Exhibition: June 15 - August 24
Reception: Thursday, August 23 from 5-7PM
The exhibition brings together a selection of masks and carvings of the human face by Eastern Band Cherokee artist Joshua Adams, who expresses a deep reverence for his culture through his artwork. A teacher of woodcarving at Cherokee High School, Adams' work reflects on the importance of preserving his culture and how outside influences have, and still do, impact Cherokee life and belief. Intended for display rather than ceremony, these representations of the human face range from traditional Cherokee forms to contemporary twists on tradition. Made from a variety of woods with details fashioned from rabbit fur, feathers, porcupine quills, and traditional arrows, Adams' works demonstrate the technical complexity of mask making and the array of materials that enliven this artform. Sculptors, wood carvers, historians, craft enthusiasts, and those interested in Cherokee art and culture will not want to miss this exhibition.
Joshua Adams studied wood carving under renowned artist Dr. James Bud Smith. He is influenced by the legendary sculptor and teacher Amanda Crowe, who taught wood carving for nearly 40 years at Cherokee High School. He also learned aspects of his craft from his family, which includes woodcarvers James and Irma Bradley. In 2010, Adams took over teaching the woodcarving program at Cherokee High School and now instructs a younger generation of students in this revered Cherokee art form. Inspired by traditional masks, which are one of the earliest forms of carving practiced by the Cherokee people, Adams aims to celebrate and preserve his heritage. He combines this pride in his culture with an aesthetic inspired by graphic novels and graffiti art that brings his work a 21st-century edge.
The exhibition runs through Friday, August 24 with a closing reception on Thursday, August 23 from 5-7PM. The WCU Fine Art Museum is free and open to the public Tuesday through Friday 10-4PM and Thursday 10-7PM. Free parking is available on site.