The fine folks at Hobbs Architects in downtown Pittsboro are powering our Meet This Artist series this year. Architecture is art, and the Hobbs crew values art in our community. They join us in inviting you to take a look. Meet your very inspiring neighbors. Meet This Artist . . .
Miki Adams is a quilter, a painter, and – only very recently – a free form stitcher of cloth. She has always been an artist.
Miki is one of those talented makers-of-things who can deliver a distinct immediate emotional message – a meta message of joy-at-first sight. The joy I am talking about is that feeling you get when the artist’s work instantly speaks to you. “I want a piece of this; I want to be where she is.”
The work communicates the artist’s body- and mind-set at the time of the making. I can imagine myself also having a good time – a joyful and abundant time — doing what she did. Something is shared and an invitation is proffered: You can walk through this door, too.
The work is both inspirational and aspirational; as it lifts the spirit, it prods one to enter her orbit and play, to do the same.
Joyful Dancing Planets, seen below, is a silly name for a good painting. Acrylic planets lift and swirl in a fiery red atmosphere. The atmosphere is rich and dense and conveys a sense of depth, an exciting place to visit. It’s hot and vibrant and layered and shimmering and populated with festive orbs on a play date.
Red Sea is a large (8’ x 6’) horizontal quilt. Patterned and solid fabric swatches in the red spectrum – vermillion, coral, crimson, Persian, and pomegranate — are stacked in narrow banded patches like a flattened log pile floating down a pale yellow river. The entire face – field and ground – is embossed with spiral stitchery binding each piece together. It’s a little hypnotic; something easy to look at for a long time. Floating near the center of the red field is a single patch of lavender. Miki told me this is her signature in this quilt, the artist herself…central, essential, small, carried by the current.
Adams’ most recent foray into the joy of making stuff is non-traditional, or improvisational, stitchery. Some folks call it “mindful stitchery.” Perhaps it’s too new to have an accepted title.
It’s collage, using chosen pieces of fabric cut and stacked and joined together with needle and thread. And using the thread to illustrate and bind the pieces together. It’s delicate and engaging. It reminds me of hand illustrated books in 3-D. These words don’t do it justice. This is what it looks like.
And here’s another one.
Miki caught the art making bug early, learned what she loves with life-long looking, and continues to be inspired by the work of other artists she admires. Her favorite artists – Richard Diebenkorn, Cy Twombly, Joan Mitchell, Wolf Kahn – taught Miki in the looking, and continue to inspire. She’s chasing some of the best.
Miki Adams makes it look fun to be an artist. To lose yourself in the exploration of line and color and the making. Not that Miki will make artists out of us all. She’s not trying to do that.
I asked Miki a few questions:
Where were you born?: In Heidelberg, Germany; grew up in Chapel Hill; now live in Pittsboro.
A favorite Childhood Memory?: Holding my father’s hand while walking down 5th Avenue to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, seeing all the pretty pictures with him.
My dream job?: As a child I dreamed of living on a farm, having one of each kind of animal. At forty, my dream partly came true, with fewer animals.
What inspires me?: Nature, and the work of artists.
Word to describe my art?: Improvisational, sincere, flawed.
When I’m not creating my art, you’ll find me: Reading, cavorting with friends, and looking for art wherever I can find it.
Most people don’t know: I sold eggs for bus fare in Washington, D.C.
The craziest, scariest thing I’ve ever done? Show my artwork to people. It’s like walking a tightrope naked for the first time in Downtown Pittsboro. That felt scary, too.
My favorite place to go in Chatham County is: Anyplace where baby goats play.
Miki’s work lights up the walls inside the Chatham Art Council at 118 West Street, Pittsboro. Open Tuesdays or by appointment: MikiAdams@icloud.com.