Qwerky Studio

CB Adams: Portrait of a Symbol Featured At New Art Saint Louis Exhibit

The new juried visual art exhibition "Symbolic" at Art Saint Louis, 1223 Pine St., St. Louis, MO, 63103, features a black and white, silver gelatin photograph by CB Adams, principal at Qwerky Studio. Jurors Terrence E. Dempsey and Cheri Hoffman, chose the photograph, titled "Concepcion" for this multi-media exhibition, which features 54 artworks by 49 regional artists that depict, incorporate or are inspired by symbols.

Adams submitted his contemplative photograph of a rustic wooden cross because the subject is a symbol by itself and stands, symbolically, for much more. "At first, I thought perhaps the cross would be too obvious, too easy, but I kept returning to the image because of the interplay between light and shadow, the balance between the arched alcove and the shaft of light, and the texture of the cross, the stone wall in the background and the noticeable grain caused by shooting in extremely low light. Those elements create a quiet mood that is just as 'symbolic' or expressive as the subject itself," Adams said.

Concepcion by CB Adams of Qwerky Studio, $275 currently at Art Saint Louis

Concepcion by CB Adams of Qwerky Studio, $275 currently at Art Saint Louis

Adams discovered the cross while exploring the Mission Concepcion, which was dedicated in San Antonio, TX, in 1775 and is the oldest unrestored stone church in America. After shooting what felt like unremarkable, "touristy" images in the sanctuary, he took a staircase that he thought would lead him the exit. Instead, he found himself in a lower level that was unadorned, except for the cross located in a small alcove under the staircase.

"I was drawn instinctively to the simplicity of the subject, but I didn't think too much about it. I only took two images and then moved on to find the exit. I 'rediscovered' it a couple of months later as I editing my shots from that trip. It perfectly captured the atmosphere of this historic structure and symbolized in a personal way my experience there," he said.

"Concepcion" will be on view at Art Saint Louis from January 13 through February 14. The print is approximately 11x14 inches and is framed with overall dimensions of approximately 20x24. It is available for sale through the gallery for $275.

 

 

Yucking It Up: Two CB Adams Photographs Featured in New Foundry Art Centre Exhibit

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The Foundry Art Centre, 520 N. Main Center, St. Charles, MO, called for entries on the theme "Joke's On You" and artists from across the country responded, including local writer and photographer CB Adams. Jurors Carrie M. Becker and Christian Lawrence chose two of Adams's three photographic submissions for this all-media show that explores "how artists highlight the humor and lightness in a society filled with gravitas."

Adams's silver gelatin black and white photographs, I Wanna Be Dirty and Laughing Matters, were taken in antique malls in downtown St. Louis and Santa Barbara, CA. "I'm always drawn to antique shops, especially the really good ones where the owners creatively arrange the items. I do not believe in staging items myself. I only shoot things as I come upon them, a photojournalistic approach drilled into me at the University of Missouri School of Journalism," he explained.

I Wanna Be Dirty  by CB Adams, Qwerky Studio

I Wanna Be Dirty by CB Adams, Qwerky Studio

Adams would have missed the opportunity to submit work for The Joke's On You if he hadn't attended a Halloween party hosted by his neighbor, Pierre Borgeade, a painter, who also has work in the exhibit. Borgeade urged Adams to consider submitting so they could be "neighbors" on the walls as well as in real life. 

"That night, after all the trick-or-treaters had gone home, I reviewed the call for entry that encouraged levity through visual expression," Adams said. "As someone with a wide irreverent streak, I liked that the theme, and when I saw that Carrie Becker was the juror, I knew I had to submit."

Adams was familiar with Becker's work. Since 2010, Becker has been building dioramas of home interiors and photographing them so that they appear life-sized. Her 2011-12 series, “Barbie Trashes Her Dreamhouse”, went viral and was featured on more than 50 websites, including Huffington Post and Time. Adams was also intrigued by Lawrence's accomplishments as a standup comedian, sketch comedy performer, writer, host and producer.  

"Her work reminds me of a line from Woody Allen, that 'Life doesn't imitate art, it imitates bad television.'" Adams said. "I had never met Becker, but from her art, I understood her slightly askew, off-kilter way of looking at the world."

"Joke's On You" will be showing from Dec. 15, 2017 through Jan. 26, 2018 with an opening reception on Dec. 15 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. I Wanna Be Dirty has overall dimensions of 20 x 24 inches and Laughing Matters measures 16 x 20 inches. Each is available for sale through the gallery.

