Artist Profile: Adam Zeek

What is your history with the IPRC?

I had been hearing positive things about the IPRC for what seemed like a decade before I ever set foot inside the studio.  Since becoming a member and regularly making work there I have developed my own deep appreciation for the staff and volunteers that make it all run so smoothly.  For many years of my life I have wanted to use equipment like this in a clean and inviting studio space.  The IPRC has made that possible for me and I couldn’t be happier.

What inspires your work?

Music, Nature, Found Materials, Friends, Dogs, Getting Lost…

What is the importance of community in your work?

Creating and maintaining a community on the local level has always been important to me.  Creating artwork in a vacuum seems wasteful and going viral on the internet seems oddly lonely.  For me, creating and sharing on a local level has brought so many inspiring people and friendships into my life.  I love the IPRC because the shared studio space fosters community among local artists.  My community is so important for regularly giving me inspiration and support.  Thank you friends, I truly love you.

As a carpenter, it seems that much of your work has to do with creating a physical space.  What unique opportunities does this have compared with other mediums?

I am a trained carpenter and for many years I made my living remodeling and building homes in Portland.  About 5 years ago I started using my carpentry tools to make artwork.  I started exploring different methods for cutting and shaping wood while simultaneously letting my mind wander.  Every so often I get to bring these two worlds together and create artful statements within a living space.  I love when this happens because It feels like Life and Art are dancing.

In addition to carpentry, you also work in a variety of other mediums.  What drives you to explore so many different kinds of making?

I love changing mediums!!  I feel like it has a way of keeping my ideas fresh and my experience exciting.  When I was younger I would switch mediums so often that I felt it inhibited my growth in any one area.  Now I try to only practice three mediums at any one time.  This way I can rotate mediums if something is feeling stuck or stagnant while also concentrating enough to foster growth or breakthroughs.  Woodworking and Printmaking are longstanding mediums I like to practice, the third changes often based on inspiration.

What do you do when you are procrastinating?

It may look like procrastination but my method for tackling larger projects is to do a little bit everyday.  This really helps me not feel overwhelmed.

Do you have any projects you are working on currently?

Yes, I am working on several projects right now.  In my shop at home I am making a batch of handmade mirrors and sculptures to sell this summer.  I am also gearing up for a small art show at Worn Path here in Portland.  The art show will feature some of my wood working, risograph prints, and handmade clothing.  And lastly, I am working to release a Carpentry themed edition with Fritz Haeg’s Salmon Creek Farm project.  I am so happy to be collaborating on these projects with friends and living a life filled with art and creativity.

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BIO – (b.1984) I am born and raised in the Willamette Valley and currently live just west of Portland in North Plains, OR.  I have been lucky enough to live a life filled with art.  My parents are artists and educators that at an early age instilled a very strong DIY work ethic in me.  I live with my wonderful wife Kristin in an old barn we converted into our residence.  We live with horses, chickens, and donkeys and really love it.  I am very thankful to be able to make art, I feel it lets me see the world through a pretty special lens.

Website – www.northwestofthenation.com

IG – @zeekadam

All images used with permission of the artist
Interview by Luke Mollerup

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