Jerry Adams - Artist
Tennessee native Jerry Adams is a typical artist - if you can call any artist typical - in that art is his passion, and his urge to find self-expression is what drives him to create. It gratifies him when viewers like what they see, yet approval - or the lack of it - has no significant effect on his motivation. Still, he has hopes of finding enough exposure and acceptance to make his art a viable enterprise. While this is the daunting challenge all artists encounter, Adams faces the additional hurdle of cerebral palsy, which in his case profoundly affects his motor skills.
The disability Adams was born with has little, if any, influence on the creative, expressive aspects of his artistry; it requires mention, however, because the major role it plays in defining the technique and style, as well as the content, of his art. Adams works in broad, sweeping strokes, first layering and then blending colors to create dreamscape images with depth and motion.
Art is a kind of personal salvation for Adams, who has spent most of his adult life in communal living environments where personal career opportunity often appears out of reach. When he began painting in 1980, Adams found out not only a meaningful hobby but also a much-needed emotional release from the mounting frustration of limited choices and an uncooperative body. Painting, according to Adams, was a significant remedy, providing self-esteem and a healthy - albeit a sometimes darkly intense - means of expression.
Though largely a self-styled painter, Adams studied under Hazel King at Nashville's Centennial Park Art Center. Additionally, Providence had placed a few gifted art hobbists on staff at Adams' support agency, Progress, Inc. With their encouragement, instruction and assistance in adapting his materials to accomodate his disability, Adams began producing a body of work in both watercolor and acrylic. He has since developed a surreal, abstract style in which color and shape randomly collide to purposefully express raw, murky emotion as well as joyous freedom and release.
The work of Jerry Adams is included in numerous private collections in and around Nashville, and has been exhibited at Nashville International Airport, Vanderbilt University, The Tennessee Performing Arts Center and First American Bank. In 1993, Adams received the Metro Davidson County Disabled Artist of the Year award; In 1998, he won top honors in the Professional division at the Tennessee State Fair. In the autumn of 1998, his work was included in a grand opening show at East Nashville's The Other Side Gallery, where he has since been invited to utilize studio space.
Examples Of some of Jerry's Work
Jerry Adams, Artist
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