Skowhegan Publication: SPACE/LAUNCH

SPACE/LAUNCH (the publication) was edited by artists Ester Partegás (A ’09), Sreshta RitPremnath (A ’09, founder, Shifter Magazine), Birgit Rathsmann (A ’04), Adam Shecter (A ’06), and Roger White (A ’05, co-founder, Paper Monument).  A newsprint edition of 500, it will be available for free. SPACE/LAUNCH features 39 works by the following artists:

Lauren Adams, A ’09, Trevor Amery, A ’13, Nicolás Bacal, A ’14, Seline Baumgartner, A ’14, Caitlin Berrigan, A ’08, Willard Boepple, A ’63, Katherine Bradford, F ’09, Gordon Chandler, A ’74, Sue Collier, A ’79, Don Edler, A ’12, Sharona Eliassaf, A ’11, Amy Feldman, A ’09, Ash Ferlito, A ’12, James Benjamin Franklin, A ’94, Daniel Giles, A ’13, Hiroyuki Hamada, A ’98, Shadi Harouni, A ’13, Jason Head, A ’07, John Houck, A ’08, Zerek Kempf, A ’06, Gwenessa Lam, A ’04, Martin Landau, A ’84, Jaeeun Lee, A ’11, Anthony Lepore, A ’04, Holli McEntegart, A ’14, Lavar Munroe, A ’13, Amy Pryor, A ’00, Ronny Quevedo, A ’13, Zizi Raymond, A ’86, Claudia Sbrissa, A ’03, Mike Schuwerk, A ’10, Rudy Shepherd, A ’00, Rachel Stern, A ’14, Ceaphas Stubbs, A ’12, Marc Swanson, A ’00, F ’14, Clare Torina, A ’12, Rodrigo Valenzuela, A ’13, Mary Walling Blackburn, A ’11, Claire Zitzow, A ’11


Group Exhibition at SideCar Gallery

EarthTwerks and other celestial familiars at SideCar Gallery in Hammond, Indiana November 15 – January 4, 2015 With EARTHTWERKS & Other Celestial Familiars, the collective of visual artists acts as curators, representing visual art trends across the United States and coming together under the conceptual rubric of the notion of heliograph. Embodying the communicative nature of the heliograph, a historic long-distance optical communication method for surveying and forest protection work, the exhibition at SideCar seeks to position each member’s practice in light of the networked nature of the group, despite the dispersed physical locations of each member.  As social and cultural space is shifting with the expansion of online accessibility the option to be portable and fluid becomes an alternative to wholesale relocation. The artists included in the show are: Lauren Frances Adams (MD), Eleanna Anagnos (NY), Joshua Bienko (TN), Clare Britt (IL), Eric Hibit (NY), Fritz Horstman(CT), Leeza Meksin (NY), Sheilah Wilson (OH), Zahar Vaks (NY), Christine Wong Yap (NY). SideCar Gallery can be found online at: The gallery is located at 411 Huehn Street, Hammond, Indiana, 46327.]]>

Two-Person Exhibit at University of North Georgia

Belongings Once Were, curated by Beth Sale at The University of North Georgia, September 22 – October 17, 2014 A two-person show featuring the works of Lauren F. Adams and Jasey Jones. “In her own words, artist Lauren Adams represents through her paintings situations that “take to task American consumerism”. Similarly, artist Jasey Jones layers images such as vintage advertising and contemporary packaging barcodes to create inescapable references to consumerism. Thorstein Veblen, noted nineteenth-century sociologist and economist, invented the term “conspicuous consumption” to refer to the practice of spending money on luxury goods as statements of economic power. Through their works in the exhibition, Belongings Once Were, Adams and Jones invite their viewers to consider the definitions and aesthetics of luxury vs. need through time, and the price of acquisition and who may have paid it. Most striking in the work of each artist is the frequent juxtaposition of famous paintings or delicate porcelain, objects synonymous with wealth and luxury, with sobering images of slave ships or receipts for the sale of children. Through layers of paint, paper, and porcelain, the artists also layer contrasting definitions of art, product, and the price of wealth. The noted art historian, Leo Steinberg, once famously remarked that all art is about art in a ground- breaking article of the same title. In Belongings Once Were the viewer will recognize iconic artworks such as Gaugin’s French Polynesia, the Palace at Versaille, or English Garden porcelain. The artists, however, invite the viewer to look beyond the familiar images. In Decorum #10, Adams directs the viewer to consider the life of a Polynesian woman pre-European contact prior to her marketing and objectification. Similarly, Decorum #7 invites one to consider the once rare and elegant pastime of taking tea against a representation of the tiles of the courtyard of Versaille, which were laid with backbreaking labor. In a clever and thought-provoking play on words, Decorum #20 depicts luxurious Toile fabric by Brunschwig & Fils overlaid by silhouettes of slaves who helped make the creation of such fabrics possible: toil begets Toile.”

