely accessible as some-       located at 207 W. 5th St., Los Angeles.
North America.                                 to me,” she said. “I’ll have a spontaneous   thing like pop art where people can eas-            To view a selection of Ms. Adams’
   Despite the fun of experimenting with       flash of something, not a full hallucina-    ily recognize a figure or an environment.        paintings, visit
different media, Ms. Adams always re-          tion (though some have said I’m a natu-      It’s very hermetic,” Ms. Adams said.
                                                                                                                                                                       —Brenda Bolinger
turned to painting.                            ral hallucinator). And then one flash
   “All those other things were minimal        begets the next step, which begets the
forays,” she said. “The great thing about      next step. There’s no grand scheme, the

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Description: Claremont Courier profiles Claremont Graduate University alumna Lisa Adams. Dec. 10, 2011.