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Jack Edson Adams Master Artist

Jack Edson Adams Master ArtistA brief bio of Jack Adams

The art career of Jack Adams is a testimony to the survival of a right-brained person in our left-brained word! Jack inherited the gift of drawing from his Grandfather. And his parents supported the talent as a hobby, not a career. His father was in the Army and hoped for Jack to graduate from West Point. But in his senior year in High School, Jack discovered the annual competition held by Fisher Body for aspiring young car designers. He submitted a sleek, black , high-finned model… and won! General Motors advised Jack to study at the Art Center College of Design in LA. He applied there, and dutifully , he also applied to West Point…the United States Military Academy. He was accepted to both. He went to West Point. Upon graduation however, he asked for an assignment in Air Defense Artillery (the sole purpose of which was to be assigned to a Nike Missile base in Los Angeles, in order to attend Art Center at night-school). And he found his purpose in the “Grand Scheme” of things…. Design.

Some hurdles still existed. After two years in Los Angeles he was due for re-assignment and chose to switch branches in the Army to that field which George Carlan referred to as an oxymoron. (“Certain things are mutually exclusive, like “Giant Shrimp” and “Military Intelligence”,said George.)

But this gave Jack a chance to go to Washington DC, “spook-school” by day, and the Corcoran Gallery School of Art in the evening. Then Vietnam. Combined Intelligence Center-Siagon, where Jack as a Strategic Analyst documented the folly of that war and said as much repeatedly…

When finally his military commitment was over he returned to Art Center to complete his degree in Design. But by graduation he had changed his major from Transportation (car design) to Environmental Design (architecture and interior design). Then the universe opened an opportunity for a job in an Interior Design firm in Hawaii …where Jack had spent his last year in the Army. After five years in, Jack opened his own practice in Commercial Interior Design under the name Adams Design, specializing in Hotel and Restaurant Design. This practice prospered and Jack was listed for 4 years in the top 50 Interior Designers in the USA in the annual survey conducted by Interior Design Magazine.

Then came the tragic occurrence of 9/11 and business in Hawaii came to a screeching halt. So in 2002 Jack and Dana moved to her family home in Greenwich Village and Jack started free-lancing his drawing and design ability around the world, via the Inter-net. This resulted in opportunity for travel to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Shanghai, Beijing, Qatar, Dubai, Doha, Abu Dhabi, Cairo, Beirut , Bali, Singapore, Berlin, Romania and Santa Fe and Los Angeles, all opportunities made possible by Jack’s ability to “draw at the speed of thought”…(to paraphrase Bill Gates).

Some years ago the AIA (American Institute of Architects) dictated that the test for acceptance as a licensed Architect in the US could only be done on CAD (Computer Assisted Design)…. never again with paper and pencil. Charles Gwathmy of Gwathmy/Siegal Architects in New York bemoaned this loss to Charley Rose in an interview as:
“…the loss of the additive and deductive process of graphite and eraser on vellum”.
More to the point , the great architect of the Ground Zero Master Plan, Daniel Liebskin, observed in his biography,
“Breaking Ground”, that he could not find Architects to hire anymore who were artists as well. He summed up this
void as the loss of the creative process:
“… from the heart , thru the finger-tips”.
Jack likes to make the analogy of “Etch & Sketch”, a plastic toy pallet children use to draw on a plastic view screen.
Two knobs ,one on each side, allows drawing a line left-right and up-down which approaches and approximates, but is never quite, a true curve. And is most definitely not …”from the heart thru the finger tips”.

As in architecture, so it has been going academically through-out America with the discouragement of the “Right-Brained” students in our schools. Think about it. Any test for academic performance whether S.A.T, I.Q., or semester-end tests , only validate and reward “Left-Brain” questions and answers. The word “Talent” or “Conceptual” or “Imagination” would not apply to such tests, and these inherent traits are not encouraged or rewarded .

And so it is that Jack finds himself in a world where Architects and Designers can no longer draw. They no longer can face a blank piece of paper and armed only with graphite pencil, produce an illustration of a new design, a new concept, a new imaginative solution to a problem which is thus instantly communicated to any viewer…. no matter their ability to “read drawings”, or indeed, to speak the same language. The loss of this ability in our next generations should be of considerable concern in our society and should motivate those amongst us that have the gift, the skill, and the artistic ability, to draw, to make every effort to keep this ability alive and somehow pass it on.


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