Above text by Deborah Prosser, Ph.D.


'American Catastrophe Report' at American University, Washington, D.C.

American Catastrophe Report American Catastrophe Report on view at American University Katzen Arts Center August 2014 – August 2015. For more information:

Artist Lauren Frances Adams has created American Catastrophe Report, an installation that acts as both homage and critique of the decorative frescoes in the United States Capitol Building, originally painted in the 19th c. by Italian-born artist Constantino Brumidi. The site-specific artwork by Adams is installed in American University’s Katzen Arts Center, in both the upper and lower rotunda in the center of the building, less than six miles from where Brumidi’s paintings are located. The prints forming American Catastrophe Report have the appearance of paintings due to the unique process Adams uses, where hand-painted originals are digitally scanned then printed for long-term public display. Adams updates Brumidi’s Capitol ornamentation by directly addressing ecological disasters in America that have been caused by human activities.

Visitors to the Katzen Arts Center will see an installation that is a mix of appropriated and invented imagery. Adams adapts Brumidi’s original frescoes in the U.S. Senate Wing that picture landscapes of the sparsely populated western states of the mid-19th century, as well as a variety of detailed images of birds. According to historians, Brumidi copied from lithographs in the Pacific Railroad Report and the Mexican Boundary Report, published in the 1850’s.  It is possible that Brumidi’s incorporation of these landscapes were intended to not only celebrate scenic visions of America but also to promote a comprehensive identity of American geography and inevitable settlement. Further promoting specificity of place, the birds pictured in the Senate wing point to the importance of uniquely American subject matter in Brumidi’s efforts. Assistant curator for the Office of Senate Curator, Amy Elizabeth Burton, writes about the time capsule nature of the paintings, stating  in the catalogue (published in 2014) To Make Beautiful the Capitol: Rediscovering the Art of Constantino Brumidi, “Brumidi’s birds reflect the 19-century surge in westward expansion and federal support for exploration and scientific discovery across the young and developing nation.”

Extending and celebrating this act of copying, Lauren Frances Adams has updated Brumidi’s masterful efforts with similar forms — landscapes and ornithological themes — but with a decidedly different artistic outcome. Reflecting a century and a half of human enterprise since Brumidi’s time, a selection of landscapes in decorative cartouches offers up these situations: Fracking (in rural Pennsylvania), the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, Mountaintop Removal Mining (in West Virginia), the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (in the Gulf of Mexico), and Climate Change (specified as glacial retreat in Alaska). Corresponding to each man-made ecological disaster, and pointing towards the totalizing effects of habitat destruction, pollution via chemicals and garbage, and changes in weather conditions, Adams has included several birds that represent the threats to fauna as environmental destruction advances: Scarlet Tanager, Bristle-Thighed Curlew, Cerulean Warbler, Brown Pelican, and the Tufted Puffin.

Other imagery present throughout the rotunda gives depth to the historical relationships between American citizens and our physical landscape. Acting as symbolic prescience, ornamental designs incorporate two birds distinctly absent from America today: the Carolina Parakeet and the Passenger Pigeon, both extinct. Decorative flora in the paintings incorporates kudzu, a non-native species that has caused widespread ecological damage in the United States. Lofted high above, two medallions face one another in the upper rotunda: a war-like eagle and a gentle lamb. Utilizing the neoclassical aesthetic employed by Constantino Brumidi (who was in turn inspired by ornamental Renaissance paintings in the Vatican), Adams incorporates uniquely American identifications, inviting visitors to the American University Katzen Arts Center to reflect upon the conundrum of the contemporary American condition visualized in American Catastrophe Report.

