BK ADAMS.I AM ART Redefines Sculpture at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center

By Christina Sturdivant on August 6, 2014


BK ADAMS.I AM ART Mynd Alive Exhibition at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center. Photo courtesy of the artist.

In the fall of 2012, BK ADAMS.I AM ART received a proposal he could not refuse.

“I was offered the 6,000 square foot sculpture garden and thought that was the greatest idea,” says the DC native who’s Mynd Alive exhibition is on display at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center.

Securing this coveted space has allowed Adams to do something he hasn’t done in years- exhibit pieces solely of his first love, sculpture.

“Most people don’t know that I started off sculpting,” he says. “Painting was an aspect that came as part of the sculpture. I enjoy painting the metal surfaces as if they were cotton canvasses—I enjoy treating them as such.”

Not since exhibiting at the Peace, Love & Harmony Sculpture Garden in the H Street Corridor in 2010 has Adams presented an exhibition of this manner. This time, however, each piece is created by welding, a skill the artist has since mastered.

The 18-piece collection fully inhabits the space as sculptures scale above and throughout the garden’s perimeters, calling for attention with vibrant colors and unique forms. Each piece tells its own story, but collectively spark mental stimulation. Adams considers himself a thinker first, and as such, seeks to create new patterns of thought with his audiences, challenging them to awaken and become liberated.

For those who enter the Katzen Arts Center sculpture garden, the artist hopes they leave with a more open-minded sense of themselves and the environments they encounter each day.

Which sculpture stands out the most? Perhaps, the 62” x 164” elephant constructed of steel, iron, glass and paint, titled Alive, a favorite of the artist’s mother.

Alive sculpture by BK ADAMS.I AM ART. Photo courtesy of the artist.

The self-taught artist garnered an interest in art after a bicycle accident at the age of eight. Confined in a hospital for two months, he spent his days painting, uninhibited. Since then, he has been on a mission to constantly create, grow and climb to new heights in his artistry.

From a group exhibition at the Kreeger Museum to a solo exhibition at the Smithsonian Museum in Anacostia, Adams has gained an appreciation of working and exhibiting in the nation’s capital.

“When you first come into contact with DC, you don’t automatically feel that it’s a place where there’s a big art scene or that its a town that enjoys art—even though it’s the home of the Smithsonian—but there are a wide range of collectors and art lovers here,” says Adams.

For the past two years, however, Adams has not been able to sit still in the District. In 2013, he was selected as a resident artist at AIR Serenbe, in Serenbe Georgia. In 2012, he was selected as the very first artist in residence at the Mountainfilm Festival in Telluride, Colorado.

Mynd Alive may be his last exhibition in his hometown.

“DC was a point that I started at because I was here and I said I would stay as long as I was busy, but now I’ve been awarding many opportunities outside of DC,” he says, “There are many doors to go through so I want to share my vision and creations with the world.”

BK ADAMS.I AM ART performing signature pose, the "artist bow." Photo courtesy of the artist.
BK ADAMS.I AM ART performing his signature pose, the “artist bow.” Photo courtesy of the artist.

Mynd Alive can be seen at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, located at 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW, until August 17, 2014.