Newsmakers: Kimberly Adams makes impact on art sceneWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
When Kimberly Adams stares at a rundown, vacant pink house on Glenwood Avenue, she doesn’t just see debris and decay — she sees the potential for a new art project.
Although the project is still in its early stages, Adams hopes to decorate the outsides of five rundown Toledo houses with artwork by spring. The effort would be part of Tart Projects, an artists’ platform that Adams runs.
In 2012, Adams also organized Toledo’s PechaKucha Nights (PKN), where presenters can share their ideas in front of a group — so long as they can encapsulate the concepts within 20 slides at 20 seconds each.
“When I look at the past year and I look at this timeline of what I’ve done, I still feel like I haven’t done anything. I need to do more; I want to do more,” Adams said with a laugh.
The most recent PKN was Sept. 28 at the Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion. About 150 attended, Adams said. The next PKN is set for late January. The first PKN took place March 31 at Manhattan’s and the second was June 12 at the Toledo-Lucas County Main Library.
PKN began in Tokyo in 2003 as a way for young designers to share their ideas.
“They started it for architects, because the architects tended to be a little long-winded when they were presenting their designs, so they kind of shortened that format for them,” Adams said. Now the nights occur in more than 500 cities all over the world
“A lot of people are catching on to PKN and love it. I think they’re seeing what a positive impact it’s having in terms of networking and getting ideas out,” Adams said.
In addition to PKN, Adams counts organizing Neighborhood Watch: Projection Walk during the Old West End Festival as one of her biggest 2012 success stories. For the walk, a group of people went from house to house, projecting images, films and slides onto residences.
“Even though there was a low attendance, it was still activating a space that wasn’t activated previously and so much of that wouldn’t be possible without the neighbors,” Adams said.
Adams credits her supporters for helping her to be successful in Toledo’s arts community.
“I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the people who have supported me for the past year and just believed in me,” Adams said.
Although her strong support system might lead you to believe otherwise, Adams only moved to Toledo in June 2011 after living in Tampa, Fla., where she attended graduate school and studied painting and drawing. Before moving to the Glass City, she had only spent a couple of hours in Toledo.
“I was up here for one of the Art Walks and I was like, ‘This is a great community. I need to be a part of this,’ so that’s what I did. I just took a leap of faith and went with it. And really, it’s the first place that feels like home to me and I absolutely love it,” she said.
“It’s breath of fresh air just because there’s this really strong sense of community that I didn’t really have in Florida, in Tampa … there’s a lot of people here that want to see change, who want to make change happen.”
In 2013, Adams hopes Tart Projects will achieve nonprofit status. She also hopes to start an artists’ residency program, a longtime dream of hers.
“The end goal is for Tart Projects is to have this large-scale artists in residence program in Toledo, in the Downtown, UpTown area, somewhere, but I’ll take anywhere, any building,” she said. Tart Projects may also feature an internship program in 2013.
Growing up in Salineville, Ohio, Adams wanted to be a horse trainer instead of an artist. But after arriving at Bowling Green State University for her undergraduate degree, she switched gears. Adams became one of the founders of Arts Extravaganza, the annual arts event at BGSU.
“Once that kind of happened that was just like, ‘This is what I want to do.’”
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