Carris Adams

2018 Artist in Residence

Carris Adams’ work visually investigates markers of “domesticated space”. The domestication of space occurs through the markers and signs of presence (i.e. roads, residential structures, commercial structures, government buildings, cemeteries, advertisements etc.) resulting in “grounding”. This act of grounding produces neighborhoods and sites, often defined by temporal boundaries and limits. Human necessity (in addition to prejudices, politics, and aesthetics) aids in the formation of boundaries and subsequent value judgments about the inhabitants surrounding these objects. Carris’ work investigates these markers and the relational threads between ownership in marginalized spaces, politics, class, histories, celebration, and resilience. Her itinerant tendencies and unsettled curiosity allow for found images, objects and language to become source material for the studio. Thusly the works are conceptually multi-layered, often with double or triple meanings that seek to inform and position viewers to recognize their assumptions, recall an experience and perhaps note how societal markers materialize in the landscape.

Adams is a visual artist whose practice visually investigates markers of “domesticated space”. The conceptually multi-layered works seek to inform and position viewers to recognize their assumptions, recall an experience and perhaps note how societal markers materialize in the landscape. Adams received her BFA from the University of Texas at Austin (2013) and her MFA from the University of Chicago (2015). Adams’s work has been exhibited at The Studio Museum in Harlem ( New York, NY) , The Logan Center Exhibitions at The University of Chicago (Chicago, IL), Produce Model Gallery (Chicago, IL) Tiger Strikes Asteroid Gallery (Chicago,IL) and The Courtyard Gallery at The University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX).


Residency Period:

Jun 2018–Jun 2018

Project Statement:

As a Spudnik artist in residence, I will create 3 editions of prints based on my paintings PRAYPRAYPRAY, Bone No. 40, and BeautyfeelFEELbeauty. While creating these paintings I enjoyed the process of experimenting with materials, composition and mark making in an effort to embody my experience of encountering the original markers in the landscape. While painting and drawing is my primary mode of working, I make it my goal to experiment with different forms that can better the work.

With this in mind, I chose these three paintings as sources because they are all created from signage in the landscape that exists in multiples. For instance, PRAYPRAYPRAY was inspired by an old newspaper bin that had been painted black, except for PRAY stenciled in white letters on its sides. I found this newsletter bin in the Southshore neighborhood of Chicago, but more have been spotted in Hyde Park, Wicker Park and Garfield Park. Who is this anonymous artist giving pedestrians a directive to pray and why? Is it what our world needs? And to whom do we pray?

Thus, just as PRAYPRAYPRAY enabled myself and the viewer to question its mission and motive, I aim to create an edition of prints that will do the same. Through printmaking, I want to experiment with color, texture, composition and mark-making. The option to have a work of art exist in multiples just as it does in the world is unchartered territory in my practice and I am interested in exploring this further.

Image: Carris Adams, PRAYPRAYPRAY, 2017.