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Rising Stars: Meet Vernon Adams

Today we’d like to introduce you to Vernon Adams.

Hi Vernon, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Coming from a small town in Mississippi trying to be a blooming flower in a “weed” minded environment, I have always had the drive to become a better me every day. Being blessed with creativity and drive I always try to encourage those around me. In turn, people like my protégé turned teacher, Lopaz Richardson, that positive push was reciprocated.

I landed in Memphis in 2007, bringing with me my photography skills to network and gain an even better creative aspect through influences like fashion and Art models Tianna Gilliam and CanSandra Joyner.

I’ve gone through ups and downs, from being homeless and living in a storage facility where I almost gave up my Art. Staying there for almost an entire year my Heavenly Creator showed me otherwise that my gifts were from Him, He showed me who my true friends are and that I’d better keep pushing. Pushing on is exactly what I did as well as what I’ll continue to do.

I’ve taught art in the community and from elementary school-aged kids to middle schoolers at Kirby Middle school. I’ve met and collaborated with dope Fine Artists throughout Memphis such as Thomas Spurlock. My Art mentors are Chuck Johnson and Terrance Robinson. I’ve been able to sell my art at festivals such as the Cooper-Young Festival.

I’m looking forward to displaying my art with the NKA gallery again, donating some of my works to Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church, and doing much more with my Art.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Not at all. There have always been those few God-sent people that have encouraged me and those gut punches that life hit me with.

There was a lady that took advantage of me in my teens because she knew that I wasn’t business savvy at all. There was a little discouragement from family.

I almost gave up on doing Art altogether while sitting homeless in a storage facility hiding out for about an entire year. After some forced meditation God spoke clearly to me about what I needed to do.

There have been other artists that have tried to ruin my reputation. But by the grace of Elohim, my character speaks volumes.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
A majority of my work reflects my visual perspective of my life experiences. I mostly paint black art, art that represents strength and love in all walks of life, strong women that make a “statement” and have defeated what life has thrown at them.

My art represents the beauty of black women, it evokes emotion and makes you think deeper. The paintings that I am most proud of is my painting titled “Gladiolus In the Valley” by Sister Thea Bowman and “Til The End of Time” by Afeni Shakur.

What were you like growing up?
Growing up, I was quiet for the most part, stayed to myself mostly- even though I, strangely, had friends. Art was always my way to escape, it has forever been my passion and my voice. I dabbled in music for a while, I still do- but not as much.

Even though I had a high school Art “teacher” I had never taken art in school until college, so it naturally has kept me sane.


  • $15,000 “Gladiolus In the Valley”

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