About the artist: Lauren Frances Adams mines the histories of power, labor, and visual culture to make surprising connections that resonate with current sociopolitical issues. She is a 2007 MFA graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, and lives and works in Baltimore, Maryland, where she is a full-time faculty member in painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art. She has had recent solo exhibitions at Back Lane West, Cornwall, UK; Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis; EXPO Chicago; Conner Contemporary, Washington, D.C. and Royal NoneSuch Gallery, Oakland, California. Her work has been featured in group exhibitions including: The Walters Art Museum (as a finalist for the Sondheim Prize) in Baltimore, MD; Nymans House and Gardens, Sussex, UK; CUE Foundation, New York; Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, PA; and the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA; among many others. She has been awarded Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris residency, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture residency, and she is a Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant recipient. Adams is the co-founder of Ortega y Gasset Projects, a gallery and long-distance artist collective in Bushwick/Ridgewood neighborhood in Queens.  For more information, visit her website at

For further press inquiries, contact the artist directly:

The artist would like to thank the faculty and staff at American University who made the installation possible, including: Professor Zoë  Charlton, Professor Tim Doud, Facilities Manager Jason Lurie, Installation team Bonner Sale and Zac Willis, the print center technicians at MICA, and especially The Clark Hulings Fund.


'Precarious Prototypes' and 'Decorum' at The Walters Art Museum

precarious prototypes walters art museum Precarious Prototypes on view at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, June – August 2014.

At the core of my work are critical explorations of labor and class in visual culture. I draw heavily upon the historical decorative arts to find contradictions within the contexts they originated. In my work, objects such as wallpaper patterns, ceramics, and paintings do not simply reflect the mood of a given culture but are also tools for critique.

Alongside painting and mixed-media installations, I use domestic materials in my research on the construction of political identityThese ubiquitous yet formative objects are of great interest to me—particularly repetitive decorative patterns. In these patterns, I alter and manipulate both the images they depict and the notions of authoritative taste they promote.

My installation here is composed of two related bodies of work: Decorum, an ongoing series of paintings that attempt to trace global histories of enslaved peoples from antiquity to the present, and Precarious Prototypes, a textile installation that responds to and transforms selected objects from the Walters Art Museum’s collection. In this installation of Decorum, the museum becomes a venue for an open-ended but limited investigation of slavery. In considering the relationship between ornament and oppression, my inquiry comprises  appropriation and historic archival research. In Precarious Prototypes, the museum’s own collection has been used to focus on the mannered representation of enslaved peoples and other figures-in-service throughout the history of art and to consider its place in museums and popular culture.

I began this project (Precarious Prototypes) in search of objects in The Walters Museum collection that depicted enslaved peoples.  Expanding my inquiry into the museum as labor archive, Precarious Prototypes ultimately explores the mannered representations of servitude and objectification within the museum’s collection. Select objects are exhibited as well as printed, to understand and unsettle the role of the museum as master narrator. And so, the drapery both reveals and conceals, becoming an index of unstable contradictions. Specifically, I am looking at how depictions of the body as subservient, contorted, dehumanized, grotesque and lacking agency, unravel how art history becomes art as history.

Decorum Walters Museum Lauren Adams Above, installation view of Decorum

Decorum is an incomplete but growing index of the histories of enslaved people as evinced in historical records. Allusions to slavery in the paintings are juxtaposed with decorative and textual sources in order to trace the complex structures that surround labor and power inequalities. Decorum considers the problems of sufficiently representing the legacy of slavery. Archival remnants of slave narratives, ornament, and my own personal inquiries constitute an open-ended process of asking how might the decorative arts participate, either actively or silently, in promoting or reflecting dominant ideologies of social hierarchy, political authority, and cultural fantasy.

Part of the Sondheim Prize Exhibition at the Walters Art Museum, juried by Claire Gilman, Sarah Oppenheimer and Olivia Shao.

Fore more information, visit The Walters website.

