Contemporary Imagery with David Emitt Adams

Published: April 12, 2018 | Author: Tracy Solimeno | Read Time: 2 minutes

Imagery from David Emitt AdamsSUU’s Department of Art & Design is proud to announce an exhibition of David Emitt Adams’ poignant and land-worn work on display through May 5, 2018 at the Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA). Rusty cans and industrial waste create a visual surface for this contemporary photographer. Adams will present at SUMA as an Art Insights speaker on April 19, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with extended hours on Thursday until 8 p.m. Admission for the museum and Art Insights is free and open to the public. 

Adams’ art records the history of the land, economic development, and the evolution of time directly onto weathered items such tin cans, 55-gallon drums, and film canisters using an in-camera process called tintype. 

“I collect discarded cans from the desert floor, some more than four decades old, which have earned a deep reddish-brown, rusty coloration. This rich patina is the evidence of light and time,” said Adams in an interview with Lenscratch: Fine Art Photography Daily. “I then create images on their surfaces that speak to human involvement with this landscape. The results are objects that have history as artifacts and hold images connected to their locations.” 

Adams obtained his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Bowling Green State University and a Master of Fine Arts from Arizona State University. He is a recipient of the Clarence John Laughlin Award, the Puffin Foundation Grant and the Arizona Commission on the Arts Research and Development Grant. His nationally and internationally shown work can be found in the permanent collection of the Center for Creative Photography, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Museum of Photographic Arts San Diego, the George Eastman Museum and numerous private collections. 

The exhibition at SUMA will include pieces from a series entitled POWER. Images speak of the American oil industry and the social, political, and environmental landscape. 

“The creation of this series comes at a time when society’s rapid energy consumption has reached a critical mass and the foreseeable effects of our changing climate are prevalent,” said Adams. “The images reveal the industrial landscapes that have shaped our way of living.” 

Experience the historical landscape of America through the interplay of contemporary imagery and forgotten relics. For more information, please visit

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