Professor (Retired), White Rock, Philadelphia, PA. Born: Philadelphia, USA.
Jim Adams was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1943 and lived Philadelphia until the age of twenty-four when he moved west to California. In Philadelphia, he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Temple University and his Masters Degree from the University of Pennsylvania. While in California, Jim taught printmaking at Cal State, Long Beach, and drawing at the Laguna Beach School of Art and Design. After a year in California, he moved to Vancouver, B.C. in 1970, where he took up a position in the Fine Arts Department of the then newly created Douglas College. He stayed with the department when it became part of what is now Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and remained there until his retirement in 2000.
For the past 40 years, Jim has been an advocate for the visual arts. As an active artist, he primarily uses acrylic and has work in private and public collections, and exhibits internationally. Jim’s most recent exhibitions are Mt. Olympus Redux, Myths Revisited at the Maple Ridge Art Gallery, and Myths and Reality at the Amelia Douglas Gallery.
Community: Includes, chair, British Columbia Festival of the Arts; served as a member and chair, Surrey Public Art Advisory Committee.
Honours: Surrey’s Civic Treasure status for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement (2008); featured in 1st & 2nd editions of Who’s Who in Black Canada.
Favourite book: The Horse’s Mouth by Joyce Carey. It’s a stunningly descriptive look at the passion, obsession and desire of being an artist.
Favourite quotes? “The true meaning of life is how you face your death when there are no witnesses.” – Robert Hughes & “An artist must be able to create significant imagery with the simplest of tools, otherwise the artist is a slave to technology.” – Jim Adams
Given the chance, what would you love to do that you haven’t done yet? See the Earth from orbit and fly into deep space.
Who or what inspires you? My wife, Mary; the world; the incredible formations at sunset; Turner, Sheeler, Wood, Hopper and Lawrence; the movie 2001.
Why do you do what you? Ballerina Pavlova said it best: “If I could write what I feel, I wouldn’t have to dance.” I paint because I have to.