Wakeboard Art

Pictured are some of the art pieces designed by UF art senior Taylor Adams. Adams uses ink and water to design patterns that she arranges on wakeboards. She will have her first solo exhibition Friday at University Towne Center.

The magic happens where ink meets water for UF art senior Taylor Adams.

Combining her love for wakeboarding and art seemed like the logical next step after working at Trophy Lakes in Charleston, South Carolina, all summer. 

She collected broken boards from the park and some of her brother’s old ones to use as canvases.

Adams, 22, will have her first solo exhibition, “Wakezone,” available for viewing at University Towne Center, 3345 SW 34th St., Suite 2, on Friday from 6 to 9 p.m.   

“I would love to pursue this and design real boards for the industry,” she said.    

Among shades of blue, purple and red, swirling and rippling forms emerge and interact with geometric elements to create a unique design pattern. 

Adams said she covers a piece of paper with water and drops ink onto the paper, causing random, fluid forms to flourish.

She then photocopies the paper and cuts and rearranges the pieces to create free-form organic shapes that she combines with geometric shapes.

Bethany Taylor, a UF assistant professor of drawing, taught Adams in her first art course, Workshop for Art Research and Practice.

“I’ve seen her whole career progress,” Taylor said. “What I’m really enjoying is her use of drawing in the sculptural realm, but she’s also combining digital media with drawing and sculpture in really inventive ways.”

Adams said the harsh lines of the jumps and rails of a wakeboarding park inspired the geometric shapes, and the fluid motion of water and the bursts of action of a wakeboarder influenced the organics shapes, creating a contrast between the natural and symmetrical forms.

Recently, Adams was assigned a project to create a painting without paint.

She tackled it by producing a line painting where she meticulously wrapped string around a canvas. 

She said this project inspired her to create a new texture for her boards.

She decided to slide one of her ink-stain sheets under the string and photocopy it and — pleased with the end result — used that as a new pattern for her boards.

“I really enjoyed that creative process,” she said. “I kind of invented my own technique.”

Taylor said she loves that Adams is using utilitarian objects for designs for real wakeboards as well as a language of art instillation.

“On top of that, the way that she’s using mark and form to actually comment on the formlessness of water but the very structured nature of the sport of wakeboarding is so interesting to me,” Taylor said.

[A version of this story ran on page 9 on 4/14/2015]