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Meet Mia B. Adams

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mia B. Adams.

Mia B., can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Growing up, I was a child that would draw on walls and furniture with anything I could get my hands on. Today, I use art as a means to highlight important social and political issues. Throughout the years, my creative endeavors and goals continuously changed as I went through school. In high school, I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do, I just knew that it had to be creative. After graduating, I attended Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts and received my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a focus in Intertermedia in 2019. During my undergrad, I developed a body of political work that utilizes various mediums including video, sculpture, installation and more.

I began making political work around my Sophomore year of college. The Black Lives Matter movement, in particular, was extremely impactful for me from seeing people of color standing up and speaking out against injustice. People in our communities are hurting. I thought if they can take a stand, I can do it too and become a part of a very crucial movement. As I continued to educate myself on different issues in the United States, I had a strong desire to use conceptual art to make a change in the world. In addition to the Black Lives Matter movement, a lot of my inspiration comes from various influential women, artists, and activists that came before me. From liberation groups such as the Black Panther Party to visual artists like Faith Ringgold and Sonya Clark. Delving into topics of identity, race, discrimination, and social hierarchies, I am actively exploring and challenging the interconnections of art and social justice through my studio practice. As a Black and Latina artist, my underlying foundation is to use my work as a way to expose the voices of those who have been silenced by society.

As of 2019, I have shown my work throughout Phoenix and nationally, with my work being exhibited in galleries in Washington D.C., Chicago, and Nashville. Moving forward, I aim to continue exhibiting my work nationally and soon show my work on an international level.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
One of the struggles I’ve faced on my journey has been finding my place within the art world. Being a woman of color who makes political art, I’ve had to find opportunities and spaces that are welcoming of my kind of work. I used to worry about how people would react to my art but I always revert back to why I started making it in the first place, to enable conversation. In connection with some individual’s avoidance and uncomfortable nature about certain topics, my work is meant to confront the viewer with issues that are very much alive in communities all over the country and the world. Through my work, I hope to create a level of compassion and understanding about the struggles that a lot of people in this country face so that we can become more unified and continue to fight for justice.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
As a visual artist, I use video, sculpture, installation, and photography to challenge the ideas of our society through social and political confrontation. My work is a reflection of ongoing issues that exist in our communities and have personally impacted my life. These issues, as a result, affect the way I move through the world as a Black and Latina woman. My main goal is to create bold visuals and concepts that challenge my audience to analyze the world around them or expose them to information that they otherwise wouldn’t have known. The topics I highlight are typically swept underneath the carpet OR avoided. For this reason, I aim to create a dialogue about social and political issues that are significant to me in order to move us towards equality and justice.

Some of my favorite pieces include my installation piece Fallen Pins of America and my latest video piece Freedom has Never Tasted so Good. My piece Fallen Pins of America discusses the issue of police brutality in the United States. I utilized red yard, pins, a United States Map, and online records from 2014-2018 to pin where UNARMED people of color have been killed by police. My video piece Freedom has Never Tasted so Good is a satirical representation of the dark history of the United States. Reflecting on the long history of indigenous massacres, slavery, and issues within the immigration system, vivid red cake is used to represent the ongoing terror that in the end, always gets sugar-coated. Even after the damage is done, subtle remnants of that history still remain present in contemporary society. At this point in my journey, I am most proud of showing my piece Freedom has Never Tasted so Good in various states across the country. The video I’m discussing along with my other work can be viewed on my website!

What were you like growing up?
Growing up, I was a shy kid who loved to draw. I had a love for the arts, anywhere from drawing to dancing to fashion. I always wanted to learn new ways to create, and I am the same to this day. I am continuously looking for new mediums and techniques to explore so that my work is constantly evolving. Since all of my work is conceptual, my medium plays a crucial role in conveying a specific message based on my concept. A lot of times, I find inspiration from the medium itself. Even as I get older, I am still eager to create and grow my knowledge and skills.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Mia B. Adams and Miler-Anne Latinovich

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