Christian Adame of Phoenix Art Museum on the Importance of Improvisation

Meet Christian Adame, Phoenix Art Museum's assistant education director.EXPAND
Meet Christian Adame, Phoenix Art Museum's assistant education director.
Airi Katsuta

Every other year, New Times puts the spotlight on Phoenix's creative forces — painters, dancers, designers, and actors. Leading up to the release of Best of Phoenix, we're taking a closer look at 100 more. Welcome to the 2016 edition of 100 Creatives. Up today is 90. Christian Adame.

Christian Adame sums up his mission at Phoenix Art Museum with one question: "How do we make artistic content relevant and inclusive to a broad spectrum of people?"

Adame, 33, is the assistant education director at the museum, which means he works with curators to look at exhibitions the way a visitor might. "I edit a lot of text, and help build programs and events around ideas central to these exhibitions," he says. 

Ultimately, his work comes down to bringing people together — and to art.

"I enjoy creating social experiences that connect art and people," he says. "My role also encompasses the museum’s internship program and the Arts Engagement Program, which provides visual art experiences for those affected by dementia." 

His greatest accomplishment thus far? Being relatively young while having influence at the museum. "I’m also pretty proud that I’ve been able to advance my career without a master’s degree," he says. "Being in the museum field, I think some part of me wears that as a badge of honor."

Adame has also been responsible for putting together some of the museum's most notable (and fun) events, including last year's Exploding Plastic Inevitable party, which celebrated an Andy Warhol exhibition at the Central Phoenix institution. 

But he makes time for creativity outside work, too. "On the side, I do some photography and have been getting more involved in collaborations with colleagues, such as Artel and Cut + Paste."

A scene from last year's Exploding Plastic Inevitable event at PAM.
A scene from last year's Exploding Plastic Inevitable event at PAM.
Brandon Sullivan

I came to Phoenix with a great job opportunity and no social network here.

I make art because it’s a language I know how to communicate.

I'm most productive when I see art, visit museums, and have time to reflect.

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My inspiration wall is full of photos from exhibitions and artists I love, articles, program ideas, magazine ads, postcards. Stuff from all over.

I've learned most from being thrown into situations I know nothing about and improvising.

Good work should always say something and make me see differently.

The Phoenix creative scene could use more confidence.

The 2016 Creatives so far:

100. Nicole Olson
99. Andrew Pielage
98. Jessica Rowe
97. Danny Neumann
96. Beth Cato
95. Jessie Balli
94. Ron May
93. Leonor Aispuro
92. Sarah Waite
91. Christina "Xappa" Franco


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