Asheville Gallery of Art opens with a new show this month, “Seeing in Color: Life on the Bright Side,” featuring the vibrant acrylic paintings of gallery artist Bee Adams.

Viewers can expect to see the colorful artwork Adams is known for, saturated with optimism and bursting with sunny hues.

Adams grew up in a home that celebrated and nurtured her artistic expression; her mother, grandmother and aunt were all artists themselves. Adams calls Asheville home, but spent a significant period of her adult art career in Colorado, inspired by the bold graphic mountains against the forever blue sky.

While Adams started off creating very organic shapes and landscapes in her paintings, a move to Brussels, Belgium, added another layer of artistic inspiration as she fell in love with European architecture. The ornate, colorfully roofed buildings all nestled together sparked an appreciation that would guide much of her later work.

Surrounded by this muse, along with regular museum visits to view masterpieces by artists such as Vincent Van Gogh, Adams honed her unique style and color palette.

In “Seeing in Color: Life on the Bright Side,” Adams’s whimsical spin on architectural paintings is showcased.

“Buildings especially intrigue me and create a sense of place, community and story,” said Adams. “I become enchanted with a building, whether an iconic landmark or a simple barn, then once the dance of painting begins I really study the structure and shapes and the uniqueness of the building and have time to wonder at its purpose.”

Asheville locals will recognize some familiar downtown landmarks that have been infused with energy and personality such as those illustrated in “Pack Square Jewels,” which highlights iconic buildings like the new Asheville Art Museum presented in primary colors against the backdrop of a lucid cerulean sky.

Adams’s paintings have been exhibited in group and solo shows throughout the United States and Belgium, and are included in collections worldwide. Recently she had the honor of painting a custom commission by Auburn University for a treasured donor.

Even with her extensive travels and exhibitions, Adams continues to approach her work with lightheartedness.

“I am a serious painter,” she said. “But I don’t create serious paintings. I give myself permission to have fun, to play.”

Her sense of humor is evident in “My Exotic 2020 Travels,” which features a well-loved armchair donned with a cozy throw and an open book.

Adams’ work will be on display all month long at the gallery, located at 82 Patton Ave, #2803. For information, call 828-251-5796.

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