Adoquei delivers Stunning Portrait to Columbia University

By Mood Conyers

New York City Artist Sam Adoquei was commissioned by the prestigious Columbia University to paint the portrait of their storied Alumnus from the Class of ‘46, Judge Constance Baker Motley (19212005). When I first saw the completed image I was shocked by how Modern this portrait is. It took me a few minutes to fully grasp the scope of the work. In this portrait Sam has reached a mature stage of painting and shows the complete range of his power. Like the subject of this work, Sam has always been committed to perfection and painstaking preparation. He also understands the importance of being in command of his arena, and both Artist and Subject are known to perform in a quiet, elegant manner that is unbeatable. New Yorkers love talent and have snapped up the work of Sam Adoquei since his arrival here over 25 years ago. He truly lives by the hairs of his brush, and his talent is what makes him the brightest star on the Faculty at The National Academy on New York’s Upper East Side.


Upon first glance of this marvel of modernity the viewer is drawn to the face of the subject. This is the enlightened face of an angel, full of intelligence and promise. This is the face of the quiet Super Hero that will become the voice of a decade of change in America. This face appears to be saying “I know I can, I know I will.” The slight confident smile disarms the viewer and you suddenly realize that the encounter has become intimate, its as if the subject is real, yet here you are standing in front of an inanimate object. That’s the power of an Adoquei. Even though the subject appears full of youth, Sam has carefully placed a few gray hairs throughout the hair to denote her wisdom and stature. There are few things that rival the severity of the Black Judicial Robe. The Robe embodies the omnipotent power of the bench and upholds a tradition dating back to 1801. Although Sam uses the Robe to exhibit the power of the position, he also paints it in a manner that exhibits the divine power of the female form. It’s very subtle, yet potent.


Judge Constance Baker Motley was appointed to the Federal Judiciary in 1966 by President Lyndon Baines Johnson. Her accomplishments are legendary. For millions of Americans she was the Voice of Reason during some of our Nations most trying times. Sam Adoquei has answered the call of Columbia with an heroic effort that will enlighten viewers for centuries to come. For those of you tasked with selecting the right painter for a portrait commission, seek no further! By choosing Sam Adoquei you will fully ensure that your subject will be remembered forever. Centuries from now these nuanced creations will be requested for exhibitions far and wide. Mark my word, Sam Adoquei is the Real Deal!!!

From the artist's studio

From the artist’s studio

Although the likeness is based on a small black and white reference photos, Sam hired a studio model to pose for this portrait. He purchased Law Books to use as props. Starting at the upper left of the canvas, the viewer takes in the soft blues that travel across the painting to the deeper blue of the law books. The eye next travels down the bookcase to discover a well thought out still life of a pen, paper and a book. On top of the book rests the hand of the model. I am sure that Sam spent days considering the exact pose of the hand, which catches the eye and leads it back to that captivating face of Justice. Off to the left of center an abstract rectangle of color catches the viewer’s attention which is led back to the face of the subject. Sam is a master at balancing the canvas with color. He enlivens and unifies the composition with abstracted shapes that establish symmetry, the placement of which is so vital to Sam. This fabulous portrait is the painted equivalence of Sam’s commitment to excellence. There is no single unmoving part. It is a symphony.

Manual For Compassionate People

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(Excerpt from “In Defense of Hypocrisy”)

Life is sometimes funny, strange and comedic. What is it about Good that it is never prepared for the evil that Bad inflicts? Why is Good always surprised by Evil’s actions when it has ignored him so long? Why is Bad always more prepared, and why does life have to get bad before Good wakes up?

“In Defense of Hypocrisy” is a dialogue between Hypocrisy and Virtuous Man. Hypocrisy argues that religious scriptures are there just to tame us and make us forgiving, submissive and forever hopeful so that the selfish and conniving hypocrites can rule over good people and use the weak, meek and defenseless to fulfill their dreams. Virtuous Man admits that a tease and taste of some sort of advancement and success has caused good people to relax and go to sleep. This has allowed hypocrisy’s entourage—the swindlers, spin doctors and tricksters—to deceive, recruit and transform good people into their image.

