Listen to Story
DENTON, Texas — The College of Visual Arts and Design (CVAD) at the University of North Texas (UNT) proudly presents “CEY ADAMS, DEPARTURE: 40 Years of Art and Design,” a comprehensive exhibition showcasing the prolific career of American visual artist and designer, Cey Adams. The exhibit, which runs until December 15, is a unique opportunity for students and the public to immerse themselves in Adams’ influential body of work.
Originating from New York City’s vibrant “downtown graffiti art” scene in the 1970s and ’80s, Adams rose to prominence as the creative director for the iconic Hip Hop label, Def Jam Recordings. His indelible mark on the music industry is evident through the visual identities he crafted for legendary acts such as Beastie Boys, Run-D.M.C., LL Cool J, and Jay-Z. Beyond music, Adams’ pop-art flair has been sought after by global brands, resulting in iconic redesigns for household names like Kool-Aid, Texaco, Coca-Cola, and Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Highlighting the exhibition is a captivating collage-style portrait of Run-DMC, a sculpture echoing the Hot Wheels toys logo, and jackets featuring Adams’ signature “Love” murals. Additionally, a dedicated wall displays a selection of Hip Hop album covers designed by Adams. Notably, two of these covers, “Ready to Die” by The Notorious B.I.G. and “Fear of a Black Planet” by Public Enemy, have been recognized by Billboard magazine as among the 100 Best Album Covers of All Time.
Stefanie Dlugosz-Acton, director of CVAD Galleries, expressed her enthusiasm for the exhibit, stating, “The show encapsulates the essence of art and design. It’s a testament to the versatility of an artist like Adams, who seamlessly traverses different artistic mediums.” She further emphasized the cultural significance of Adams’ work, noting its lasting impact on Hip Hop culture.
In conjunction with the exhibition, Adams will deliver a lecture on September 21 at 7 p.m. at the CVAD Gallery. This lecture is part of the “Inspire, Incite, Ignite” two-day event, which also includes a conference day on September 22, featuring workshops and presentations from various artists.
Dlugosz-Acton believes the exhibition will serve as a valuable resource for students across disciplines, from music and fashion design to communication studies and history. “Cey’s vast knowledge and unique voice offer invaluable insights for our students and faculty,” she remarked.
For more information on the exhibition and related events, visit cvad.unt.edu.
About the CVAD Galleries at UNT
The CVAD Art Galleries at UNT champion the university’s educational goals, enhance the aesthetic environment, and act as a cultural beacon for the public. Comprising three distinct spaces, they aim to inspire audiences, bolster students’ confidence in showcasing their work, and amplify the voices of artists and designers.
About the College of Visual Arts and Design
Celebrating 130 years of art education and 30 years as a standalone art school in 2023, UNT’s College of Visual Arts and Design stands as a premier institution in the visual arts domain. With a diverse range of programs, renowned institutes, and state-of-the-art galleries, CVAD continues to shape the future of art and design. For more insights, visit news.cvad.unt.edu.