3 Questions

3 Questions with Rachel Adams

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Curator Rachel Adams on networking, knowing when to take a break, and looking at art everyday.

3 QUESTIONS is a series of brief, three-question interviews with PNCA’s visiting artists and lecturers. Each year, PNCA attracts innovative, thoughtful, and creative makers and thinkers who share our belief in the transformative power of creativity. In three short answers to three short questions, these artists offer perspectives on career, motivation, and transformation. When available, we include links to audio recordings, transcripts, slideshows, or video.

The MFA in Visual Studies program welcomes Rachel Adams as part of the 2014-2015 Graduate Visiting Artist Lecture Series.



“Networking is so important.
“DO NOT be an island.”


3 Questions with Rachel Adams

Photo by Jennifer Hughes.

What advice would you offer current students about to embark on a career in the arts?

Be ENGAGED! Attend openings and lectures. Apply for art-related institutions or volunteer at a non-profit. Ask for studio visits from your fellow students and teachers you might not get to work with. Ask questions of people. These are all things that will add to your practice and open up more doors. Networking is so important. DO NOT be an island.


How do you maintain your creative practice? What keeps you motivated and engaged?

I look at art everyday, whether that is in a gallery or museum, online, at a studio visit or in publications. Images flood my life! This definitely keeps me motivated, but I also know when its time to take a break and go out for a run or go for a walk with the dog to clear my head. I constantly am juggling show ideas in my head and trying to put together folders of artists and images, but it does get overwhelming and you need to know when to take a break.

Could you describe a moment or experience that profoundly changed the nature of your work?


The first time I saw Gordon Matta Clark’s work in his monograph at SAIC’s library, I was blown away. He was the first artist that made me think about architecture and space. His building cuts and subsequent sculptures are by far my favorite works. And his retrospective that I saw at both the Whitney and the MCA in Chicago is probably what really made me become a curator.






Rachel Adams is an independent curator and writer living in Austin, Texas. Adams is currently the 2014-15 Curator-In-Residence at Disjecta Contemporary Art Center of Portland. Her most recent projects include a solo commission by Richard T. Walker at The Contemporary Austin, a group exhibition in New York titled Interstice and a solo exhibition including catalogue by artist Justin Cooper at testsite in Austin. Adams joined Arthouse at the Jones Center in June 2010 as the Curator of Public Programs, After the merger of Arthouse with the Austin Museum of Art, Adams became the Associate Curator of Exhibitions and Public Programs. Upcoming projects include an outdoor commission by Seattle-based John Grade at The Contemporary Austin. She recently wrote for the Prospect.3 Biennial catalog and is also a contributing writer for Artforum.com, Arts + Culture Texas, Art Papers, Modern Painters, and Texas Architect.

— Posted on 09/25 at 03:42 PM

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