Adam Welch creates his art brick by brick. Literally.
Welch makes his own bricks by hand encouraging viewers to consider them as an art form while challenging their perceptions and preconceptions of art, ceramics and bricks.
The Hunterdon Art Museum welcomes Adam Welch: Brick with an opening reception on Sunday, Jan. 15 from 2 to 4 p.m. The artist will discuss his work at the reception, and refreshments will be served. The show runs until April 30.
Welch is well aware of the layers of reference in his work: the utilitarian history of bricks; the role of the artist as interpreter and re-interpreter, both conceptually and visually, notes Hildreth York, who is co-curating the exhibition with Ingrid Renard.
“His deep knowledge of ceramics creates and manipulates bricks, ideas about bricks and their embodiments in other art mediums,” York noted. “His work is not only very original, but it resonates with the provocative questions raised by contemporary art.”
Welch said he finds working with bricks to be both limitless and liberating. He began making his own bricks in 2001, learning from several sources including a booklet about hand-making bricks in England.
Making bricks is peaceful,” Welch said. “Peaceful and physical. It’s about labor and my body. It is a task I can do entirely on my own. And when I am done the brick is essentially complete.”
Welch began teaching at Princeton University in 2010, when he was appointed Lecturer in the Visual Arts Program. Before joining Princeton’s faculty, he was the Assistant Director of Greenwich House Pottery and promoted to Director in 2010 where he continues to work.
Welch has participated in twenty-two exhibitions in the United States over the past five years, including the NCECA Biennial (National Council on Education in the Ceramic Arts) at the Tampa Museum of Art, solo exhibitions at Kean University, Princeton Day School, Hunter College and Northwestern College, and several curated and invitational exhibitions throughout the United States. Welch’s piece Martha’s Shiner was part of the 2013 Hunterdon Art Museum’s East & West Clay Exhibition.
In that piece, Welch purposely applied Martha Stewart’s line of latex house paints onto hand-made bricks. Welch references that work in a piece for this exhibition using Stewart’s line of paints to “deal with color and our perception of color as it passes through our contemporary filters.”