Living through the pandemic has profoundly impacted our lives and has affected different people in different ways. Some have spent the past eight months scared of the uncertainty, some have spent it angry due to the business closures, while others got inspired.
In May, Atascadero fashion designer Farron Elizabeth and artist Adam Welch teamed up to collaborate on what they are calling the “Resilient Project.” Inspired by the strong, resolute women in North County, the pair developed a clothing line and series of painted portraits portraying the community’s strength.
Adam began his journey as an artist in Merrimack County, N.H., in the small town of Epsom. He came into his own without any formal training and, through his experiences, has blazed a unique trail that has led him to over 40 countries, including Guatemala, Cambodia, Ghana, Australia, Peru, Lebanon, and Nepal, to name a few.
In 2015, Adam set up his first art studio in San Diego, and in 2018 he held his first major solo art exhibition, “Urban Archaic” in downtown Paso Robles, which sold out in a single evening.
Though the popular artist has not been on the Central Coast long, his art has more than likely already made its way into your life. Adam painted all of the art at Bristols Cider House in Atascadero and has had his work featured on wine bottles and admired in magazines.
“I still see myself as a street artist. I have no formal training at all. I have never been to art school,” he said. “The painting from most of what I have done is just spray painting in the streets and running from cops. Pulling things out of dumpsters and painting on garbage. You look at other artists in the Paso Robles area, and they are classically trained. I think that is why Farron gravitated towards me because I am this crazy street artist, but there is an intersection now, which is really fascinating.”
The artist’s newest project has him trying his hand at something new, women’s fashion. Together, with Farron, the two have created a line of apparel that prominently features the word “resilience” in a unique Old English gothic font that Adam created. Farron took the clothing they made and featured the pieces on local women that inspired them to stand strong in a photoshoot.
Adam took those images and put his own flair on them, focusing on the grace and beauty that is juxtaposed with their courage and bravery. Great art is meant to tell a story and convey emotions through the eyes, which the artist has captured repeatedly.
“I like contradiction, polarity, contrast, not just in my style but in the subjects themselves,” Adam shared. “There is so much power in the gaze of a woman when their eyes tell a story and make you feel vulnerable like they see right through all of your crap. That is what I want these paintings for the Resilient Project to possess — an immediacy that is fleeting but anchored to a set of eyes that are forged from iron. I want there to be a balance of silk and steel — chaos and control. That contradiction can be found in all of my favorite wines, music, and food. It is the ultimate goal of my art, to possess strength and elegance.”
After years of nearly nomadic living, it appears Adam’s art has found a home on the Central Coast as Farron Elizabeth will act as his exclusive art dealer.
While the thought of buying art can be intimidating to some because of the price, Adam and Farron have created this campaign to be accessible and affordable.
The duo has also decided to give back to the community with this project and donate a portion of the proceeds from the project to a local charity.
To see Adam’s art or purchase a piece from the Resilient Project, visit Farron Elizabeth at 5955 Entrada Ave, Atascadero, or online at farronelizabeth.com.