Home Artists Tracey Adams


Tracey Adams

Carmel by the Sea, United States

17 Works exhibited on Kooness

Current location

Carmel by the Sea

Represented by

Works by Tracey Adams

Tracey Adams is an American abstract painter and printmaker. Her artworks reflect a strong interest in musical patterns, rhythms, lyrical compositional elements and what she calls a sense of performance.  She lives and works in Carmel, California.

Adams earned her BA from Mount St. Mary's College in Los Angeles in 1978. She studied printmaking and painting at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston from 1979 to 1981, and earned her Master's Degree from the New England Conservatory of Music in 1980. She has received several fellowships and grants, including the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2015, a grant from the US Department of State and the Ministry of Culture, and a Vermont Studio Center Fellowship.


Adams works on panel and paper, using a mixture of paint, encaustic and graphite as well as elements of monotype and collage. Planning and intuition equally inform her process. Often, she will begin a work or a series from the perspective of an exact mathematical formula, planning compositional elements in advance. Other times she will begin with a grid structure then work within that structure, incorporating organic, performative gestures and expressive brushwork. Regardless where a particular work begins, Adams engages in an open, exploratory process that allows the work to evolve. Often the finished result is a mixture of her original idea and her instinct, creating a composition that captures the essence of the harmony of mind and emotion.


Her background in music is what most inspires Tracey Adams. Her works draw heavily on musical structure, rhythm and composition. Her color choices speak to her personal surroundings living on a peninsula near Monterrey in central California. The light off of the water, the muting capacity of the fog, the colors of the setting sun and the palette of the lush local flora all find their way into her work. While a graduate student, Adams was able to work often with the composer and artist John Cage, who profoundly influenced her progress. She has said that her work strives to capture the calmness and beauty of an environment she would like to be in herself.

I live near the Pacific ocean and walk along the beach everyday - all the beautiful limb-like forms of seaweed and algae find their way into my work as do the colors of the water, sky and tree forms. I work on a continuum of organic gesture to geometry. They represent two distinct, but very real sides of who I am. My mind is very organized…while at the same time, I love to draw in an unrestricted and intuitive way with lots of physical movement. The challenge comes in trying to merge both cohesively.”

Adams has exhibited extensively in solo and group shows throughout the United States and occasionally in Europe.


Work by Adams is part of the permanent collections of several museums, including the Bakersfield Art Museum, the Monterey Museum of Art, the Fresno Art Museum, the Tucson Art Museum, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Her work is also part of multiple corporate collections, including those of Adobe Systems, AT&T Corporate Headquarters, Hallmark Corporate Headquarters, Sony Corporation, and Intel.

Solo Exhibitions


Primordial Soup San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose, CA (Curator: Cathy Kimball)


Cause and Effect: Mapping a Dialogue Bryant Street Gallery, Palo Alto, CA


Patterns of Infinity Bryant Street Gallery, Palo Alto and Winfield Gallery, Carmel


Lumenis Winfield Gallery, Carmel


Oblique Intention Patricia Rovzar Gallery, Seattle and Bryant Street Gallery, Palo Alto


Perspectives in Balance Anne Loucks Gallery, Glencoe, IL
Between Gesture and Geometry Fresno Art Museum, Fresno


Elements of Harmony Mark Gallery, Englewood, NJ
Between Gesture and Geometry Gebert Gallery, Venice, CA
Spontaneous Meditations Anne Loucks Gallery, Chicago


Synapse/Synapses Monterey Peninsula College, Monterey
Recent Encaustic Paintings Patricia Rovzar Gallery, Seattle
Mindful Inversions Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History and Bryant Street Gallery, Palo Alto


Recent Encaustic Paintings Patricia Rovzar Gallery, Seattle


Music of Spheres, Rhythm of Squares Melanee Cooper Gallery, Chicago
Thinking in Circles Bryant Street Gallery, Palo Alto


The Perfection of Imperfection Bryant Street Gallery, Palo Alto & Winterowd Fine Art, Santa Fe


The Symmetry of Asymmetry Monterey Museum of Art and Bryant Street Gallery, Palo Alto


Routines and Rituals Bryant Street Gallery, Palo Alto


Intervals: Gesture to Icon Kathryn Markel Fine Arts, New York City and Bryant Street Gallery,


