Staff Show 2024: Adam Odomore

Meet some of the talented artists on The Phillips Collection’s staff, whose works are in the 2023 James McLaughlin Memorial Staff Show (on view through February 16, 2024).

Adam Odomore, Photo by Stephanie Duruji 

What is your role at The Phillips Collection? What is something interesting about your job?

I work as a Museum Assistant. One of the most interesting parts of my job is the connections I get to make working with and supporting the public. In my role, I help visitors have memorable experiences by giving them insights on the collection and work on view that they otherwise wouldn’t know and that feels like a private experience. I also enjoy learning about art and artists through my work there.

Simone Leigh, No Face (Crown Heights), 2018

Simone Leigh, No Face (Crown Heights), 2018

Who is your favorite artist in the collection?
My favorite artist in the collection right now is Simone Leigh.

What is your favorite space within The Phillips Collection?
I really enjoy the second-floor Annex for its intimacy and greater availability of diverse works in the collection.

What would you like people to know about your artwork on view in the 2024 Staff Show (or your work in general)?

On view at staff show: Moon Queen, Queen of Light, 2022

“She carries her home with her. The Source of her resistance. She had proven herself to herself. But she wanted more.”—Marita Golden

Conveying a quiet impenetrable interiority, this work is tactile texture in conceptual portrait or portraiture. Formal in its experimentation, yet fluid in its representation, portioning out a combination of intimacy and inaccessibility. Presenting a portrait that exist both everywhere, and nowhere in particular as a way to investigate the multilayered notions of identity and visibility.

This is especially in a moment when conversations around the policing of Black bodies in public spaces is still something we talk about. This work is an exploration of the body as a site (records keeper, memory box) of remembrance/ resistance/ rest/ re-imagination within a social-political/ economical geography. In it, there’s a commitment to reinforcing “a different kind of gaze (and gazing) enacted through empathy, desire, love, connectedness, and longing,” to borrow language from artist zakkiyyah najeebah dumas o’neal about her work.

Odomore next to his piece at Hillyer Arts Center, Photo by Devin Thompson

About the artist:

Adam Odomore is an artist-archivist engaged in “preservation as a form of futurism,” a researcher, writer, and curator—a memory worker of African and African American art, photography, and culture. His interests lie at the intersection of art as it relates to memory and representation (of the self and the communal), rest and healing, sensuality, gender, and race.

Documenting the ordinary and the extraordinary—taking control of the narrative and amplifying Black voices, histories, legacies, dreams, and futures, he uses collage as a painterly medium merging with paint, mixed media and photography, photomontage, and a signature of works incorporating African forms and images of Black people.

Typically autobiographical in nature, his artistic practice and curatorial work depict a relatability on his personal journey as an artist and a Black being. Adam’s work has been shown at The Target Gallery at the Torpedo Factory, The Falls Church Arts Gallery, and at Hill Center in Washington, DC.