# Arts in Milwaukee – Adam Stoner – art, theatre, design
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Arts in Milwaukee

A Public Service Of Milwaukee Artist Resource Network

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Adam Stoner

  • Art
  • Theatre
  • Design
I am an Art Professional I am a Theatre Professional I am a Design Professional

My Sites

artist bio

Adam Stoner makes paintings, drawings, and short films that visualize the intimate connections between architecture and our imagined interiorities. How are we mutually inhabited by the very places we inhabit? If we build structures, do they also build us? A recent MFA graduate of the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts, Adam is the recipient of UWM’s Chancellor’s Graduate Student Award, Layton Fellowship, and Williams College’s Gilbert W. Gabriel Prize in Theater. Originally trained in scenic design for theater, Adam’s research focuses on the memory of space, the latent agency of materials, and the question of the sacred at the boundary between interior/exterior.

artist statement

Towers echo with the songs of their past inhabitants; shoulders straighten into the walls of a courtyard; arcades meander through pillowed hills and become a body, which becomes a building, which is eroded by the wind and becomes a hill again.

My recent work is carried along by an old current; not of water, but of stone—of arches and vaults, capitals and brickwork, entrances and exits. The structures in these images draw from the lexicon of Romanesque sacred architecture—buildings which, in addition to providing a place for worship, served as a compact analogy for passage through the cosmos. The thresholds in these places marked the transition from Earth to Heaven, from the profane to the real, and from death to life.

As an inhabitant of a given structure, it is worth asking the question: in what ways have my building and my body become intertwined? Is the imagination inclined to dream with the same archways and doors of the sacred dwelling place? And although we claim an authorial hand over our architectures, do they not also live in us, reverberate in our memories, and orient us within the world?

In these images the threshold, the passage, the wall, and the arch all deviate from their traditional groundplans. Arcades twist, walls unfold, and cryptic interiors glow with a dark mystery. The result is a series of imagined places where the air is thick with time and longing, caught in the stasis of oil paint or breathing softly in moving sand.