Press reviews: The Baltimore City Paper The Baltimore Sun BmoreArt Art Fag City


Sondheim Finalists Exhibition at the Walters Museum

walters museum baltimore lauren adams I have been selected as a finalist for the Janet and Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize. My work will be on view at The Walters Art Museum from Saturday, June 21, 2014, through Sunday, August 17, 2014. Presented by the Walters and the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, this exhibition will show the work of the finalists for the 2014 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize. Artists will compete for top honors and a $25,000 fellowship in the Greater Baltimore area’s most prestigious arts competition. The prize assists in furthering the career of a visual artist or visual artist collaborators living and working in this region. Held in conjunction with Artscape, America’s largest free arts festival, the semifinalist and finalist exhibitions will be presented in partnership with the Walters and the Maryland Institute College of Art. The competition winner will be announced at the awards ceremony at the Walters on July 12. Artscape will be July 18–20, 2014. The other finalists are Kyle Bauer, Shannon Collis, Marley Dawson, Neil Feather, Kyle Tata, and Stewart Watson. Read more on the Artscape website and at the Walters Museum website.]]>

Artist Talks at Clermont Forum II

This day of artist talks and discussion for the Rotating History Projects will include talks by artists Oletha DeVane, Chris Mona, Lauren Adams, Melissa Webb, and Sally Myers, as well as a discussion with community members Mary Gillison and BIll Staples. There will be one more round of artist talks for Clermont Forum II: Interpreting Clermont’s History Through Art when the exhibit opens to the public again on May 31 from 3-7. You may contact Clermont regarding private visits to the exhibit: 801 East Main Street Berryville, VA 22611 Telephone: 540-955-0102 Email:]]>

Grant Support from the Clark Hulings Fund


New York: The Clark Hulings Fund For Burgeoning Visual Artists is pleased to announce that Lydia Musco and Lauren Frances Adams, two emerging artists, have been named the Fund’s first grant winners.

Says Elizabeth Hulings who, with her mother Mary, founded The Fund in honor of her father, Clark Hulings, “On behalf of the distinguished panel of judges, I am delighted thatLydia Musco and Lauren Frances Adams were selected as the Clark Hulings Fund’s first grant recipients.  Because of the quality of their work, their innovation and nature of their projects for which they requested assistance, these two women offered the strongest excellent potential for The Fund to make a tangible difference in each of their careers.”

In conjunction with her gallery show at the Petersham Art Center, in Petersham, Massachusetts, Lydia Musco, from nearby Royalston, will use the grant money to create a new outdoor sculpture specifically for the Art Center’s lawn. “When the The Petersham Art Center invited me to mount an exhibition, I was keen to juxtapose my smaller pieces with a larger-scale work installed outside the building,” says 35-year old Ms. Musco.  “Although my work is influenced by urban spaces and environments, it is equally fed by a connection to the rural, wooded landscapes I explored while growing up. Along with ideas of architecture and constructed space, certain fundamental elements of nature have remained within my visual and object-making vocabulary, such as sedimentary layers and the work of gravity and time. This grant now allows me to create a new outdoor sculpture, gaining valuable experience within the realm of public art and I thank the Clark Hulings Fund for their generosity and support.”  Ms. Musco was awarded a $5,000 grant.

Growing up in the rural American South, 34-year old Lauren Frances Adams, who now lives in Baltimore Maryland, sought support for an upcoming seventh-month site-specific installation next April 2014 at the historic Clermont Farm, a former plantation slave-holding site in Clarke County Virginia, managed by the state of Virginia. Says Ms. Adams, “At the center of my work is a concern with what defines American identity. As Bruce Nauman once said, ‘art is a means of acquiring an investigative attitude.’ Continuing this exploration, the upcoming project with the Rotating History Project at the Clermont Farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia has afforded me the opportunity to make a new site-specific body of work.  Alongside seven other artists, I will make archival inquiries into the layered history of the former plantation farm: once a pre-Columbian Native American hunting ground, then famously surveyed by George Washington, then a successful slave-holding farm, and now a whisper of its past selves. I have been given the original 1755 sitting room of the house for an immersive installation, which I am still developing but will involve painting and image-making.” Ms. Adams received a $4,500 grant.

The judging panel included Meredith Bergmann, Peter Falk, Thomas R. Kellaway, Philip Koch, Dan Ostermiller, Jennie Ottinger, and Bart Walter.  Peter Falk, of Rediscovered Masters, based his decision on three criteria: “First, the images had to be innovative and compelling right off the bat. Next, they had to make me think deeper about what I was absorbing, and finally, they had to possess the power to make me return and explore the submission afresh.”

