On the Move, a Pioneer Tribeca Artist Puts Her Paintings Up for Adoption

Pam Weadick in her Warren Street loft, surrounded by some of the more than 100 paintings that she hopes to give up for adoption. Photo: Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib

Sep. 30, 2015

What to do with the art? That’s the problem faced by many artists, or their survivors, when a lifetime’s work, precious as it is, has no place to go.

For Pamela Weadick, 59, the answer is adoption. She has more than 100 works—mostly abstract landscapes on canvas—that she must leave behind when she moves soon from the Warren Street loft where she has lived since 1979.

Weadick, who attended California Institute of the Arts and is a graduate of Nova Scotia School of Art and Design, painted intensely for nearly 20 years and it is her work from that period, from canvases of 2-by-3 feet to ones as large as 5-by-6, that are now on display, wall to wall, in her loft. It’s a big show, and every piece is free. Those interested in viewing them should contact Weadick at bleakhouse79@yahoo.com.

Below, the Tribeca pioneer talks about her artist’s life and how it changed with the years.

When I used to work on a painting, it meant everything to me. You feel like a ferocious tiger protecting it. And now?

I was bringing home one of the paintings and a woman on the street said to me, "That painting is so beautiful. I love it so much. God blessed your hand."

"You want it?" I asked.

So that's where it's at right now.

I was a bartender at McGovern's [now Reade Street Pub] on Reade Street from 1982 to 1990. I worked three days a week for 12 hours a day. The rest of time I was a painter. I made a little money from my art but not enough to pay the rent. One day I was working at McGovern's and I said to myself, "Bartending is good, but I have to be realistic. I'm not going to be an old lady behind the bar. People aren't going to want to hire me and I wouldn't be able to stand up for 12 hours."

So I went back to graduate school in social work in 1994. I put all my paintings away then. I worked in schools in East New York and Cobble Hill. I also had a son.

If anyone had said to me 20 years ago, I wouldn't paint anymore, I would have said, "No, no, never!" But I have found other ways to be creative. I make jewelry as a creative outlet. I am creative on my job as a social worker. Being a painter is not my identity as much anymore. It's one part of me. I'm a mom, and that's also my identity. When I first had my son, my artist friends who had no children used to call me at 10 at night and say, "Come on out and have a drink," and I was barely awake, or "come over on Saturday night but don't bring your kid!"

I had a friend who inherited the estate of a very good artist who made a living as an artist. Now she is paying $500 a month to store them, and they've been there for eight years! I don't want to just keep my paintings in storage. It's better if they are out and people take them.  

My plan is to offer my paintings for adoptions. I am emailing all my friends, of course, but I am also going to put a painting in the window and offer it to anyone who passes by! Yes, the paintings are free, but you have to take care of them!

Anyone interested in adopting a painting or drawing by Pamela Weadick can see them on Sunday, Oct. 18, 4-7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 19, 6-8 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 25, 4-7 pm. Email bleakhouse79@yahoo.com for an appointment.