Adams is a St. Louis-based professional writer, short story author, and fine art photographer. He has exhibited in numerous St. Louis-area gallery exhibitions at The Foundry Art Centre, Art St. Louis, and St. Louis Artists' Guild, among others, as well as nationally in Boston, Sacramento, New York, Salt Lake City and elsewhere. In 2008, Adams was featured in the “Unrefined Light: Images by Plastic Cameras and their Friends” exhibit at The Foundry.

Becker has an MFA in sculpture from Kansas Sate University and a BFA in photography from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. She is represented by Shearburn Gallery in St. Louis. In 2015 she began a new series that depicts abandoned mansions in disrepair. Lawrence has been been involved with many types of comedy since the year 2000, and has performed throughout the United States & the UK. His comedy variety show, Bare Knuckle Comedy, is the longest-running independent comedy show in St. Louis. In 2015, Lawrence created History Shmistory, a show in which comedians perform comedy as a historical figure, in costume, in character.  The show has toured throughout the world.

Laughing Matter  by CB Adams, Qwerky Studio

Laughing Matter by CB Adams, Qwerky Studio

CB Adams Stacks Up at Framations Memory: Joy & Loss Exhibit

Random Access by CB Adams at Framations Gallery's Memory: Joy & Loss Exhibit

Random Access by CB Adams at Framations Gallery's Memory: Joy & Loss Exhibit

A black and white photograph by CB Adams titled Random Access was awarded an Honorable Mention by juror Lynn Friedman Hamilton during the opening of the juried art exhibition, Memory: Joy & Loss, at Framations Art Gallery, 218 North Main St., St. Charles, MO. Friedman, former director of the Brentwood Gallery in St. Louis, selected the photograph for this exhibition featuring artworks inspired by memory and its function in people's lives.

Random Access was one of three entries submitted by Adams, who is principal of Qwerky Studio. "Because art is so subjective, I never know which pieces will be accepted into a themed show and whether any will be given special recognition. When I dropped off my entries, the one that I thought was thematically strongest (a grid with four variations of a toy camera image of a mural dedicated to the memory of slain teenager Michael Brown), wasn't chosen for the show. I was surprised -- pleasantly surprised -- that Random Access was recognized by Ms. Friedman with an Honorable Mention," Adams said.

Random Access depicts a stack of fictitious movie scripts with their titles handwritten on the bottom edge. Adams photographed the stack during a recent trip to Los Angeles. Adams had forgotten about the photograph until he was scrolling through his digital library that presently contains more than 20,000 images, both digital and film-based.

"When I was making my selections for submission, Random Access was not in my initial pool of candidates. I was in a bit of a hurry when this image stopped me cold. I didn't take this photograph with this show in mind, but it does perfectly capture the random, mysterious nature of recalling memories," Adams said.

Random Access and Adams's other photograph in the exhibition, I Can't Remember, is a sepia-tinged black and white image. Such toning is not part of his usual photograph printing process, but a podcast by Brooks Jensen, a photographer, author and publisher of LensWork magazine, opened him to other possibilities.

"I usually prefer a straightforward, contrasty black-and-white image, but I was influenced by something I heard in a Jensen podcast about serving the intent of a photograph using any means or enhancement available to a photographer. I just feel the images are enhanced with that bit of sepia tone," Adams said.

I   Can't Remember  by CB Adams

I Can't Remember by CB Adams

Memory: Joy & Loss will be showing from Dec. 8, 2017 to Jan. 18, 2018. Visitors may vote for a Best in Show throughout the exhibition. Random Access and I Don't Remember have overall dimensions of 20 x 24 inches and are available for sale through the gallery.

Adams is a St. Louis-based professional writer, short story author, and fine art photographer. He has exhibited in numerous St. Louis-area gallery exhibitions at The Foundry Art Centre, Art St. Louis, and St. Louis Artists' Guild, among others, as well as nationally in Boston, Sacramento, New York and Salt Lake City. At Framations, Adams received a Second Place and Honorable Mention award in Beyond the Lens VIII at in 2014.

Juror Lynn Friedman Hamilton has extensive experience in the art world in St. Louis. In 6 years as director of Brentwood Gallery, she curated more than 70 shows that traveled regionally and internationally. Long a champion of older artists, she spent more than 25 years organizing social group activities for older artists and adults, before forming the not-for-profit organization Maturity and Its Muse.

A black and white photograph by CB Adams titled Random Access was awarded an Honorable Mention by juror Lynn Friedman Hamilton during the opening of the juried art exhibition, Memory: Joy & Loss, at Framations Art Gallery, 218 North Main St., St. Charles, MO. Friedman, former director of the Brentwood Gallery in St. Louis, selected the photograph for this exhibition featuring artworks inspired by memory and its function in people's lives.