Then Virtuous Man sounds the alarm, alerting the Good that it is time to wake up and claim the good life. He warns that when it gets to a point where hypocrisy can transform good people into selfish and destructive people without conscience and concern for the future, it is time for good people to wake up and claim the compassion, love, peace and harmony in which they are made to live. “It isn’t true that good people are oblivious,” Hypocrisy responds. “They are sleeping because I have set up irresistible traps, tricks and rewards all around the good people, implementing my secret agenda to transform the world into my image. By bragging and bluffing, Hypocrisy ends up revealing too much.

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The conversation becomes more alarming when Virtuous Man recognizes that Hypocrisy and his entourage are going around door-to-door to mosques, synagogues, churches and shrines, using persuasive tricks to recruit members to his Secret Kingdom of successful Hypocrites. Virtuous Man realizes that even he is being recruited.

We are at war with ourselves. The good in us is battling against our worst nature, and behind these good and evil influences is the force of Evil, superbly prepared with its army of hypocrites, tricksters, spin doctors, and greedy liars, all in disguise and doing their best to take advantage of our good, venerable nature. Luckily, we have divine messengers of wisdom coming to our defense. The power of love, of hearts united in love, is on a march to bring about a beautiful future of unity, happiness, peace, security, safety and harmony.

The hate we see around us is rooted in unwanted battles that Evil instigates because the Good in us has gone to sleep. Race against race, brothers and sisters hating and killing each other—all of this stems from some false ideology of the fear of strangers and the selling of hate. Spinning ideas killing innocent souls, misguided guns with flying bullets causing dying souls, and crying children are all due to the Good in us sleeping.

Postcards_In Defense of HypocrisyYet, the age of awareness has arrived. Good is at work, vanquishing the sick, greedy, selfish and destructive minds. The commanders among us must take charge and lead us to the happiness and love bestowed on humanity. Good people, good Samaritans can no longer sleep. They must join the united hearts of love. The united colors of mankind inspire each other to help make the future a beautiful, loving place for our descendants to live in harmony. We must wake up and live the life we deserve.

Protect yourself from Hypocrisy’s dangerous mission to transform you. The age of awareness has arrived. Wake up and help. Eavesdrop on the conversation and learn how you can help the united hearts of love build a beautiful and peaceful future. “In Defense of Hypocrisy” is a wake-up call. Samuel Adoquei has given us a modern-day fable for anyone concerned about the environment of our children and grandchildren.
Get a copy:
A perfect gift for compassionate people:


Much To Be Proud Of

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It’s election season, and all across the U.S.—even far beyond our borders—people are talking about what’s wrong with this country, its leaders, its politics, its culture, and its citizens. How refreshing it is, then, to walk through the doors of Galerie Gabrie in Pasadena, California, and find dozens of reminders of what’s right.


Galerie Gabrie’s latest exhibition is called Land That I Love. Opening on October 20, it’s the brainchild of gallery owner and curator Jasminka Gabrie. “I wanted to offer a respite from the tumultuous state we find ourselves in here in the U.S.,” notes Gabrie. “I wanted to celebrate the peace, the freedom, and all the benefits we enjoy. There is so much to see, so much to appreciate, so much to be proud of here.”


Glorious-old-glory by Sylvia Trybek

All of the participating artists in the group show—which will feature both gallery regulars and guest artists—were invited to interpret the theme however they thought best, so there will be a wonderfully diverse mix of subjects, styles, and media. Charles Muench, the noted impressionistic landscape artist from Northern California, will be contributing his majestic landscapes of the Sierra. Washington-based oil painter Chris Hopkins and California-based pen-and-ink artist Joe Milazzo will both turn their extraordinary talents for capturing detail toward documenting moments in the country’s history. And Oregon’s Marla Baggetta will share the kind of sensitive, contemplative pastel landscapes that soothe viewers’ souls. Respite, indeed.


Close to camp sailor lake by Charles Muench

The Land That I Love exhibition is typical of the type of work visitors always find at Galerie Gabrie, which is dedicated to carrying on the artistic tradition of celebrating beauty through original works of art done in oils, pastels, watercolors, bronze, and much more. For more than 30 years, owner Gabrie has also created a place where art is accessible and enjoyable to people from all walks of life by offering pieces that range from several hundred dollars all the way into the six figures. “Art is the fun part of life,” notes Gabrie, “so we want everyone to feel welcome and comfortable here. And we hope visitors will imagine themselves and their families and friends surrounded by beautiful art in their own homes. Fine art has always been and continues to be a mark of good taste.”


