Digital artist has right ‘Idea’


Spencer Elaine (left), 75, of Sycamore, visits with artist Renie B. Adams Oct. 5 at the Art Box, 308 E. Lincoln Highway. Adams walked attendees through the gallery as they followed along with her collective art book.

By Alex Hyde

Bananas, valentine hearts and vivid patterns were all passions of local artist Renie B. Adams showcased in her art exhibition opening Sunday.

The Art Box, 308 E. Lincoln Highway, hosted an opening reception for the exhibition. The event featured 76-year-old Adams’ collection, “Dreams Caught,” and included original digital prints for sale and books of Adams’ work with descriptions of her thoughts on the displayed pieces.

Adams said her artwork is open to interpretation because it strikes people differently.

“I can’t do art that’s not meaningful … ,” Adams said. “I always think of it as a catalyst that there’s some common point between you and me.”

The atmosphere was quaint as attendees were invited to enjoy a glass of wine, coffee and finger foods while they viewed the artwork. Classical and jazz music softly played in the background, which added to the classy vibe of the event. While the venue was small, the artwork was laid out to flow with Adams’ book, “The Idea,” so one could take a tour while following along page by page.

Former art professor Dorothea Bilder said Adams’ work was creative and whimsical.

“And her color choices are really magnificent … ,” Bilder said. “I just really think she’s got a tremendous mind for all of this and she’s been doing this for many years. [Adams’ art] almost brings back a person’s childhood — just playing out in the yard with other people, being afraid of other things … . It’s really thought-provoking in many respects.”

Adams walked attendees through “The Idea,” which features digital graphic art and short descriptions. Though the book briefly mentions Adams’ obsession with Valentine’s Day hearts, I noticed it also included a banana, which seems to be a recurring theme in her artwork, as in her piece, “Banana Moon.”

In addition to Adams’ interpretive artwork, the exhibit included her pattern art. In one of Adams’ pieces, she used a jigsaw pattern with electrifying colors. While the printed pattern art was cool to look at, I would have enjoyed it more if one of her embroidered pieces had been displayed.

Adams created the artwork in the exhibition with only an electronic pad and stylus on her computer. She said she chose this form of art because as she got older, pain in her hands prevented her from continuing her embroidery work. She enjoyed the conversations her artwork led to.

“It’s like a picture is a catalyst for conversation between the artist and the viewer,” Adams said.

Adams’ work will be shown at the gallery until Nov. 8.