Reginald Adams Creates Murals With a Message

Reginald Adams is a public artist and community developer and has served as president and CEO of the Museum of Cultural Arts Houston (MOCAH), which has helped to reinvest $3 million back into Houston communities. Known for his vibrant tile mosaic murals and sculptures, which can be seen throughout Houston, he was recently honored by the Houston Press with the 2010 Mastermind Award. When not giving back, Reginald is an at-large board of director and senior fellow with the American Leadership Forum (ALF) Class 24 and enjoys spending time with his wife and art partner, Rhonda Radford-Adams, and 10-year-old son, Jahlani. –alex green

Why is black art important?

When the archeologists dig up ancient societies, what we find are ARTifacts — fragments of pottery, sculpture, murals, musical instruments, etc. Art is the cornerstone of all cultures. So, when we support the arts, we support the essence of who we are as creative human beings.

What’s next?

We are in the process of creating a series of murals, in partnership with the Boniuk Center for Religious Tolerance; producing a mental health awareness-themed mural with students from Worthing High School, in conjunction with the Collaborative for Children; a new mosaic mural for The Center, an agency that supports the needs of individuals with mental retardation; several new projects with M.D. Anderson’s Center for Minority Health and Wellness; innovative hands-on art workshops for the public; and Houston’s inaugural International Mural Festival in 2013.

What inspires you to keep pursuing this field?

When I hear a little 10-year-old girl living in the ‘hood ask me if she can have a job with me because she loves to paint, she’s a great helper and she wants to make her community a better place to live, that inspires me to get up every morning and do what I do. Plus, I have an incredible wife, family, board of directors and staff that make it easy for me to continue using my creativity to make social change.

What advice can you share with others?

Know thyself. Be true to who you are. No one remembers a copycat. Become a student of life. Constantly study your craft and those that are at the top of their game. Don’t get comfortable. Always be willing to push yourself out of your own comfort zone. Stay focused. Remember what you came for as it’s easy to get diverted off your path with all the temptations and distractions of life.

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