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Local artist encourages students to 'Pick up a brush' - Technician: Home

Local artist encourages students to 'Pick up a brush'

Elementary school teacher and on-campus art instructor brings acrylic exhibit to craft center.

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Posted: Tuesday, September 6, 2011 12:00 am

Kirk Adam, local artist and N.C . State Crafts Center instructor, has an exhibit in the lobby of the Crafts Center called Modern Abstracts which features several different acrylic-painted canvases.

The exhibit made its debut on Aug.17 and will be displayed until Oct. 30.

Kirk Adam spends much of his time teaching. Whether it's in a college craft room or an elementary school classroom, his passion for art transcends himself. Adam also teaches abstract acrylic classes at the center so that students may learn his techniques.

Adam works at the Neuse Charter School in Smithfield, NC as an art teacher for Kindergarteners through fifth-graders. The school was the first public charter school in North Carolina and has a concentration in international studies. Adam is an asset to these students because art expands the mind far beyond the classroom and into a more creative place.

"I encourage all students to pick up a brush and just start painting," Adam said.

This charge is evident in the exhibition stationed at the Crafts Center, and students and staff who stopped to admire the acrylics mentioned the art made them want to paint.

Anna Walker, a sophomore in landscape architecture, described the paintings as using different colors and textures to represent different people and ideas coming together in one picture.

"And even though that picture is a hodge-podge of color and shapes," Walker said, "it represents the imperfections of all of us and the world around us."

Some of the paintings feature large spheres and circles interacting with one another, while others depict almost a grid-like pattern with straight strokes and perpendicular lines.

Community Engagement Assistant for Arts N.C . State Sara Bell particularly liked the canvases that highlighted the circular patterns because she said they reminded her of being in the middle of a storm.

"There's so much movement and energy that they make me feel as if I am in the middle of a tornado or in the eye of a hurricane," Bell said.

Several of the pieces shared categories such as Jasportoria and City Scape and each of these corresponding paintings seemed to feed off of one another. Katherine Hoke, a sophomore in psychology, noted that she was particularly partial to the Jasportoria pieces.

"I find it interesting that the artist is reverting to childhood with the use of free-form shapes and his unexpected use of color." Hoke said. "The pieces are whimsical and remind me of the work of Kandinski."

Upon hearing that the artist also taught elementary school classes, Hoke noted that it was evident in Adam's artwork that he had a great deal of passion for young people and for the bright colors represented in the paintings.

Outside of the on-campus exhibition, Adam has his own studio in Raleigh called Kirk Adam Studio. It is located in Boylan Heights off of Hillsborough Street in downtown Raleigh. There are activities almost every night of the week in his studio -- ranging from hula hoop making to guitar lessons to sneaker design.

On Sunday afternoons in the studio, Adam teaches art lessons to young children followed by a non-instructional open studio class the following night. Monday's evening course will be for all ages and all skill levels. Appointments for studio time can either be made as individual lessons or as group lessons.

For more information about workshop times and costs, visit kirkadam.blogspot.com and check out some of his availabilities.

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