Random Access was one of three entries submitted by Adams, who is principal of Qwerky Studio. "Because art is so subjective, I never know which pieces will be accepted into a themed show and whether any will be given special recognition. When I dropped off my entries, the one that I thought was thematically strongest (a grid with four variations of a toy camera image of a mural dedicated to the memory of slain teenager Michael Brown), wasn't chosen for the show. I was surprised -- pleasantly surprised -- that Random Access was recognized by Ms. Friedman with an Honorable Mention," Adams said.

Random Access depicts a stack of fictitious movie scripts with their titles handwritten on the bottom edge. Adams photographed the stack during a recent trip to Los Angeles. Adams had forgotten about the photograph until he was scrolling through his digital library that presently contains more than 20,000 images, both digital and film-based.

"When I was making my selections for submission, Random Access was not in my initial pool of candidates. I was in a bit of a hurry when this image stopped me cold. I didn't take this photograph with this show in mind, but it does perfectly capture the random, mysterious nature of recalling memories," Adams said.

Random Access and Adams's other photograph in the exhibition, I Can't Remember, is a sepia-tinged black and white image. Such toning is not part of his usual photograph printing process, but a podcast by Brooks Jensen, a photographer, author and publisher of LensWork magazine, opened him to other possibilities.

"I usually prefer a straightforward, contrasty black-and-white image, but I was influenced by something I heard in a Jensen podcast about serving the intent of a photograph using any means or enhancement available to a photographer. I just feel the images are enhanced with that bit of sepia tone," Adams said.

Memory: Joy & Loss will be showing from Dec. 8, 2017 to Jan. 18, 2018. Visitors may vote for a Best in Show throughout the exhibition. Random Access and I Don't Remember have overall dimensions of 20 x 24 inches and are available for sale through the gallery.

Adams is a St. Louis-based professional writer, short story author, and fine art photographer. He has exhibited in numerous St. Louis-area gallery exhibitions at The Foundry Art Centre, Art St. Louis, and St. Louis Artists' Guild, among others, as well as nationally in Boston, Sacramento, New York and Salt Lake City. At Framations, Adams received a Second Place and Honorable Mention award in Beyond the Lens VIII at in 2014.

Juror Lynn Friedman Hamilton has extensive experience in the art world in St. Louis. In 6 years as director of Brentwood Gallery, she curated more than 70 shows that traveled regionally and internationally. Long a champion of older artists, she spent more than 25 years organizing social group activities for older artists and adults, before forming the not-for-profit organization Maturity and Its Muse.

Thoughtful Dog Publishes “Cock’d,” A New Short Story by CB Adams

Thoughtful Dog, an online literary and lifestyle magazine, has published my latest short story, “Cock’d,” in its April 29th issue. This is the first of what I hope will be the renaissance of my fiction-writing career after a more than 15-year hiatus. “Cock’d” opens with a reference to Rod Stewart, but it is Steve Winwood who wrote the theme song for this moment:  I'll be back in the high life again/ All the doors I closed one time will open up again/ I'll be back in the high life again/ All the eyes that watched me once will smile and take me in.

I’m not sure that publishing a short story constitutes the “high life,” but then again, for those of us who write serious short fiction and work to find a home for it, this is as good as it gets. Writing is hard and slow. I accept that challenge. My relationship with the process of attempting to get that work published is like Fatal Attraction. I start off submitting with naïve, hopeful anticipation and as the rejections pile up, I realize I’m involved with Alex who keeps telling me, “You are a cock-sucking son of a bitch. I hate you. I bet you don't even like real girls, do you? Ha! You disappoint me, you fucking faggot!”

Some days, I’m not up to this challenge. Still, I write on.

“Cock’d” represents the process at its easiest. It received only 14 rejections before Thoughtful Dog Editor-in-Chief Loie Sayers accepted it for publication. Because I am a Missouri-based writer, I typically submit my work first to appropriate Missouri literary journals as a show of support to this state’s literary efforts. They passed on “Cock’d,” but Thoughtful Dog, which features literary fiction as well as interviews, essays, and articles on the art of writing and the literary life, got it. Thoughtful Dog is earnest about publishing good writing and literature without taking themselves too seriously, and “Cock’d” certainly fits into that aesthetic.

So, the story is written. The story is published. Now it needs readers. It’s online, so it is easy to find and read. Follow the links, then follow me if you want. I’ve got one story making the rounds with more than 50 rejections and more work in the hopper. Stay tuned. Keep reading.