Asheville Gallery of Art opens with a new show in May, “Seeing in Color: Life on the Bright Side,” featuring the vibrant acrylic paintings of gallery artist Bee Adams. Viewers can expect to see the colorful artwork Adams is known for, saturated with optimism and bursting with sunny hues. Adams grew up in a home that celebrated and nurtured her artistic expression; her mother, grandmother, and aunt were all artists themselves. Adams calls Asheville home but spent a significant period of her adult art career in Colorado, inspired by the bold graphic mountains against the forever blue sky. While she started off creating very organic shapes and landscapes in her paintings, a move to Brussels, Belgium added another layer of artistic inspiration as she fell in love with European architecture. The ornate, colorfully-roofed buildings all nestled together sparked an appreciation that would guide much of her later work. Surrounded by this muse, along with regular museum visits to view masterpieces by artists such as Vincent Van Gogh, Adams honed her unique style and color palette. In “Seeing in Color: Life on the Bright Side,” Adams’s whimsical spin on architectural paintings is showcased. “Buildings especially intrigue me and create a sense of place, community, and story,” Adams says. “I become enchanted with a building, whether an iconic landmark or a simple barn, then once the dance of painting begins, I really study the structure and shapes and the uniqueness of the building and have time to wonder at its purpose.” Asheville locals will recognize some familiar downtown landmarks that have been infused with energy and personality such as those illustrated in “Pack Square Jewels,” which highlights iconic buildings like the new Asheville Art Museum presented in primary colors against the backdrop of a lucid cerulean sky. Adams’s paintings have been exhibited in group and solo shows throughout the United States and Belgium and included in collections worldwide. Recently she had the honor of painting a custom commission by Auburn University for a treasured donor. Even with her extensive travels and exhibitions, Adams continues to approach her work with lightheartedness. “I am a serious painter,” she states, “but I don’t create serious paintings. I give myself permission to have fun, to play.” Her sense of humor is evident in “My Exotic 2020 Travels,” which features a well-loved armchair donned with a cozy throw and open book. Viewers can see this artwork and more starting May 1st at the Asheville Gallery of Art. There will be a special “Meet the Artist” reception on First Friday, May 7th, from 5-8pm, when Adams will be present to talk with visitors about her artwork.