David Winton Bell Gallery

Past Exhibitions





June 10, 2013 - July 19, 2013

An installation of several thousand handmade clay and ceramic objects and several hundred jars of local produce canned by the artist, Breaking Even expands on Kelli Rae Adams’s ongoing investigations into materiality, process, labor, and value. In this special project for the Bell Gallery curated by Ian Alden Russell, Adams addresses the current economic moment, particularly as it relates to creative endeavors, offering a participatory inquiry into the nature of value and the mechanisms through which we receive and quantify the work and energies of others. Commenting on the exhibition, Adams explains: “Breaking Even is an installation in three parts which together compose a balanced equation of alternate currencies resulting from five months of creative labor. Larger-than-life dominoes, home-canned foods, and porcelain coins represent the work, the energy required to produce the work, and the funds invested in the work, respectively. Through these three currencies, the installation offers a means of comparison by which visitors can consider what constitutes value and exchange in artwork and artistic production.”

Adams’s art is propelled by a desire to create work that can be exploratory and yet not wasteful, complete and yet not necessarily permanent. Apprenticing in Japan under master potter Tetsuro Hatabe, Adams developed a deep and sincere respect for her materials, evident in her considered and limited use of formal permanence and mindful avoid