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Edmonton born artist, Kim Adams shows an assemblage of miniature industrial and agricultural worlds, as well as life sized, automotive sculptures at the Varley Art Gallery until January 11, 2015. “One For The Road” not only celebrates Adams’ contribution to contemporary Canadian art, but also for receiving the Governor General Award’s in Visual Arts in 2014. The exhibition shows Adams’ one of a kind sculptures and installations made from repurposed, mundane objects found in our daily lives. Items such as toy cars, umbrellas, chairs, and a variety of things found at a local hardware store, are all taken apart and reassembled to make one beautifully crafted train wreck. Also on display are rough sketches and plans made by Adams to accompany his automative sculptures.



Installation shot, courtesy of Varley Art Gallery, photo: Alex Urosevic Photography

According to the curators of “One For The Road”, Cassandra Getty and Melanie Townsend, Adams’ interest in building miniature models began as a child during his regular back and forth travels with his parents from Edmonton to Australia. He spent many years of his childhood living in different cities, attending different schools, and seeing different landscapes, while his father pursued work around the world. In his teenage years, Adams fostered an interest for specialized vehicles, such as camper vans and food vendor trucks. This part of Adams’ life really set the stage for his future artistic pratices.

Kim Adams, New models, installation view, featuring French Kissing, 2012 , HO scale model parts, 18.2 x 20.4 x 14.6 cm , Collection of the Artist, Photo: Steve Martin

Adams' fascination for automotives flourished and expanded since his teenage years. His practice grew from creating miniature models to life size sculptures and installations. In Toaster Work Wagon, 1997, Adams assembles several bicycles, a couple of lawn chairs, and parts of a 1960 Volkswagen bus. The playful aspect shown in this piece is typical of Adams’ quirky style. This is apparent again in Gift Machine, 1998, where Adams constructs an installation of an imaginary vehicle using tennis balls, a ladder, umbrellas, a couple of scooters, foldable lawn chairs, and an abundance of nylon bags. The scooters make up the ends of this vehicle, and are connected by the ladder with a variety of humdrum objects hanging from it. These totally impractical ‘machines’ that Adams creates are not supposed to be functional or logical; it is meant to be humorous and silly. By illogically compiling different things together, Adams gives new meaning and new function (even if it is unfeasible) to these everyday objects that puzzle the viewer – almost poking fun at the real purpose of these objects that we’ve become so familiar with in our lives. It is funny and refreshing to see such ordinary objects be used in such unordinary ways.

Kim Adams, Toaster Work Wagon, 1997 , 1960s VW bus parts, bicycles, photo: Steve Martin

Kim Adams, Gift Machine, 1998 , scooters, wheelbarrows, ladders, tennis balls, umbrellas, bags , courtesy of Varley Art Gallery, photo: Alex Urosevic Photography






For more information about the show please contact the Varley Art Gallery:


(Twitter: @varleygallery, Facebook:, website:

As well as our gallery contact information:

905.477.7000 ext. 3261 or









By: JZ

Installation shot, courtesy of Varley Art Gallery, photo: Alex Urosevic Photography

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