Curt Adams in the studio

Curtis Adams

Location: Elliott, IA
Medium(s): Paper on wood with Acrylic paints

I make 3-dimensional creatures out of mostly recycled paper, my own recycled art, wood and found objects. The works usually depict creatures I see around me, such as insects, birds, fish, cats, or dogs. Some are creatures I imagine, like dragons or monsters. I use the geometry of nets and fold the paper into 3-d forms. Every piece starts with a wooden skeleton, and the paper becomes the skin.  I like to use symmetrical 3-d forms like the five platonic solids:  tetrahedron, octahedron, icosahedron, dodecahedron and the hexahedron. When I play with these forms, I am surprised by the results. I paint my creatures with acrylic, markers and mixed media. The painting is as important as the form. Form and surface must work together to create an object that looks like it came direct from the dream world. 


Adams was born in St. Louis, Missouri; attended and graduated from high school in Morton, Illinois; and attended Drake University in Des Moines, where he studied studio art. After graduation, he attended graduate school to study printmaking, and he married another artist, Cherie Miner. He earned an MFA from Texas Tech University. Shortly after, his son was born. This major life event prompted a move to Illinois near family and a return to college to earn credentials as a special education teacher. In 2001, after the birth of his daughter, Adams moved to Iowa with his family. Living on the Miner family farm, his art production went into high gear. In 2012-2013, he transferred into the middle school art classroom where he could infect young people with his passion for art. In 2014, he joined Noyes Art Gallery in Lincoln, Nebraska. In 2018, he became a grandfather, which is sure to inspire the creation of more whimsical creatures.  

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