Artist Adam Allen Berry Makes way to Kansas City

(Kansas City) Adam Allen Berry is an artist and educator working in a wide variety of mediums. He has created thousands of works in sculpture and ceramics and his paintings are available at gallery's throughout the south east. You can contact him directly through this website where his works will be displayed upon completion. He is available for pottery and painting workshops and demonstrations. Performing Arts Center in Kansas City, Missouri rated his work as 'Amazing.' He now resides in the Kansas City area.

Here is an interview with Adam Berry:

Do you work from life, or from photographs or from imagination?

I work directly as often as possible. There is so much information, from the landscape that can be easily missed. You know visual memory is the weakest kind of memory we have. For instance, try to remember what your back yard looks like, or the pattern of your couch, and then go look. See how much information you left out? Now imagine what the taste of a hot dog with mustard tastes like . You can recall that information almost exactly. So when I’m in the studio I work from studies made directly from the subject. From time to time I will work from imagination but I avoid it whenever possible. Many think it’s easier to work from imagination but in actuality it’s a hindrance to creative work. Everything comes from somewhere. The closer you can get to your source for inspiration, the greater your freedom. It’s a bit of a paradox I think.

Where do you feel art is going? What is the role of the artist in society? What is the place of your work in society?

I feel that relevant art is a mirror held up to society. It reveals the good the bad and the ugly, If it does not, its pandering or plagiarizing. If it’s not new, it’s not necessary. So why do it. The role of the artist is to say ”hey, wake up, this is where we are, you are missing it! “History shows that all of the most important art serves this function. Even though it make take the world a hundred years to accept it. I make paintings that I want to see. That affects me deeply, but a universal level as well. Something of the human condition must exist in my work. And by that measure they may be able to touch someone else. That’s the only honest way I know to try to communicate to the viewer.

Which is more important to you, the subject of your painting, or the way it is executed?

For me, the imagery or objects in a painting are usually of little consequence. It’s just a way for the viewer to be invited in. A place to start.. If I paint a flower, I really am not concerned with “floweriness”, I much more concerned with formal relations, tensions, color, line, etc. Therefore, I try not to pet the work or be to fine in my approach. I was educated by abstract expressionist trained painters whom I love and admire, so that influences me to this day. I try to do what the painting tells me. A picture will tell you what color it needs, and every mark affects every other mark. And it gets to being quite a play of push and pull , a juggling of many variables and the hope is to have those elements gel and settle into a unified whole. It forces you to concentrate at your highest ability. It’s an amazing way to pass ones time. I highly recommend it. When I make a painting that I am at least half satisfied with, you can see me in that painting. And it’s me at my very best.

: Where do you do your work?

Both inside the studio and out in nature.

Do you work from life, or from photographs or from imagination?

I avoid working from imagination. It infinitely does not give you the truth. Otherwise it is a fantasy. You have to have your subject matter in front of you to get to the truth. A conversation with someone over text messages is vague at best. A.conversation over the phone is informative, but a conversation with someone face to face provide understanding that can only be gotten in that way.

What moves you most in life, either to inspire or upset you?

I refuse to be judgmental, but it is the romance that gets you going. I’m Not the same person after looking at Michelangelo. It is a True Life altering experience. It’s like a ball and your whole world is in it. It gets bigger when you travel 10,000 miles, meet 10,000 people and read 10,000 books. An artist has to pay his dues and leave a trail of work behind you. You have to bleed your work. That is your pay, the pay is time put in. It does not come any other way. You have to work very, very, very, very hard. What is most upsetting to me is how little time we have here to do what we need to.

What is great art?

Good art is timeless. It is permanent, and to be enjoyed eternally. It will assume a new relevance to each generation, and to yourself as you grow. It will connect to the past and feed the future. It has a simple and rigorous beauty that commands your gaze and thoughts whenever you look at it. The best work will break your heart as well as fill it with joy.. As a collector, you will know it when you see it. It's personal. You will not have to be convinced by anyone to acquire it; it will be something you simply must have. It is like a good marriage that completes a feeling inside you, something that lasts forever and grows with time.

Why do you do what you do?

I just have a need. A drive to do this. To make things The excitement overwhelms me at times. To engage in the creative act. My mind is constantly stimulated by the environment. I am constantly entertaining myself and enjoy myself making things. Its been my dominant pastime from my earliest memories.

How do you work?

Ideas bring studies to develop idealizations and thumb nail studies and they become bigger. If I don't have a good idea I work on past ideas until one develops in my mind. Starting is the most important part.

What’s your background?

Masters of Art Degree in 2004 University of Mississippi. Bachelors in fine arts. Efficient in painting and drawing, minor work in ceramics and sculptures. Taught at University of Mississippi, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, William Carey University, and Hattiesburg, MS. I have produced thousands of 2D and 3D dimensional sculptures and ceramics.

What art do you most identify with?

The artist that I respect and admire is those that create a new world. IF your not creating something new you are only plagiarizing. Cy Twombly is a prolific and the most talented. You can feel the love in his works.

What work do you most enjoying doing?

Studying and learning. The medium of oil, watercolor, acrylic, pastel. The approach of the subject dictates the medium.

What’s your strongest memory of your childhood? Drawing on the floor with my mother. Then showing my Dad when he came home from work my creation. The painting enclosed is of my hometown in Canandaigua, New York where I grew up. It is a Canandaigua Lake view and I love the landscape of that area.

What jobs have you done other than being an artist?

Worked in a printing shop and movie theater, tutored English, and was a life guard.

Why art?

What is an artistic outlook on life? Art is a lifestyle, Living in an artful way, Lifestyle, environment of manifestation, living life well with beauty all around you.

What is the first artwork you ever sold? Portrait of a baseball player.

Favorite place to see art?

Florence, Italy

Do you collect anything.

Everything original and anything interesting or unusual. Also records.

What’s the weirdest thing you ever saw happen in a museum or gallery?

In DC I saw Cy Twombly standing in front of his painting. A streaker ran through the gallery!

What’s your art world pet peeve?

Referring to an artist as artsy.

What is the last great book you read?

Art and Physics, by Leonard Swain

Do you have a gallery/museum going routine.

I take a trip around the world once a year to visit Museum Collections.

What unappreciated artist gallery or work do you think people should know about?


Who is your favorite artist?

Susan Rothenberg?

What are your hobbies?

Fishing, going antiquing and discovering treasures at flea markets. I also, enjoying nature and peace around me.

Name something you love, and why?

Technology, it’s easily accessible by computers and internet to anyone at any time. You can virtually tour the world without leaving your home!

Would you like to illustrate a children's book? I am interested in illustrating a children's picture book in the near future. I have a proposal for my first book for 2014.

Thank you so much for this special time with you and your world of art. Could you please leave us with your favorite quote and where we could find your past and newest works?

"Painting is easy when you don't know how. But very difficult when you do." Edgar Degas

Adam Allen Berry

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