An artist and an advocate

July 25, 2022

ALUMNI

In many aspects of her life, Lindsay Adams finds meaning in what lies beneath the surface.

Adams, a 2012 grad, is a professional artist who paints portraits of Black, female figures. She recently debuted her solo exhibition “Two Things Can Be True” in Washington, D.C., inspired by her own experience with a disability.

“My subjects are a reflection and extension of self, where I challenge the narratives of both race and representation, while questioning my own feelings of otherness and exclusion,” Adams said. “Frequently I position solitary figures within intimate, yet unknown spaces. I allow the subjects to exist outside of expectation or restriction.”

Advocacy can take on many different forms, and for me, it started with speaking up.
Lindsay Adams

2012 Graduate

Adams did not address her cerebral palsy for a long time. “It’s not visibly evident outside of my speech impediment,” she said. “But it makes me who I am, and has given me a level of emotional intelligence and self-awareness that has helped me … and how I relate with others.” 

Since addressing her cerebral palsy and advocating for herself in her work and in her personal life, she has become an advocate for others with cerebral palsy and other disabilities. 

“It is easier for the world to adjust and change to accommodate persons with disabilities, than it is for persons with disabilities to have to adapt,” Adams said. “Engaging in conversations about the different layers of diversity and inclusion is important to me.”

She paints her portraits from memory — inspired by herself, family, and friends. Each figure is centered with a direct gaze at the viewer.

“I create a space for them to demonstrate an unalarmed agency with a keen sense of self,” she said. “In doing so, I examine how identity, gender, and self-disclosure can be represented.”

Like her portraits, she now has that strong sense of self, and a drive to help others embrace and understand those with disabilities.

“Advocacy can take on many different forms, and for me, it started with speaking up.”