Portrait painter from New York leaves a colorful impression on local art students

Paducah, KY, May 1, 2019—The Paducah Arts Alliance (PAA) is pleased to share that visual artist and teacher Adam Carlson of Brooklyn, New York, was the recent participant in the Paducah Artist-In-Residence Program. He arrived in Paducah with canvas and paints on April 16, and set up his studio with PAA board member and former classmate John Romang for his two-week residency.

Artists participating in PAA’s residency program are required to engage with the community through exhibitions, workshops, public lectures, or collaborative projects with local artists. During his residency, Carlson devoted his time interacting with students at the Paducah School of Art and Design (PSAD) and Paducah Tilghman High School (PTHS), conducting drawing and painting demos, sharing best practices skills for professional artists, and providing critiques on student work. He viewed the displays at AQS QuiltWeek and The National Quilt Museum and connected with various artists from Paducah and abroad. The remainder of his time was consumed preparing for an upcoming solo exhibit at Apartment Earth Gallery in Charleston, West Virginia.

Adam Carlson takes a close up pic of one of the quilts on display at the American Quilter’s Society Paducah Spring QuiltWeek 2019

Carlson attended The Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida, where he was classically trained in traditional media. He is known for his stunning portraits and his ability to tell a story with paint as he boldly captures the emotion of his subjects. He has been featured in art publications such as L Magazine and CYMK, and online at CriminalElement.com and Tor.com. His work was recently featured in a solo exhibition at StudioMars in Paducah’s Lower Town Arts District.

Though Carlson is no stranger to Paducah, the residency was his first opportunity to be immersed in the community. “I saw and experienced so much here in my short stay,” said Carlson. “…From an impressive fire burning kiln, amazingly intricate quilts, incredible studios, a beautiful art school, high school classrooms, to even a beautifully designed boutique cookie dough shop I found down the block!”

Carlson said the one characteristic that continued to resonate with him was Paducah’s welcoming spirit. “All these things were great to see, but the people behind them is where the real magic lies. The spirit of making is powerful here and it is absolutely infectious! I will be returning to New York with this awakened thrill to create and a new hunger to inspire as these amazing artists here have done for me these past couple weeks. I will always treasure this experience and these amazing new friends I made!“

John Romang, art teacher at PTHS, introduced Carlson to Paducah’s established and aspiring artists. “It is always great for students to meet artists, but it’s really beneficial when the artists interact with the students,” said Romang. “The students were intrigued with his demos and his quick instructional lessons. They walked away having information and an experience that should carry on with them through their art careers.”

Randy Simmons’ Drawing 2 class at PSAD gained insight on technique from Carlson. “We are in the life drawing component of the course and Adam did demos in gesture, 10-minute studies, and a portrait demo for the course,” said Simmons. “It was great having him working in charcoal and using the toned paper process like I do. His painterly approach to drawing struck a cord with the students, as it was a different way for some of them to work.” Carlson also demonstrated his painting technique for Tanya Gadbaw-Neitzke’s students at PSAD.

Adam Carlson’s illustrations and portraits can be found on his website at http://adam-carlson.com.


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