Jason Adams grew up skating the concrete wastelands of San Jose and eventually went pro. He became a Sharks fan because he identified with the sport. Similarities emerged right off the bat. Also, as an artist, Adams is known for gritty, stencil-based, multilayered, skater-influenced visual art, although he rarely goes out of his way to do a solo show here in town. But as natural creative geniuses all know, the aha! moment can come from anywhere, even if it’s rabid sports fandom.

Now is one of those rare times. This Friday at Seeing Things Gallery, Adams will debut his highest profile show to date—Blood, Sweat and Teal. Approximately 30 paintings of San Jose Sharks players will be on display. People will show up, skateboards in hand, to witness what Adams says is probably his biggest endeavor so far in his career. Rather than simply put together another one-off art show, on another corner of downtown San Jose for the hundredth time, Adams felt like tapping into San Jose at a much deeper level. So he began painting his favorite Sharks players, former and current.

“Usually my stuff is more emotionally driven and it’s for me, but this show is pretty much geared toward the players,” Adams said. “So I think it’s a little different. Usually when I do something, I try to get a feel for who I’m doing a portrait of, but this is basically me doing more detailed work, doing portraits of the players I enjoy.”

So look for Joe Thornton, beaten and bruised, still with the Captain’s ‘C’ on his jersey. Brent Burns is reimagined as Chewbacca. Both fans and non-fans will appreciate the passion that Adams has for his hometown team.

Even better, the Sharks organization is fully dialed in to the project. This is only the beginning. You’ll probably see it on their social media channels, far and wide. This is exactly the kind of thing that should be happening in a real city: The local team inspiring artistic creativity.

“Sometimes as an artist you have a desire to create work and you just need that initial spark of an idea,” said Adams. “Sometimes it’s deeper and sometimes it’s not. This is actually turning into my biggest project to date, just due to the fact that the Sharks are totally backing it. And it’ll probably get the most exposure that I’ve ever had.”

Blood Sweat and Teal
April 3-April 30, Free
Seeing Things Gallery