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ArtPrize Artist Matthew Sutherland shares digital images and stories about life, photography + social media.  

Featured Artist: Adam Kolp Art

Adam Kolp was born in Westerville, Ohio, in 1978. As soon as he could hold a pencil, he started drawing and doodling. Adam’s desire to create led to a childhood dream of becoming an artist. When he was in middle school and high school, his vision started to decrease and he was diagnosed with Kerataconus, an eye disease that affects the structure of the cornea and causes vision issues. After graduating from high school, Adam continued his education at Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio, studying Visual Art. Adam's vision issues followed him to college, where he lost driving privileges, couldn't see friends that were saying hello to him, and struggled with simple tasks like trimming his toenails.

Even though his vision became a constant struggle and he was placed on the cornea transplant list, he still continued on at Otterbein, taking classes and making artwork. Adam had his first cornea transplant in September of 1999. He still remembers being able to read the clock in the doctor's office the day after his transplant when the bandage was removed. The second cornea transplant, in February 2001, brought Adam back to clearer vision after years of struggling with his vision and sight. While Adam was preparing to graduate in 2002 with a degree in Visual Arts, he decided to return to Otterbein College and pursue a degree in education so he could share his love of art. After graduating with his education degree in 2005, he was hired by New Albany-Plain Local Schools and has been teaching in the middle school as an art teacher since that date. Adam enjoys sharing his passion for art with his middle school students so much that his job doesn’t feel like work. Adam also has established himself as a local professional artist, creating many original and commissioned pieces of art work.

While attending Otterbein College, Adam met his wife, Heather. They were married in 2002 and have two sets of twins, Hadley and Gretchen born in 2005, and Delaney and Addison born in 2008. They are raising their family, complete with two Boston Terriers, Pink and Floyd, and a yellow Labrador Retriever, Zeppelin in New Albany, Ohio.

The struggle that Adam endured with his loss of vision has given him a unique view on life and living. He is constantly creating; drawing, painting, wood burning, researching new ideas and techniques, finding a new life for reclaimed materials, or falling back to how he started in 1980, doodling in a sketchbook.