Intimate Possibilities Sandy Carson Gallery, Denver and Bryant Street Gallery, Palo Alto


Broken Symmetry Kathryn Markel Fine Arts, New York City


New Work Andrea Schwartz Gallery, San Francisco


New Monotypes Winfield Gallery, Carmel


Ambiguities Monterey Peninsula College, Monterey

Selected Group Exhibitions


Storied Paper Carl Cherry Center for the Arts Carmel, CA (Curator: Robert Reese)
Brand Spanking Blue Bryant Street Gallery, Palo Alto, CA
Work X 5 Clark Gallery, Lincoln, MA
Art on Paper NY, K. Imperial Fine Art, San Francisco, CA


PAPER: burned, cut, folded and stitched Bryant Street Gallery, Palo Alto, CA (Curator: Tracey Adams)
Art on Paper K. Imperial Fine Art, NYC, NY
In the Abstract Anne Loucks Gallery, Glencoe, IL
24th Annual Group Exhibition Rovzar Gallery, Seattle, WA


Between The Spaces, Butters Gallery, Portland, OR (Curator: Elise Wagner)
Art on Paper, K. Imperial Fine Art, NYC, NY
ArtHamptons, Bruce Lurie Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Adaptations, Patricia Rovzar Gallery, Seattle, WA
eXXpectations, Cornell Museum of Art, DelrayBeach, FL (Curator: Melanie Johanson)
Momentum Transferred, Bruce Lurie Gallery, Los Angeles, CA


Swept Away: Translucence, Transparence, Transcendence in Contemporary EncausticHunterdon Art Museum, Clinton, NJ
SHIFT: Five Decades of Contemporary California Painting Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey
The Circle Game Tucson Art Museum, Tucson
Outside/In K. Imperial Fine Art, San Francisco


Facing Forward, Recent Acquisitions: 2000 to Present Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey
Swept Away: Translucence, Transparence, Transcendence in Contemporary Encaustic Cape Cod Museum of Art, Dennis, MA (Curator of Exhibitions: Michael Giaquinto
Elephant in the Room: Contemporary Work in Encaustic Laconia Gallery, Boston (Curators: Linda Cordner and James Hull)
Conference Instructors Exhibition Schoolhouse Gallery, Provincetown


Winter Exhibition: Recent Acquisitions Bakersfield Museum of Art, Bakersfield
LA Art Show Gebert Gallery, LA Convention Center, Los Angeles
Affordable Art Fair Patricia Rovzar Gallery, Seattle Center, Seattle


Action Abstraction Mark Gallery, Englewood, NJ
Rock, Scissors, Paper: Bay Area Collage Bryant Street Gallery, Palo Alto
Third Anniversary Show Gebert Gallery, Venice, CA
San Francisco Fine Art Fair Bryant Street Gallery, San Francisco


Vessels Bakersfield Museum of Art, Bakersfield (Curator: Aaron Weisenfeld)
Los Angeles Art Fair Los Angeles Convention Center, Gebert Gallery, Venice, CA


Working with Wax: Contemporary Encaustic Painting in Northern California Santa Rosa Junior College, Santa Rosa, CA (Curator: Thomas Morphis)


PRINTED Cabrillo College Gallery, Aptos, CA (Juror: Archana Horsting)
Diverse Impressions: Bay Area Abstraction Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA (Curator: George Rivera)
225º F: Encaustic Encounters Turchin Center for the Arts, Boone, NC (Curator: Brook Bower)
4th Annual Encaustic Invitational Conrad Wilde Gallery, Tucson (Curator: Elizabeth Meigs)


trans+lucent Gebert Gallery, Venice, CA
New Encaustic Paintings Julie Nester Gallery, Park City
Relative Geometries Conrad Wilde Gallery, Tucson (Curator: Elizabeth Meigs)
Contemporary Ruin Escondido Museum, Escondido, CA (Curator: Olivia Luther)
A View of the Collection Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, Santa Cruz


Three Encaustic Painters: Tracey Adams, Mark Rediske, Tony Scherman Carson Masuoka Gallery, Denver
Encaustic Works 2007 Ball State University, Muncie, IN and Watermark/Cargo Gallery, Kingston, NY (Juror: Joan Snyder)
California Views National Steinbeck Museum, Salinas, CA (Curator: Scott Shields)
Affordable Art Fair Julie Nester Gallery and Bryant Street Gallery, New York City


