Trove Gallery showcase is an Adams family affair
The Trove Gallery’s new exhibit during the upcoming Park City Kimball Arts Festival will be a family affair with husband and wife Doug and Dianne Adams.
Doug, known for his metal sculptures of bells, will set up a series of his creations outside the gallery, while Dianne will do some watercolor demonstrations from Friday through Sunday.
The two said they were looking forward to represent Trove during the festival.
“I won’t be doing my demos, because of the welding that is involved in my sculptures, but I will probably line up five or six bells and play them,” Doug said. “It’s fun for me to do, because you can’t touch most art. I, on the other hand, love to encourage people, especially youths and kids, to play my art.”
Dianne, who also teaches art, will work with her go-to medium, watercolors, during that time.
“I don’t work with watercolors in the traditional way,” she said. “I prime my canvas and paint my watercolors directly on the canvas. Then I apply a two-part resin that has UV protection in it to protect the watercolors. It’s very glossy and makes the colors pop.”
The couple’s 15-year-old son, Ryan, will also accompany his parents, but won’t bring any of his art due to an exclusive agreement he has with a gallery in Arizona, according to Doug.
“Ryan makes his own bells, and has some great artwork, which involves him sculpting animals like elk and deer,” Doug said.
Doug’s fascination with creating metal bells started 40 years ago while he worked at Nucor Steel in northern Utah.
“I saw this metal cylinder and thought it would probably make a cool sound if I hit it,” he said. “I did, and I was absolutely astounded at the clarity of the tone.”
At that time, Doug didn’t know how to weld, so after he designed what he wanted the bell to look like, he took it down to the mill’s fabrication shop and asked someone to put it on a chain.
He didn’t design or make another bell for the next 10 years.
“I married Dianne 17 years ago, and she was the one who introduced the art world to me,” Doug said. “I wanted to do some art and asked her what I could do. She saw that old bell hanging in a tree, and said, ‘you ought to try making some of these.’”
Some 4,500 bells later, Doug is still making his ringers and has sold them in different galleries all over the world over the past 15 years, he said.
The Adamses pride themselves on creating art out of recycled materials.
All of the work of Doug and Ryan is made from metal scraps, while Dianne recycles her own paper out of junk mail.
“The steel mill I worked for recycled more than 1 million tons of scrap steel a year to make usable products including rebar and angle slats,” Doug said. “So I guess you can say I became indoctrinated in the recycling program back then.”
By the time he retired, Doug has acquired more than 100 tons of scrap metal for his pieces.
In addition, Dianne also works with recycled glass to embellish some of Doug’s works.
These embellishments changes the tones of the bells, he said.
“The tones are also affected by the length of the cylinders, the diameter of the openings, the thickness of the metal and how I weld them together,” he said. “A tone will also change slightly if I hang a bell differently.”
Doug has found many people who purchase his bells are attracted to the different aspects of the art.
“While I do know what a good tone sounds like, quite honestly, the tone isn’t as important as it is to some people as it is to others,” he said. “Many people are like the visuals and aesthetics of the work as it sits in a yard or entryway of a home. Some people will ring the bell everyday, and others may not ring them for several months.”
Like Doug and his sculptures, Dianne doesn’t paint her subjects the same way twice.
She is drawn to rusty automobiles, gas pumps and rocks. She photographs the images for reference before painting.
“I always say if you want your painting to look like a photograph, you should take a photo,” Dianne said. “But, you can’t do what I do with watercolor in a photograph. It’s all how the paint interacts with the canvass, and how the colors interact with each other.”
Dianne didn’t start working with watercolors until nearly decade out of art school.
“In college I did a little bit of everything, except for watercolors, because the other students told me how difficult they were,” she said. “They told me if I wanted an A in the class, I shouldn’t do watercolors.”
Now, that medium is her favorite.
“I love how the colors fuse together to wonderfully,” she said.
Although Doug is grateful he can sell his work to make a living, he will always keep that first bell close by.
“We host a scout camp on our property in Idaho, and those scouts use that bell as their dinner bell,” he said.
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