Brickworks Gallery owner Laura Adams traded a legal career for the space and freedom to create her own art. "I love seeing transformative artists evolve," she says. "It’s this long-running thread of art communication that has been really surprising and fulfilling.”
When you want people to experience something one of the best ways is the time-tested show-and-tell. In 2013, after living and working in Savannah for more than 20 years, artist and Brickworks Gallery owner Laura W. Adams moved to Atlanta’s Virginia-Highland neighborhood with her husband, photographer Andrew Feiler.
They did so in a big way. In 2016, they turned the B. Mifflin Hood Brick Co. building — it’s on the National Register of Historic Places — into Brickworks Gallery and Adams’ art studio. “I’ve been in a lot of galleries around the world, so I knew a lot of what not to do,” Adams says, laughing. Runners, walkers and bikers on the Atlanta BeltLine’s Eastside Trail became her first audience.
Inside and outside, many of the building’s intricate brick and tile patterns remain. When you walk in, you’ll be in Adams’ studio, where you can see her create textural paper works so intricate that they look like paintings.
There’s a room for special exhibitions — Flowers by Kate Breakey, a photographer and mixed-media artist based in Tucson, Arizona — is open by appointment or virtually through November 2. It’s part of the annual Atlanta Celebrates Photography event and features 22 hand-painted and manipulated photographs.
LOCATION: 686-A Greenwood Ave. N.E. Visits are by appointment only (call 912.596.3147 or email [email protected]). Blueberry, a rescue pup and the cutest gallery dog, will love your company. Enter on the left side of the building. Brickworks has two dedicated parking spaces for those not coming from the BeltLine. It’s about a five-minute walk north from Ponce City Market and the southeast corner of Piedmont Park. Follow Brickworks on Facebook and Instagram.
SPECIALTY: Storytelling art that’s fun, compelling, accessible and reflects a sense of place and nature. Mediums that are a little less traditional but in a thought-provoking way. The gallery represents Feiler, glass artist Devan Cole of Americus; woodturner–woodworker John Williams of Tampa, Florida; and two wall artist-painters, Atlanta’s Rachel Evans and Emma Knight of Richmond, Virginia.
MORE ON ADAMS: She completed law school at Emory University and practiced commercial-corporate law for six years, then realized life’s too short to litigate. Now 57, she’s been a professional artist for more than 25 years. She began in mixed-media photography but now works solely with paper to create heavily layered work. She’s a manipulator, cutting, folding and tearing colored and textured papers to re-create nature, forest and wildlife scenes.
LOOKING AHEAD:Three Billion, a small group show about the demise of North American bird species, will be on view from February 6 to April 24 at the Hudgens Center for Art and Learning in Duluth. The show, which Adams curated, was delayed by COVID-19.
MOST MEMORABLE: “Some artists, like Breakey, have a show every year, and I think it’s the best work I’ve ever seen,” Adams says. “Then the next year, I think that again. It’s in those moments that I love seeing transformative artists evolve. It’s this long-running thread of art communication that has been really surprising and fulfilling.”
LAST WORD: “During these pandemic months, many artists — including my husband and I — have had a chance to look inward to discover things that we’d forgotten about ourselves in the creating. It’s in the quieter spaces when we realize that we’ve been too busy. I’ve had more commissions from people facing the blank-wall syndrome of spending time indoors. They realize the value in meaningful spaces. I’m just trying to simplify and present art in a way that’s beautiful.”
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