Adam Baker, Painter/Sculptor
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Adam Baker spent much of his childhood in Northern Nevada. His stepfather went to work for the copper mines in 1973, which kept the family moving from town to town until the last mine where they lived closed. Baker’s family moved to The Pacific Northwest in 1979 where he graduated from high school in 1982. He became a barber shortly thereafter. Baker moved back to Nevada in 1997 and then returned to Carson City in 2001 where he went to work at Les Patterson’s Barbershop.

Baker had a love for art from early on in his life, but actually began to take his painting seriously shortly after he began working at little barbershop on Winnie Lane. “When I first started working here, I didn’t have a lot of customers of my own, so I brought a small easel to work and started painting portraits of some of the customers in my down time. Pretty soon I had the walls filled up with paintings.”

Although he has been a professional barber for 23 years, Adam Baker describes himself as an artist who does barbering as a hobby. Painting portraits has been the main thrust of his work, however, Baker has become quite prolific as a western artist. He has been involved with the Nevada Gunfighters for several years, and has made many members of that group of re-enactors the subjects of his paintings. When asked which artists have influenced him most, Baker said, “It’s a toss up between Rembrandt, and Gary Larson.”

 

Adam Baker has always had what he describes as a twisted and warped sense of humor, and in 2006 became a rather notorious local character. After several rejected attempts at asking the powers that be, to paint Governor Kenny Guinn’s official portrait, Baker finally discovered that there was an actual process to go through for the job. Baker entered the competition. Out of about 38 artists vying for the job, almost half were artists from Nevada, but not one Nevada artist was given the opportunity to paint the $20,000 portrait. Adam became rather disillusioned at the thought that the Nevada Arts Council, with the final blessings of Governor Guinn, had outsourced the competition to all fifty states. He felt that the competition should have been limited to Nevada artists. Ultimately an artist from Washington State was chosen.

Baker decided to hold a peaceful protest. He took a sample portrait that he had done of Kenny Guinn, to all fifty state capitols and photographed it over the toilets in each capitol building’s men’s room. That’s right, all fifty, including Alaska and Hawaii! “I thought it might make the local news, but was shocked when some customers told me they saw it on CNN,” Baker said.

Adam's work is on permanent display in his barber shop at 256 Winnie Lane in Carson City. For booking exhibitions call 775-882-6322.

 
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