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67th Annual Boardwalk Art Show

67th Annual Boardwalk Art Show
Bullis Series: Faculty Presents
By Stacey Roshan


This article is part of an ongoing series that highlights recent presentations delivered by Bullis faculty at conferences and workshops throughout the DMV region. Speaking engagements like these allow our teachers to showcase the innovative ways they are connecting with our students and inspiring deep learning.

Kathleen Adams | Upper School Visual Art Teacher and Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) Department Chair
Virginia Beach, VA

Speaking Opportunity

67th Annual Boardwalk Art Show

This past year, Ms. Kathleen Adams was invited to display a collection of her paintings at the 67th annual Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Boardwalk Art Show in Virginia Beach. The show is one of the only outdoor art shows produced by an accredited museum and strives to showcase the highest caliber of fine art in the relaxed setting of the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. Ranked as a top 15 Fine Art Show of the Decade by Sunshine Artist magazine, this three-day festival welcomes a select group of roughly 150 artists from across the country to exhibit work that spans several mediums.

Why this topic?

Being accepted to the Boardwalk Art Show was a childhood dream come true for Ms. Adams. As a high school student living in Virginia Beach, she used to volunteer as a "booth sitter," covering for artists while they took breaks. As a young person, she would imagine what it would be like if one day her artwork was "good enough" to be accepted into the show.

The Process

The jury process involved in this level of show is highly competitive. While applications are open to all artists, the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art selects a panel of jurors who are well-known and respected in the fine art world to review the applications and artwork samples submitted by artists. Each artist is scored based on a rubric by all three jurors, and then selections are made.

What was Ms. Adams's experience like participating in the Boardwalk Art Show?

Ms. Adams shared that the Boardwalk Art Show was the most competitive one she had ever applied to. She credits a colleague and friend for giving her the confidence to apply. It was an incredible feeling to have her artworks, which are deeply personal forms of self-expression, validated on such a significant level.

This experience gave Ms. Adams the motivation and boost to apply to the TEPHRA ICA Fine Arts Festival (formerly known as the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival), scheduled for May 20-21. The TEPHRA ICA Fine Arts Festival is one of the "top five" outdoor art festivals in the nation, and she is thrilled to have been selected to participate!

Kathleen Adams Art Exhibit

I was honored to present a body of artwork that focused on recent paintings. I like to think of my work as an investigation of memory and the importance of memorializing fleeting moments, to capture the unique quality of a singular place in time. I challenge myself to create representations that convey both absence and belonging as I search for ways to find comfort and a sense of being in the world. While drawing from places and moments specific to me, I hope the viewer can enter into a reflective journey of their own space and memory.

My acrylic paintings often begin with an underpainting of complementary color. Working in ‘opposites’ allows me to capture the vibrations of light while also underpinning the idea of memory as an unreliable narrator. Recently I have begun to embed my canvases with ephemera specific to the context of the image. This, I hope, further grounds the image in the present and provides a level of concrete agreement between recollection and actuality.

Kathleen Adams, Upper School Visual Art Teacher and VPA Department Chair

About Ms. Adams

Kathleen Adams

Growing up with a parent in the military, Ms. Adams moved often. These frequent relocations exposed her to an array of diverse cultural norms and customs which piqued her curiosity about beauty in all its forms, "awakening an interest in the myriad facets of beauty that exist around us,” she says. “I LOVE art and all of the forms it takes!" What Ms. Adams loves most is being in the saltwater and summer sunshine, sailing, kayaking, paddle boarding, and rooting for the Nationals during summer baseball season.



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