andrea adams

Andrea Adams: Thisday and Thatday

I’ve seen the memes about the days of the week being irrelevant during the stay at home order, and that only Thisday and Thatday exist now. At first, I resisted the idea of complete anarchy of time. I tried to make sure my socks matched every work day and that I didn’t have too much wine at dinner before Friday.

I remember even putting on makeup for my first couple of Zoom calls. Oh, Past Andrea. So naive, so optimistic. Adorable. 

Today, on this Thisday, I am barefoot, and I have abandoned my makeshift desk in the kitchen to stay on my bed (it’s made at least) and work from the Chromebook. I do plan to have a couple of glasses of wine after dinner this evening, as I am attending a recreational Zoom event. I probably won’t even brush my hair for it. Structure and foundation have crumbled for me, someone who has realized lately how much she thrives on timelines and schedules. It was fun to throw routine to the wayside at first. I can wake up after 7:30 a.m.? I don’t need to shower until after lunch? I can eat a bowl of Doritos in bed at 10:30 a.m.? And don’t get me started on what “bedtime” means anymore. 

The novelty is wearing off. I can no longer use seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race as a clock (I reserve the right to reconsider this when I get to the All Stars seasons). Since time can’t be measured by work hours and weekends off anymore, it’s my mission to find a way to tally mark the days creatively. On Thisday, I draw cartoons of my breakfast and lunch chatting each other up. Thatdays are Crazy Makeup and Costume Days. Tomorrow is Latin Music Day (which may or may not also involve costumes). And Today is obviously Writing the Weekly Blog Day. The new normal is a different normal, and we might as well use these moments alone to make it weird and interesting. 

Andrea Adams is the Gallery Director at the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana.

Published April 20, 2020

Andrea Adams: The art of curating a family

Last week, I opened up about finding moments of creation in small daily acts of art, and it got me thinking about how I view the curation and hanging of exhibits as making my own larger art piece out of many. Arranging 40 unique works of art and making sure nothing is lost or too loud is a task that I certainly ask Anne and Zach to help with every single time. The best moment in hanging a show is when the chaos turns into something cohesive and starts telling a story. It’s a magic that artists are familiar with, I’m sure.

There’s this cat who has been coming around since we’ve been home all the time. She was timid about approaching too close at first, but now (since I started feeding her), she literally will climb the window screen to try to get into my bedroom, presumably to get petted. It’s pretty annoying, but only because I know that I will eventually let her in and then I will have a cat. She’s claimed me as her family and there’s really nothing I can do about it. Did she have a family who was loving her before she started hanging out here? If I start ignoring her, will she go back to them? Will I feel a pang in my heart if I do?

Catherine the Cat

We don’t get to choose what family we start with, but we are certainly at liberty to create or add to one as we learn and love throughout a lifetime. Friends and lovers and coworkers. Ancestors and old high school buddies and artists we admire from afar. Long lost brothers. Pretty calico kitties who sleep on our patio. All these precious and necessary chaotic pieces make a whole and teach us what it means to individualize. It’s a curation project we should never finish because the story we are telling is on-going. When things start making sense, that’s the magic of creating something cohesive.

I feel lucky to be chosen by Catherine the Cat to help her feel safe and loved. I guess her needing me makes me feel that way, too.

Dang it, I have a cat now, don’t I?

Andrea Adams is the Gallery Director for the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana.

Published April 13, 2020

Andrea Adams: It’s my turn

Self portrait

It’s my turn, I guess.

Heh, maybe that’s what I should call this blog.

As an empath, it’s difficult to find my own voice sometimes, and having co-workers who have displayed such polar opposite tones in blogs this week, I’m left reeling in how to go about this. Anne’s first post was so full of genuineness of heart and simplicity, which is spot on how she curates all things in her life. And Zach, well, he’s a professional writer, and there’s no comparing to his super well-thought-out, methodical, intentional musings. I work with brilliant people and it’s hard to live up to sometimes.

So. I will try my best to find and share my own voice here. If you’ve met me, you might have picked up that vulnerability is my bag; my preferred brand of disarming everyone I meet, and a great way to neglect things that are truly bothersome and hidden in my psyche, yadda, yadda, ya…

I’m rambling now, probably another defense mechanism, and certainly a way to procrastinate writing something with substance.

I’ve been thinking about creativity for, you know, obvious reasons that relate to working for the Arts Council, but also because we are all home and the impulse to create comes more often when we have fewer distractions.

People often assume that I make art, but I don’t. I mean, I DO, but not in a fine art way. For me, art is the banana with peanut butter, honey, and cinnamon I’ve been making nearly every day since lockdown. And of course, the little drawings I do at night before bed, or the 3D metal models I work on to ease my anxiety. But I also think it’s the way I have decided to arrange the living room furniture and wall art, or my handwriting when I’m in a good mood. Or the songs I make up about grating cheese (to the tune of Holding Out for a Hero by Bonnie Tyler, “I need to gra-ate! I need to grate cheese for this salad I ma-ade! It’s gonna be good and it’s gonna be right and I’m gonna eat this salad toda-ay”).

With the assumption that I’m an artist, I’m usually asked what media I use to create. Can I say bananas, thin sheet metal, end tables, and cheese graters? Maybe I can just say mixed media; that always fits better on a tag.

There’s a sense of ownership when we create, even if it’s small and we are the only ones who know it exists. Not just ownership of the art created, but in the sacredness and ritual of creation. The process itself is an act of art. My weird self-portraits are always in the same type of notebook, all timestamped in the same format, and kept neatly in a special place (mainly so no one will see them and judge me for how weird they are). Every part of it is important to the whole. Because, trust me, these drawings aren’t the greatest.

Our creations are pieces of ourselves we have allowed out. Even if we keep them in notebooks under our bed, they still managed to sneak beyond the confines of our souls, perhaps in hope that one day, someone might recognize them as bits they hide in their own shadows. They don’t need to be profound, but maybe interesting enough to get an old 80s song stuck in someone else’s head all day. With enough practice of letting the world see us in small ways, perhaps we can relate and connect deeper when we find out it’s not so scary to share our own voices.

Published April 4, 2020