Kevin’s paintings and prints are regularly on display across the United States in both private and public collections. He is a member of The Salmagundi Club, in New York City. The U.S. Department of State, through its Art in Embassies Program, has selected a number of Kevin’s American landscapes to hang in embassies around the world. The U.S. Department of the Interior has twice commissioned significant collections of Kevin’s work: For the 75th Anniversary of the Grand Canyon National Park, Kevin created a series of paintings of the inner gorge of the canyon, and for the 85th Anniversary of Glacier National Park, he likewise produced a series of paintings of the park’s back country. Exhibitions of these series were held both at the parks and at the Department of the Interior Museum in Washington, D.C.
At the invitation of the then-Soviet government in 1989, Kevin accompanied a traveling solo exhibition of his work across the Soviet Union, and Kevin subsequently hosted two Russian artists whom the government of Mikhail Gorbachev permitted to visit and work in the United States. In addition, the National River Conservation Association commissioned a series of works by Kevin to document the Bio Bio River in Chile prior to construction of a major dam that changed the river’s course and depth forever.
Kevin grew up in Oxford, Maryland, and studied painting at the American Institute in Southern France and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. As an Officer in the United States Marine Corps, he was recognized for his artistic ability and was assigned the job title of Combat Artist. Kevin also has designed theatrical sets, including for the Washington National Opera.
After a number of years of living and working in the District’s Adams Morgan neighborhood, he now resides and keeps his studio in the historic town of Washington, Virginia.
Kevin is represented in “Little Washington” by the Gay Street Gallery, and also by the Julie Heller Galleries in Provincetown, Massachusetts. He has twice had shows in New York City and has participated in solo and juried group exhibitions around the country.
Download Kevin H. Adams' CV here.
A Word from the Artist
My studio space is almost as important to my work as my canvas, paint and brush. I have to be comfortable in order to concentrate, but the room has to recede from my consciousness so that I am “in the moment” that I am painting. After being in three different studio spaces since I moved to Rappahannock County, in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, in 2005 I am really happy to finally be “home” in my new studio in Little Washington.
What do I mean by “in the moment”? I primarily paint landscapes (including city- and town-scapes), and I choose to paint those things that have stopped my eye, caused me to pause and really look. On canvas, I try to hold onto what first caught my eye. What specifically was it that stopped me? What is it that took me back to a moment ago, or made me think back to yesterday/last week? That is what I am drawn to communicate when I paint.
I work “en plein air” (on location) as much as possible. This gives me so much more than the opportunity to paint. It offers me the chance to observe the changing light, the movement of shadows over a shape. This helps me to understand more clearly how colors, edges, and details are visually pushed away, or brought nearer. Returning to the studio with these partially finished paintings, I try to maintain the essence of my presence in that place and “ownership” of that moment. I want my paintings to say: “I saw this, and it spoke to me, and I wanted to share my experience with you!”
Although I obviously care to a degree about painterly things like composition, weight and texture of paint, brushstroke, and the like, the reason I paint is to share, and by sharing my experiences I share a part of who I am. I can’t always articulate when I begin a painting what it is that I need to communicate, but in finishing a painting, I learn something about myself. Certain colors, shapes, themes resonate and excite me. Those are the things that I am drawn to paint. With time I hope that has become more clear, and strong. I find that I continue to return to certain themes, but with a growing desire to say more, with less; as my marks of paint are refined and made with greater confidence: to show atmosphere, light and form.
I feel so fortunate to be able to spend my life listening to the wind through the trees, and to share as much of that through my paintings as possible. Every painting is a challenge to complete. Creating something that feels new, unique, and with evidence of a personal experience has been and will be my challenge.
If you’d like to know more about my background, my resume is here. And if you are in or near Little Washington, please come by my studio. I love to talk about what’s on my easel at the moment!