Adam Burges is a local artist we love to work with. We asked him for his thoughts on public art and its role in creating engaged communities:

How did you find out about Urban Artworks?
It really wasn’t hard to find. I did a general internet search looking to connect with an art organization that shared my passion. After meeting and learning a little bit about the mission, I was hooked.

Which project(s) did you work on with us? Which one was your favorite?
I worked primarily as a teaching assistant to provide additional support during the winter 2018 session as needed on a couple of different projects. It was an awesome experience for me to get an inside view of how it all works.

Tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up / how did you find yourself in Seattle?
I’m originally a southern artist from Mississippi. I currently reside in Seattle, splitting my time as an independent studio artist, glass studio technician, and fabricator. I graduated with a BFA in sculpture from the University of South Alabama where I focused heavily on kiln-formed, blown, and cast metal sculpture. After graduation, I was selected for a residency as the lead gaffer and instructor at the Coastal Art Center of Orange Beach Alabama. There, I was allowed the opportunity to help develop a public access glassblowing program. During that 3 year residency I got my first experience working within a small non-profit art organization and decided that I wanted to continue to invest my time. That choice started a journey that landed me in the pacific northwest where I continue to create my work and pursue my M.F.A. in Arts Leadership at Seattle University.

What in your personal life has influenced you to choose your career? Has it influenced you to join Urban Artworks?
Art has saved me more times than I can count. It’s always been like meditation or soul food for me. I began my love affair with art when I was super young and it just morphed into a way of life for me. When creating work began to take up more time than my “day job,” I knew I had to figure out a way to make art my job. So I did.
It certainly influenced me to join Urban Artworks because it just feels right to give back to the community through my passion for art and genuine desire to help people through creating something together.

In your opinion, what are some ways that public art helps create a sense of community?
Any time you are given the opportunity to collaborate with others there is also an opportunity to build community through the process of the project. Working with others to achieve a common goal is the best way to make friends! I think that it’s something that should be offered and actively supported by every community in some capacity, even if in a small way.

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