Tri-Cities Voice Newspaper - What's Happening - Fremont, Union City, Newark California

August 3, 2004 > Adam McDaniel, Local Talent

Adam McDaniel, Local Talent

Wendy Hamor, owner of Bay Street Coffee, gazed at the back hallway wall of the popular coffee house in Fremont and knew something was missing. She sensed the wall was similar to a blank canvas, waiting for the right person to leave a mark of color and class. A print of a reclining woman by Czech Art Nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha, given to her by her mother-in-law, caught Wendy's eye and with a few alterations including a coffee cup (of course) in the subject's hand, would be perfect for the back hallway wall. After asking an employee whether she knew of a local artist who could transform her vision into reality, Wendy was introduced to Adam McDaniel. Asked if he could transfer the print, with alterations to the wall, Adam replied with a confident, "no problem."

The Mucha print was considered the starting point for the mural, but only as a template from which Adam would bring his own interpretation of color and style. Two and a half days later, the mural was done! Wendy was ecstatic with the result and quickly surveyed remaining walls for additional murals. The hallway painting was the genesis of additional figures on the walls of Bay Street Coffee Company in San Jose and then back to the main room of the Bay Street Coffee house in Fremont. Late nights, accompanied by a VCR and television to playback old movies, found Adam sketching and converting bare walls to colorful figures that brought just the right touch to the bustling coffee house scene.

Adam, who has worked as a comic book illustrator, says he has no formal training yet exudes a quiet confidence in many art media. His comic book character, Jack, the Lantern, is currently published by a small publishing house and he says that he has worked since high school days in the genre. When queried whether he is comfortable with different art materials and styles, Adam always answers in the affirmative. The sense of a "natural" artist, comfortable in almost any element, takes form and is hard to dispel when examining Adam's art on paper and on the walls of Bay Street Coffee.

Wendy says that one of the most amazing things about watching Adam at work is his use of a magnifying lens from a camera to paint in small increments since he has a vision problem. Starting with the total concept and outline of shapes, Adam moves to small details. Even though his paintings at Bay Street Coffee appear complete and finished works of art, Adam considers the paintings as art in progress. He surveys his paintings and can often be found making small changes to capture just the right lighting and effect.

When asked about creating an image strictly from an idea or working in a variety of art forms, Adam answers with a quiet, yet confident, "no problem."

Wendy and Adam invite visitors to come by Bay Street Coffee for an excellent cup of coffee, lunch or snack and check out the amazing work of Adam McDaniel. You may even see Adam doing a bit of touch up work at the time! Wendy says she will be happy to contact Adam for anyone interested in talking with him about commission work.

Bay Street Coffee
4000 Bay Street, Fremont
(510) 353-9590

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