Joe Milazzo

So if you need a little reminder of why America has always been great, be sure to stop by Galerie Gabrie to see Land That I Love. As Gabrie says, “There’s nothing like viewing a work of art in person. Only then can you see all of the energy and feel all of the emotion that went into it.” For more information about the gallery and the many other contemporary and historical artists represented there, visit the gallery’s website at

Jennifer King is a marketer, artist, writer, and entrepreneur. A long time student of art marketing and the fine art industry, she currently provides art marketing services and coaching to visual artists through her company, Connect Artist Marketing. Learn more at


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Symbiosis: Roby King Gallery

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On Bainbridge Island, the Roby King Gallery and its’ visitors believe in supporting each other.



Washington’s Bainbridge Island, just a ferry ride across the water from Seattle, is a hopping tourist destination. Local and long-distance visitors alike flock to this idyllic setting in droves, especially during the summer months. But a few years back, a long-term reconstruction project through the heart of the island’s business district blocked the steady stream of tourist traffic. Local merchants, like the Roby King Gallery, feared for their survival. Yet somehow the locals kept Roby King and others in business by supporting them during the reconstruction crisis, and the gallery continues to thrive today.

Co-owner Andrea Roby-King loves to tell this story, not only because she and her husband Wes King are so grateful for local support but because it illustrates an important point: People get how essential art is to any community, so much so that they won’t let a great art resource go once they have it. Ideally, a symbiotic relationship develops between a community’s art galleries and its’ people, and the Roby King Gallery has been enjoying this kind of relationship with Bainbridge Island residents and visitors since it opened back in 1990. Roby-King states that the gallery’s mission is simply to bring top quality, affordable art to the island and to the region. Simple, yet invaluable.



Like many galleries, the Roby King Gallery fills an educational role in the community by introducing new artists and educating art enthusiasts about various kinds of art. The gallery’s next show, the Annual Printmaking Exhibition, which opens October 7th and runs through the 29th, is a great example. “We started this yearly showing of printmaking because we wanted to teach people that prints are not the same as reproductions, even though the two terms are often used interchangeably,” says Roby-King. “Prints are made by hand, and each one is unique.”



Roby-King herself curates the exhibition with an eye toward highlighting the long tradition of talented printmakers on the island and throughout Washington, Oregon, and Alaska. There are four artists who’ve been featured every year since the beginning, but for each show Roby-King adds or subtracts a few artists to keep things lively and interesting. All types of printmaking are represented, such as etchings, woodcuts, linocuts, monoprints, and more.

This year’s exhibition features a robust group of eight artists, and collectively their work shows just how richly varied printmaking can be. For instance, Fumi Matsumoto does block woodcuts on brewed teabag papers, while Gary Groves, another woodcut artist, chisels his images from mahogany plywood, often requiring a month or more to complete one piece. The annual showing also reveals how some artists’ work has evolved over time. Lynn Brofsky, for example, has always worked with very contemporary imagery, but her work has morphed from completely monochromatic to a more colorful palette. The other printmakers included in this year’s show are Mary N. Balcomb, Stephen MacFarlane, Denise Kester, Kathryn Lesh, and Patrick Simon.



In general, the Roby King Gallery features mostly contemporary representational work, although there are a couple of abstract or semi-abstract artists. Most of the work is done in oils, but there are also works done in pastel, watercolor, mixed media, and watercolors. Among the 35 or so artists represented are Cheri Christensen, Diane Ainsworth, Neal Philpott, Faye Judson, and Pam Ingalls. For more information about the Roby King Gallery and its monthly exhibitions, visit

Jennifer King is a marketer, artist, writer, and entrepreneur. A long time student of art marketing and the fine art industry, she currently provides art marketing services and coaching to visual artists through her company, Connect Artist Marketing. Learn more at


like-us-facebookDon’t forget to subscribe

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