SFMOMA Art Auction 2006 San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco
Invitational Auction (fundraiser) San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose
Art (212) The 69th Regiment Armory, Kathryn Markel Fine Arts, New York City


Gallery Artists Allene Lapides Gallery, Santa Fe
Works on Paper The 69th Regiment Armory, Kathryn Markel Fine Arts, New York City
Monothon San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose


Between the Lines: Traveling Full Circle Carl Cherry Center for the Arts, Carmel


Images of Vermont (traveling exhibition) Andy Warhol Museum, Medzilaborce, Slovak Republic; Východoslovenská galéria v Kosiciach, Kosice, Slovak Republic; Sarisská galéria, Presov, Slovak Republic; and US Steel Towers, Pittsburgh


Juried Exhibition Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey (Juror: Cathy Kimball)


Invitational Miniature Show Bolinas Museum, Bolinas, CA
Artstravaganza Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga (Curator: Helene Seeman)


Small Things Come in Good Packages Kathryn Markel Fine Arts, New York City


A Three Point Perspective Carl Cherry Center for the Arts, Carmel
Gallery Artists Solomon Projects, Atlanta


Five Gallery Artists Los Angeles County Museum Rental and Sales Gallery, Los Angeles
The Monotype: Method to Magic (Curator: Tobin Keller), Cabrillo College Gallery, Aptos, CA


Janet Turner National Print Competition CSU Chico, CA (Juror: Marion Epting)
National Works on Paper VII Valdosta University, Valdosta, GA (Juror: William Walmsley)


Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant


Visual Artist, Music at Menlo Chamber Music Festival & Institute, Atherton, CA


Third-place, California Views: Portals and People,National Steinbeck Museum, Salinas, CA


Residency invitation, Bemis Art Center, Omaha, NE, to collaborate on public project in Slovak Republic with Virginia Folkestad and Lena Leskova


Artist’s Grant, Ministry of Culture, Slovak Republic, Between the Lines: Traveling Full Circle
Publication invitation, Trillium Press (Brisbane, CA) for a series of monoprints


Artist’s Grant, US Department of State, to support Images of Vermont exhibit at the Andy Warhol Museum, Medzilaborce, Slovakia
Artist’s Grant, US Steel, to support Images of Vermont exhibit at the Andy Warhol Museum, Medzilaborce, Slovakia and US Steel Towers, Pittsburgh


Scholarship, California State University, Long Beach to participate in “The Transient Image”
Artist’s Grant (printmaking), The Community Foundation of Monterey
Artist’s Fellowship, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT

Museum Collections

Bakersfield Museum of Art, Bakersfield

Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento

Fresno Museum of Art, Fresno

Hunterdon Art Museum, Hunterdon, NJ

New Museum of Los Gatos, Los Gatos, CA

Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey

Museum of Contemporary Art, Hot Springs, AR

Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara

Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, Santa Cruz

Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson

Public Collections

Beverly Hills Public Library, Beverly Hills

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, Dallas

David & Lucille Packard Foundation, Los Altos, CA

Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey

New England Conservatory of Music, Boston

Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus

Planned Parenthood of Massachusetts, Boston

US Department of the Army, Washington DC

US Department of the Army, Seoul, Korea

US Department of State, Washington DC

University of California, Santa Cruz

UC Medical Center, San Francisco

University of Wisconsin Medical Center, Madison

Selected Corporate Collections

Adobe Systems, San Jose

AT&T Corporate Headquarters, Los Angeles

Canon Corporation, San Jose

The Chubb Group, Warren, NJ

Fidelity Investments, Boston, MA

Ford Motor Company, Dearborn

General Electric Corporation, Stamford, CT

Hallmark Corporate Headquarters, Kansas City, MO

Intel, Inc., San Jose

McKinsey & Co., Washington, DC

Pfizer Pharmaceutical, New York City

Sony Corporation, San Jose

Sprint Corporate Headquarters, Overland Park, KS

Stanford University Hospital, Stanford, CA

Toyota Corporation, Torrance, CA

VISA Corporate Headquarters, San Francisco