Political Devotions
Public Spaces
Creativity as survival

Creativity as survival

Podcast episode #3: HQ2's first artist in residence draws his subjects from the "sea of everybody"

Meet Adam Henry, who creates both art and public spaces. The combination led to Adam’s appointment in January as Amazon HQ2’s first artist in residence.

On our podcast, Adam shares his approaches—his literal approaches—to strangers at coffee shops, restaurants, and subways. He sketches them and then introduces himself to his subjects. He gives them the art and, quite often, hears back from them about how this artist-stranger’s gesture helped them cope with something difficult.

It’s hard to keep this artist in residence in residence.

Adam (right) at Innovation Studio with his apprentice and son, also named Adam.

I also interview Catherine Anchin, the Executive Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington, about Adam’s accessible art and style.

Adam creates statues, paintings, installation art, costumes, and (of course) drawings, all of which draw people. His art is often complex but never abstruse or complicated.

This episode also explores Adam’s notion of creativity as a means of surviving society. We examine how, except for the privileged, survival and self-actualization aren’t at polar ends of a personal or public hierarchy.

After his six-week stint as the first artist-in-residence at HQ2’s Innovation Studio, Adam returns as this year’s artist-in-residence at StudioPAUSE’s Columbia Pike and Ballston locations.

Adam’s gorilla-in-the making at StudioPAUSE. Adam would love for you to drop by as he works.
Adam explains how he constructed his velociraptor out of discarded objects from construction sites and elsewhere.

My thanks to Cutesy Chamber Ensemble for the licensed use of its “The Sweetest.”

Political Devotions
Public Spaces
Public Spaces chronicles two suburban émigrés' encounters with city people creating different kinds of local, public life.
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Appears in episode
Bryce Tolpen