Adam Green's (Sculpture 2010) current summer job with AmeriCorps, teaching high-risk youth, represents for him a creative coming of age. "I guess you could have considered me a high-risk youth. I was sent to a military academy in Georgia for part of high school." In AmeriCorps' program in Providence, Rhode Island, Green is involved on the administrative side and is also teaching drawing, sculpture, and glassblowing.
The medium of glass was Green's own artistic liberation. "Working with glass takes intense focus. There's a huge learning curve, and a lot of failure. Making a perfect cup is like chasing a dragon. You have this balance between an unreachable goal and a meditative exercise. It's physically intense, and also cathartic. And when it works, it's extremely gratifying."
The quest to create order from chaos is a touchstone in Green's personal fine art practice. His Rocket Grids depict unfurling orthogonal patterns of spaceships, arrayed almost like windows in a skyscraper. Why rockets? "I've always built rockets: from latex, milk, rubber, or wax. As a kid, I was always more interested in science than art. I had a computer at a really young age and loved to take it apart and look at the circuit boards. The grid format is a natural for me in terms of classification, lists, and free association. To me, rockets represent a fantastic metaphor for manhood. NASA in particular is this gigantic phallus-obsessed institution, focused primarily on penetrating the atmosphere. All those failed test flights in the 1950s and 1960s are a huge inspiration for my work. They represented to me an erectile dysfunction in American society. My Rocket Boy costume, this ridiculous red and yellow rocket rig, uses humor to lower viewers' defenses. It's a self-portrait without being too serious."