Says Philip Koch, an expressionist painter with roots in realism, and a professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Lauren Frances Adams takes a contemporary look back at traditional Americana, borrowing elegant lace-like designs of traditional decoration like

wallpaper and inserts it into unexpected images, such as the struggle for justice of the labor movement. Looking at her work gives you a surreal double-take, while Lydia Musco’s irregular  hand-built organic towers are imposing, yet humble, and seem to gesture with their own personality.”

About Clark Hulings

Clark Hulings’ ascendency in the art realm began in 1945 with a one-man show in Santa Fe, NM, the first of two-dozen gallery presentations he would have over the course of a peripatetic 65-year career. The capstone show took place at New York City’s esteemed Forbes Gallery in 2011, just seven weeks after his death. Writing about this solo exhibition, “ClarkHulings: An American Master,” in a lengthy article about it in the March/April 2011 Fine Art Connoisseur, Peter Trippi called Hulings’ vividly realistic tableaux of village and farm life in Europe, Mexico and the United States “superb.”

Even though Hulings’ representational works stand in stark contradistinction to the Expressionistic, Pop and Minimalist creations of his peers, Trippi noted that he relished “enormous success among private collectors and commercial galleries, yet never became familiar to [the] mainstream,” a circumstance that produced no resentment on Hulings’ part. “I enjoyed what I was doing so much that there was no point in trying to be somebody else,” he said genially. “I decided to be the best I could be in painting conventional subjects in a traditional style.”

Hulings took a keen interest in colleagues who appreciated his self-assured approach, sharing his expertise with them at institutions like the New York City’s venerable Art Students League. Following Hulings’ death, at age 88, his wife Mary and daughter Elizabeth considered ways for them to carry on his collaborative spirit, leading them to establish TheClark Hulings Fund.

All contributions to the Clark Hulings Fund, a 501 C-3, are tax-deductible. For more information, visit


The Neighbors at American University Museum

THE NEIGHBORS April 1 – June 1 Curated by Zoë Charlton and Tim Doud at the Katzen Arts Center at American University, Washington, DC In Residence: The Neighbors is the third and final installment ofa three part colloquia series highlighting the reciprocity between the Washington art community and academic institutions in the DC metro area. The exhibition, co-curated by professors Zoë Charlton and Tim Doud, illustrates a cross-section of nineteen talented and diverse teaching artists from thirteen universities and colleges in the area. Artists: George Washington University: Julia Brown, Dean Kessmann George Mason University: Mia Feuer Georgetown University: John Morrell Catholic University: Jonathan Monahan Howard University: David Smedley Corcoran College of Art and Design: Ivan Wittenstein James Madison University: Jesse Harrod University of Maryland Baltimore County: Calla Thompson MICA: Zlata Baum, Lauren Adams, Fletcher Mackey, Sangram Majumdar Towson University: Nora Stuges, Amanda Burnham Bowie State University: Gina Lewis McDaniel College: Steve Pearson University of Maryland, College Park: Hasan Elahi, Dawn Gavin Speculative Column (Modified reproduction of the column from the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom, National Archives, Washington, D.C.) Gouache on vinyl 4′ x 17′ Katzen Center for the Arts, American University, Washington, D.C. 2014 The Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. displays the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, and the Bill of Rights. These three documents, known collectively as the Charters of Freedom, have set forth the rights of the American people for more than two hundred years. My artwork for the Katzen Center for the Arts at American University in Washington, D.C. is a reproduction of one of the columns flanking the documents within the rotunda. The columns boast an eagle as a decorative finial, an enduring symbol of American patriotism and supreme power and authority. An addition to the column is a commonly found surveillance camera. The juxtaposition of these references within the wall painting point to the ongoing challenges to basic rights of American citizens as we enter a hyper-vigilant surveillance state. As technology advances and rights are usurped in the name of national security, and because privacy is linked to freedom of expression and many other rights, the combination of the column and the camera reveal an inherently irreconcilable violation of the Bill of Rights. Like much of my other artworks, Speculative Column illustrates an interest in cross-examining decorative symbolism for contradictions in the face of real and present conditions. The artwork is executed in paint on adhesive-backed vinyl and installed in the main entrance to the museum’s architectural interior. The effect for the viewer is similar to Hans Holbein’s 1533 painting ‘The Ambassadors’, where the anamorphic skull snaps into view in extreme perspective. For Speculative Column, however, the correct viewing perspective is impossible to achieve within the museum architecture.]]>