We had the good fortune of connecting with Adrianna Speer and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Adrianna, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
This is a poignant question considering our current social, economic, and political situation. The answer, just like the answer to anything, is relative to the circumstance and subjective to the person(s) involved. Everyone has their own personal or institutional deadlines, level of tolerance, and capacity for patience. As a visual artist, someone constantly in question about my surroundings, state of being, and methods of work, I’d like to think that I’ve got a strong independent work ethic, high tolerance levels, and an large capacity for patience. Everything I do in the studio is a variable–nothing is ever consistent except for the amount of time and effort spent working. I don’t believe in “giving up”, but I do believe in self-reflection and being kind to yourself. Allow yourself the time to feel a certain way or think a certain way or perform a certain act. It’s also a good idea to take a break! Slow your roll! Working doesn’t always have to be physical; it can be metaphysical; mental and visual. The answer is to always keep going.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a visual artist currently working and living in Denver, Colorado and teaching at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design in the Foundations Department. I’m a Louisiana transplant which is were I earned my BFA and MFA. I work in all media and hate to silo myself into one media, but I’m most proficient in painting and drawing. My work has been exhibited nationally in venues such as Site:Brooklyn in Brooklyn, NY, Verum Ultimum Gallery, in Portland, OR. I’ve participated in national and international artist residency programs such as Taleamor Park in Indiana, Burren College of Art in Ireland, and Atelier de la Rose in France. I make works using rudimentary shapes influenced by natural and unnatural land formations, phenomena, and paradoxical happenings. My goal is to create images and objects suggesting multi-purpose locations, figurative manifestations, and to visualize coexistences physical and metaphysical forces in harmony and opposition. Emphasized by repetition, mirrored imaging, color gradients, collage, and gestural mark making, my works are developed with an experimental mixed media approach. Words such as “minimalism”, “color fields”, formalism”, and “linear abstraction” get thrown around quite often when discussing my work. It’s easy to grind to get somewhere when you have a clear vision of where you want to end up. So professionally, I always knew I wanted to make visual art, be a part of higher education/academia, and facilitate arts-based community growth. Nothing is ever easy; everything, if you care about it enough, requires very hard work, dedication and sacrifices. The grind can be exhausting, but absolutely thrilling. The key thing to remember is to not stop–keep going. Be true to your interests, continuously polish your execution, build your skillset, and grow your network. The saying is true, though, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
My dearest friend, Megan, visits often! She’s a travel savant, has a diverse palette, and is easy-going and energetic. We live in the 5 Points neighborhood of Denver next to RiNo so there’s countless things to do when were not in a pandemic lockdown! We would start our weekend over at a rooftop bar with an incredible mountain view, such as 54Thirty, for cocktails and nibbles and to watch the sunset and catch up. Then we’d head over to 715 Club for a divey nightcap on Welton Street and OF COURSE Famous Original J’s Pizza for a late dinner. Saturday would start with coffee and chai or CBD latte’s from Carbon Cafe & Bar in 5 Points. Carbon also has awesome speciality doughnuts! Grabbing our coffee to-go, we’d drive out to a hike at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison or over in Boulder’s front-range. Post-hike would follow with a late lunch, at either Denver Central Market, Dairy Block’s Milk Market, or Avanti’s–all of these places are open-market style eateries with many different options for food and drinks! We need to end lunch with something sweet, so I would take Megan to Little Man’s Ice Cream in the Highlands and walk around Confluence Park along the Platte River. Saturday night we’d go out–find some live music, karaoke, dance–whatever! Sunday would be a chill day of sleeping in late, walking down to Rosenberg’s Bagels for brunch, and stroll around the RiNo Arts District brewery hopping and art/mural gandering. Later we’d bike over to Marczyk’s Fine Foods, a great neighborhood market, for ribeyes to grill that evening out on our building’s pool deck–it has an incredible mountain view!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to give a shout out to the whole world! I’m very fortunate to live the life I do and to be encouraged. mentored, and inspired by so many people, places, things, and times in my life. My husband, parents, Granny Boots, Kit GIlbert, Joey Slaughter, John Malveto, my students, the 40 West Arts Community, my girlfriends–these are just the tip of the ice berg of heavily influential resources I’ve been so lucky to have. I truly believe that my success is contingent upon myself and those within my community. The most recent book I’ve finished was Jerry Saltz’s “How To Be An Artist”. The book is is fantastic and spot on for the everyday struggle and can be applicable to all passions and genres.

Website: https://www.adriannaspeer.com/
Instagram: @adriannaspeer_artist
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adrianna-speer-2ab8a291/

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