Adrian first became aware of Meadowcreek when she and her husband, Mike Smith, purchased land nearby. Mike brought Adrian to see his land and the hills of the Ozarks in 1982. Being from New Orleans, they were both in awe of the profound difference between the swampy environs of Louisiana and the hilly beauty of Northern Arkansas. Soon afterward they bought a much larger tract of land and discovered that Meadowcreek was just down the road.
As Adrian got to know some of the residents and artisans who lived at Meadowcreek, she was impressed with the sustainable living that was being developed and the ideas that were being put into practice. As an alternative learning center teaching a green energy lifestyle, she was very intrigued and heard that the programs being instituted there were life-changing. Sustaining life and thriving in a remote location is difficult, and these innovators were finding ways to make it possible.
Meanwhile, Adrian was living as a fine art painter and instructor in New Orleans. She exhibited her work every year or so, in solo shows since 1979. She also taught fine art at Tulane University and the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts.
In 2004, just before Katrina hit New Orleans, Mike and Adrian began building a studio and house on their land. They knew they were fortunate, moving there while the city was being brought back. Adrian began to paint images of the Ozarks and visited Meadowcreek often for inspiration. Her work evolved from figure-based images to landscapes because of her interest in this awe-inspiring environment.
In 2016, Adrian was asked to teach an art workshop at Meadowcreek. She offered “Forest Bathing” over a long weekend, where complete immersion into the environment and a response to it was the goal. Creating with a pencil on paper and no constraints were achieved by spending time disconnected from the rest of the world, causing each of the 10 students to find their own way to visual creativity. Adrian offered demos and guidance where needed, but mostly the participants drew from their personal experience in the tranquility.
Adrian is still painting, and recently completed her piece “Cloudscape” inspired by her land and view, just up the hill from Meadowcreek. She hopes to be involved in expanding the arts at Meadowcreek through an awareness of the natural world, seeing it once again blossom as a learning center for all who wish to experience art in an idyllic environment.
Her work can be viewed on her website www.adriandeckbar.com