Robert Dewitt Adams is originally from the Washington, DC area, and lived in the Pacific Northwest 1996 - 2011. Currently in Jacksonville, he is adjunct faculty at the University of North Florida. He earned his MFA in 2007 from the University of Oregon. His work has been included in exhibitions around the U.S. and internationally, including shows at the Seattle Art Museum Rental/Sales Gallery; the Jacobs Gallery and DIVA in Eugene; the Viridian Artists Gallery in Manhattan; the Saville Gallery in Cumberland, Maryland; the Roseville Arts Center in Roseville, CA; and Galleria Vasari in Citta di Castello, Italy. Guest jurors selecting his work have come from institutions such as the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Carnegie Museum of Art, as well as from galleries including Elizabeth Leach in Portland, Howard House in Seattle, and Charles Cowles in New York. Images of Robert's work have appeared in the Eugene Weekly, Seattle Weekly, Art Access, and Artweek magazine. His cartoons and illustrations have won awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association. In addition to teaching at Lane Community College, Robert also served as Art Director for the Community Center for Performing Arts (Wow Hall) in Eugene. He collaborated on set design with Eugene's Ballet Fantastique for its Hult Center performance Visions d'Amour.
I began making photocopy collage art in high school, inspired by the do-it-yourself "˜zine culture. While taking my parents' advice and majoring in science at American University in Washington, D.C., I also took art classes. Growing up near Washington in a military family was a good place to learn cynicism and an interest in relationships of power. An alternate and more positive perspective on the world was provided by the Smithsonian's art museums, in particular its collections of pop art and the Washington Colorist school. The paradox of humanity's potential for creativity, measured against its penchant for ignorance and cruelty, continues to intrigue me.
Folk artists inspired me to paint, in their ability to make beautiful creations out of the overlooked and the everyday. I began using pop imagery after a conservation corps job fishing colorful trash from streams. I like to distill my images into simpler fields of color, reflecting the way art, through graphic design, has helped reduce the world into marketable products. Also, the simplification of concepts into symbols and icons has always attracted me: numbers, which make math and science possible; letters, which allow language and communication; colors and shapes, with their emotional overtones; and military, sports, and corporate emblems, which provide a sense of belonging and identity.
Humor and an appreciation of the absurd are vital to me. I combine disparate images and objects as a form of brainstorming, and as a metaphor for the layering of the self. In my work I invite the viewer to join me in thinking in new ways, to add new interpretations to the connections that I make.
(To see the Football Collage series and some other collections of my work, please click "Collections" to the right, otherwise click "Portfolio" for all the images.)
MFA University of Oregon, 2007
BS American University
Interview on 9 O'Clock Meltdown Podcast. https://www.listennotes.com/podcasts/9-oclock-meltdown/robert-adams-artist-june-2019-tPwnASYapKE/
Interview on KUMD Radio Gallery, May 7th, 2019.
‘Robert Dewitt Adams - retrospective show at CF Design, Duluth, MN, opening Friday April 26, 2019
Artist talk for Play exhibition, Duluth Art Institute, Aug. 10, 2017
2017 Radio Gallery interview on KUMD about Play exhibition: http://kumd.org/post/radio-gallery-play
2016 Radio Gallery interview on KUMD on Twin Ports Labor History exhibition:
2015 interview on WDSE-TV local PBS art show The Playlist:
2014 Duluth News Tribune article mentioning my work in the Arrowhead Biennial:
I have work currently available for loan through the Minneapolis Art Lending Library.
Dream Blog sketches at RapidEyeMemoirs on Blogspot.com
Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, “Imagination Squared,” group show, Spring 2021.
Rochester Contemporary Art Center, Rochester, NY, “6x6” Group Exhibition, Spring 2021.
The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach, 'Virtual Spring Exhibition,' May 2020. Ponte Vedra, FL.
Pineapple Art Center, 124 W 1st St. Duluth, MN. Open 2-6 pm M-F and Sat 12-4 through July 15, 2019
CF Design, Retrospective show. 230 E Superior St., Duluth, MN. Open Mon-Thu 7am-5pm, through July 11, 2019
Duluth Coffee Company Roastery, 101 E Superior St., Duluth, MN. Through July 31, 2019.
Duluth Art Institute 'Play' Exhibition, Duluth, MN, June 29- Sept 1, 2017 https://www.duluthartinstitute.org/Current-Exhibitions
Red Herring Lounge, 'Twin Ports Labor History' exhibition, Duluth, MN, February 12 - April 5, 2016
Minneapolis Art Lending Library, 2015.
Floating Library, Minneapolis, MN, Summer 2015.
60th Arrowhead Biennial, Duluth Art Institute, 2014.
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Duluth
Sanctuary Gallery, November 2014.
Phipps Center for the Arts, "45th Parallel"
Exhibition, Hudson, WI, 2013.
University of Minnesota Quarter Gallery, "Dance
of Words" show, Minneapolis, MN, 2013.
Ochre Ghost Gallery, "Cold War", Duluth, MN,
Prove Gallery "Field", Duluth, MN, January 2012.
Altered Esthetic gallery, "Bike Art VI", Minneapolis,
MN, June 2011.
Pacific Northwest Art Annual, University of Oregon,
Froelick Gallery "Equine" Show, Portland, OR, June