Mixmaster presents "100 Creatives," in which we feature cultural entrepreneurs of Dallas in random order. Know an artistic mind who deserves a little bit of blog love? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the whos and whys.
One doesn't quickly forget their first visit to WAAS Gallery - or the first time meeting the gallery's extraordinarily creative owner and curator Brandy Michele Adams.
Based on a handful of exhibition openings I've attended at WAAS, the gallery always feels like an open, welcoming space for artists to show their work. And, likewise, Adams always seems welcoming, positive and effervescent. A self-aware "rare bird" and self-taught painter, Adams possesses a style that is remarkably unique. She accurately describes her style as Rainbow Bright meets Alexander McQueen.
Born in Florida, Adams was raised in Dallas and spent her formative years in the area before heading to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a make-up artist, studying at Los Angeles' Westmore Academy of Cosmetic Arts. This post offers a great recap of Adams reasons for leaving, then returning to Dallas and opening WAAS.
Even after a brief conversation with Adams, you come away believing that she believes art has the power to educate, enrich and transform a community. Adams has described her gallery as "an artist helping artist kind of gallery." And WAAS is an independent art gallery that features established artists and up-and-comers, and as their about me says serves as "an incubator for art."
Adams is a natural host - in the gallery or on stage. And she served as the emcee several art-related events in Dallas over the past year, most notably RAW's Dallas events. And she's the one who will greet you at the gallery, which is a two-story building built in the 1930s located between Fair Park and Deep Ellum (2722 Logan Street) with more than 3,000 square feet of show space, allowing plenty of room for interesting larger art installations.
[Editor's note: We left Adams' capitalization intact. And, yes, that's ten words (not five).]
Describe your aesthetic in five words. Rainbow Bright Meets Alexander McQueen (Magical, Intergalactic, Baroque, Organic, Fearless) What in your daily life inspires you? I wake every morning to the joy of my six-year-old son Oliver who inspires me daily to manifest my dreams, make a better world for him, and help others heal while healing myself. The mystery in our universe motivates me to create daily and search the known and unknown.
What do you know now that you wish you knew as a younger artist? Do the Hard Work while you are Young! There's time for fun later. Be aware how valuable you are and your time is. Be Purposeful, Be Creative, Be Expressive, Be Truth, Be You. You won't regret it, I promise. What's your contribution to the Dallas arts scene? Shifting and shaping the New Contemporary Art World. The world we live in now is ever changing and moves even faster in other places, leaving spots like home (Dallas) slightly behind, but that's OK. I am here to speed things up. I love and believe in emerging artists like many in Dallas do, but I also know that in order for Arts and Artists to grow in Dallas we have to embrace established artists from around the world. I love bringing in the Unknown. I am from here, but after coming back on some major self discovery life changing trip to LA I waas forever changed and clear on what I would love to see Dallas become. I want to support local art just like the next, but I also want to push the local artists here to their boundary and get out and explore the art world. The trickle down effect really works in this case. I am not afraid to take a risk. People here seem to be afraid of that. I am trying to help the city open up to new ideas, thoughts, technology, and expanding art and culture in general. It is time to shine. What brought you to Dallas and what is keeping you here? Got my wrist tattooed "There Is No Place Like Home" over 10 years ago in California and knew it was my job and destiny to return. Many things keep me here but one big thing is the need. Many [people] ask why aren't you in LA or Austin? Well, Dallas needs more rare birds like myself. I know people like to think we have a flourishing art scene here in Dallas, but we're in desperate need of real support for the arts. Not just culture vultures looking to get a piece of the next trendy creative to collect and hang over their couch. I'm here because I want to show Dallas the rest of the world through my eyes, opening a vortex of creative communication and experience while ART SAVES LIVES. WAAS has become my second child so I must stay to continue the art of life: growth, transcendence, expansion, and cultivating consciousness thru art.
What's new with WAAS? (And what's new with RAW?) WAAS UP at WAAS Gallery all kinds of WAASOMENESS! Milton Glaser creator of I heart NY is in the WAAS house with Limited Edition Signed Prints and a project that I can't really tell you about just yet but 2015 is all ready lining up. WAAS is going thru another renovation and expansion so no exhibition for August but there will be a one-day event August 16th from 6 [p.m.] to midnight. ALL WOMANS ART SHOW CALLED "Woman For Hire" produced by WAAS Events Coordinator Veronica Aldridge featuring emerging artist Karla Camarena and emerging hip hop musical guest Alsace. Traveling to LA this month for West Coast WAAS launch at NRG Recording in North Hollywood, CA. This is such an amazing opportunity for the Artist I represent and believe in. We will be doing quarterly exhibitions with appointments to private collectors. Then WAAS Opens the Fall Art Scene with COLLECT RESPECT and new partnership with Ethos Gallery out of Los Angeles and Eddie Donaldson.
RAW Dallas is one of the greatest opportunities I have had to be me and show others how to shine. I wish more things like RAW were available when I was an up-and-coming makeup and hair artist. I am honored that Sara Badran asked me to take her hand and make this movement happen. We have grown and learned more than I could have ever imagined. The next one is August 22 called ALLURE and I will be turning 37, so lets celebrate and shine together.
What is something that Dallas doesn't know about you? I am the SECRET. I WAAS a lot of things......professional dancer, actress, celebrity hair and makeup artist, building material supplier, and being a survivor of sexual abuse and trauma.
A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What do you do? Buy the island and live there six months out of the year working on helping others de-program and get back to the true self thru meditation, yoga, tea, self discovery. Then the other time I would love to be travel the world with my son seeing the world through his eyes while working on Exhibitions and Selling Art of all kinds to the World and keep educating myself about this Heaven On Earth. We Are All Stars. 100 Creatives: 100. Theater Mastermind Matt Posey 99. Comedy Queen Amanda Austin 98. Deep Ellum Enterpriser Brandon Castillo 97. Humanitarian Artist Willie Baronet 96. Funny Man Paul Varghese 95. Painting Provocateur Art Peña 94. Magic Man Trigg Watson 93. Enigmatic Musician George Quartz 92. Artistic Luminary Joshua King 91. Inventive Director Rene Moreno 90. Color Mavens Marianne Newsom and Sunny Sliger 89. Literary Lion Thea Temple 88. Movie Maestro Eric Steele 87. Storytelling Dynamo Nicole Stewart 86. Collaborative Artist Ryder Richards 85. Party Planning Print maker Raymond Butler 84. Avant-gardist Publisher Javier Valadez 83. Movie Nerd James Wallace 82. Artistic Tastemakers Elissa & Erin Stafford 81. Pioneering Arts Advocates Mark Lowry & Michael Warner 80. Imaginative Director Jeremy Bartel 79. Behind-the-Scenes Teacher Rachel Hull 78. Kaleidoscopic Artist Taylor "Effin" Cleveland 77. Filmmaker & Environmentalist Michael Cain 76. Music Activist Salim Nourallah 75. Underground Entrepreneur Daniel Yanez 74. Original Talent Celia Eberle 73. Comic Artist Aaron Aryanpur 72. Classical Thespian Raphael Parry 71. Dance Captain Valerie Shelton Tabor 70. Underground Culture Mainstay Karen X. Minzer