Nathaniel Adair’s ‘Balancing Act’
“I take a complicated thought, refine it, then I refine it again,” says Nathaniel Adair (B.F.A., sculpture). “I repeat that process until I reach the very essence of the idea.”
Nathaniel is a sculptor. A storyteller. A new disciple of 3D printing technologies. He uses acrylic, wood, iron, and paint to share his perspective with the world and is combining traditional techniques with cutting edge technology. A student at SCAD Atlanta, he creates inside SCAD Studio, the 16,700-square-foot industrial design and sculpture facility in Midtown Atlanta considered one of the finest in the Southeast U.S.
In his own words, Nathaniel is committed to “exploring new ways to tell stories through the physical form.” He is a soft-spoken nature lover, and highly regarded by his professors and peers.
I wanted to pursue art from a young age. I attended Osceola County School for the Arts in Kissimmee, Florida, and have always been drawn to sculpture. I feel as though sculpture is a literal extension of me. It’s physical. It’s tangible. It takes up space. Where it is, I am too. It tells my story.
This year, I have focused on pushing myself to try new things and really showcase the skills and techniques I’ve learned at SCAD. Professor Chris Rothermel has helped me focus on getting to the emotional core of my pieces. Our conversations have challenged me to strip away nonessential components. The result is the essence of the piece itself.
I worked on several pieces this past year that showcase my artistic journey. The pieces tell the story of 2020 and the world as I am experiencing it today. They reflect highs and lows and my artistic progression.
I had never worked with 3D printers or laser cutting machines before coming to SCAD. SCAD has allowed me to explore not only my desire to create, it has also given me the opportunity to collaborate with other incredible artists. I got to be a part of a SCADpro project where I worked alongside industrial design students to create bronze coins. I was able to show my fellow students the traditional green sand approach to bronze work, and they showed me how to 3D model. It gave me access to a whole new set of skills I didn’t have before.
This year, I wanted to utilize those tools in combination with more traditional materials like wood and iron. As I got more comfortable with the tools, I began incorporating new elements. Paint. Plastics. Fiberboard. Having the ability to bring in new elements allowed me to play with shapes, light, and space. In “Frozen” I brought acrylic and wood components together to create a water scene. In a piece called “Balancing Act” I incorporate the two halves of myself into one cohesive piece, the perfect circles slowly shrinking and warping into the shape of creativity and perfect imperfection.
My year’s work concludes with “Dancing”: twenty perfect circles floating, twenty circles for my age, one set ascending and the other descending, symbolizing the ups and downs we face in our lives. The column of air formed between the two represents my family and friends who have supported me.
My fine art education and my experience as a SCAD sculpture student has prepared me to turn rough ideas into final deliverables. After graduation, I envision myself creating as part of a team, sharing my creative process with others. Always learning, always sculpting.
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Written by Robert Almand