May 11 – September 2, 2024

Micah Adams: Reworking



Computer keyboard with a red blank key in the middle

Reworking by Micah Adams. Photo by the artist.

Event Info At A Glance

Price Overview: Free

Venue Overview: South Vitrines


A past Artist-in-Residence at Harbourfront Centre’s Craft & Design Studio, Micah Adams’s conceptual practice is beautifully executed and consists of sculpture, jewellery and drawings, playing with the appealing aspects of scale and using his favourite tool-du-jour, the laser welder. While rescuing the forgotten and unwanted detritus of human activity – coins are a particular preoccupation – Adams gives them value through his reworking and puttering, creating new works that are at once lovely and peculiar.

Curated by Melanie Egan.

Join us for the Opening Reception on Thursday, May 30 from 6-10pm.

Curatorial Statement

“Adams tends to amass mundane things, coins, lighters, thimbles, bricks, staples and mull over possibilities. He is a curious interventionist, altering, experimenting and testing ideas. The question he often poses is, Will this work? The question becomes conceptual motivation; sometimes things work and sometimes not – all part of the process. Once, in an Instagram post, he characterized what he was doing as “puttering on this 3D doodle doohickey.” A delightful description of his method – reworking something until he is satisfied.  

Adams’ practice consists of sculpture, jewellery and drawings. One of the appealing aspects of Adams’ work is scale: big things become small (a bottle cap as a plinth for a sculpture), and small things become big (enlarged drawings of coins).  

His work is playful, at times humorous and beautifully executed.  Coins are a particular preoccupation. Adams loves coins. He is drawn to their depictions of flora, fauna, people, architecture, history and beauty. Moreover, people love giving him coins, as witnessed by his studio’s numerous bags and drawers. He has laboriously cut out hundreds of maple leaves from the erstwhile Canadian penny for years. He piles them into autumnal mounds, makes them into earrings, and slowly fills a penny candy bag. His mix-and-match coins (“Caribou/Kangaroo,” “Goose/Pig” or “Eagle/Kangaroo”) are reminiscent of childhood flip-books that interchange heads and bodies, making for a beautiful and peculiar menagerie. 

Adams rescues the forgotten and unwanted detritus of human activity. He gives them value through his reworking and puttering. A discarded lighter becomes a colourful “BIC-brooch” or a quirky sculpture with a stainless-steel cage. What does one do with empty breath-mint tins other than tossing them into the garbage? Adams knows. He transforms them into multi-coloured, tiny-mint-tin sculptures or mint-tin brooches with his favourite tool-du-jour, the laser welder.   

To rework means to modify something and make it new, and in Micah Adams’ case, reshape the unwanted into the unexpected.”

– Melanie Egan, Director Craft & Design, Harbourfront Centre

About Micah Adams

Micah Adams completed his CÉGEP at John Abbott College in Montréal and earned his BFA from NSCAD University in Halifax in 2008. From 2008-2011, Adams went on to become an Artist-in-Residence at Harbourfront Centre’s Metal/Jewellery studio. He has also participated in visiting artist programs at Open Studio in Toronto, the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture in Dawson City and Gros Morne National Park in Woody Point. Adams’ work is in private and corporate collections including Fidelity Investments, Microsoft, Scotiabank and TD Bank. He currently lives and works in Toronto.  


South Vitrines

Display cases in the South Hallway


Wheelchair Accessible

235 Queens Quay W

Toronto, ON, M5J 2G8

Keywords Free Event