Adam Fulwiler is a current student at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, where he is finishing up his last year as a studio art major. His abstract pieces approach the surface itself, both acting and counteracting, and examine the border and connection between canvas and paint. While adding on, he simultaneously removes. He describes in his statement, “In these works the literal depth of the holes cut into the canvas or paper create a tensive conversation between the flat surface and the illusion of depth.” I asked Adam a few questions about his practice.
What first inspired you to begin painting?
I’m not sure really, the interest in painting started at a very young age. I think then, just as much as now, I was struck by the tactile pleasure I get from manipulating the materials.
Living in Green Bay, which is not considered an “art center” such as a place like (in the Midwest) Chicago or Milwaukee, what do you feel have been your greatest challenges as a young artist? What are the upsides of living in a city like Green Bay when it comes to the arts?
Living in a small city such as Green Bay, has been a pretty big challenge because of the lack of galleries/studios and exhibition opportunities. I don’t think there are many upsides to living here as an artist, although I can comment on how great it is to be attending a smaller university. Attending the University of Wisconsin Green Bay has been beneficial to me at this point because of the promise of more one on one critiques with studio professors, which is indispensable.
What would you most like to accomplish (creatively, professionally, etc.)?
Currently I’m working on my senior show, so that would be the big project at the moment. I plan on finding a studio in a larger city and moving after graduation, which will hopefully lead to some exhibitions. In two to three years I hope to return to school to pursue an MFA.
What is your studio like?
I lucked out as an undergrad at the University of Wisconsin Green Bay and got the one and only private studio space on campus. This has been a huge blessing as I can make it into my space. I have images and random items of inspiration pinned all over the walls…honestly its quite the mess…but I like it better that way.
What do you do to get the creative momentum going? Any specific music, habits, etc?
I do a lot of looking. At anything and everything really. I look at nature and a lot of art. Music is huge for me as well, I can’t stand painting without music. Some bands that are on my playlist are Tame Impalla, Alt-J, and The Kooks.
What or who are your influences for your work?
Gerhard Richter, Amy Sillman, Lesley Vance, Mark Bradford, Robert Diebenkorn, for Example.
Is there anything you know now that you wish you would have known when you were just starting as an art student?
I can say that at the start of my college career I wish I would have known that it is okay and good to fail sometimes. I know this now, but experimenting and playing with materials is sometimes the best way to generate ideas (the main way I generate ideas now) and it doesn’t have to always be about a perfected end product but more about what you learned while creating a piece, resolution comes later.
More information about the work in this post, and about the artist, can be found at adamfulwiler.com.
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