Adam Trabold’s journey to Griffin Art Gallery show

Susan EspirituOur Town Arts

The Griffin Art Gallery in Jonesborough is presenting the work of three local photographers in a new show titled A Point of View. It runs through June 8.

One of the photographers, Adam Trabold, shared his intriguing journey into photography. His story is not just about becoming a photographer but a lesson in overcoming obstacles, finding purpose and pursuing dreams.

Adam lives in Johnson City, but is originally from Martinsburg, Pennsylvania. After moving to northern Michigan at 9, he returned to Appalachia to attend Milligan College.

Moving to a place can be less impactful for some but for Adam, moving back to Appalachia after being gone for almost 10 years was a breath of fresh air. Due to some personal issues, he was in a very dark place artistically and realistically, and he fought to keep his head above water.

He says the people he met through school, the fine arts and the churches in the area have become a strong support system for him. He met his wife, Kathryn, through Milligan and he says, “She brought a spark to my life that I thought I would never have again and has supported me in my professional and artistic endeavors for the past three years.”

During his senior year at Milligan College, he was given the opportunity to be a teaching assistant to the photography classes under his senior professor, William Major. This defined a future goal as he fell in love with teaching and knew he wanted to pursue it. Will helped nurture this burning flame and inevitably was the one who helped him get his foot in the door.

His bachelors in communications and minor in photography led him to be an artist in residence and assistant instructor of photography at Milligan from 2020-2023.

Reaching his teaching goals has not been without challenges. At 26, he feels some think his age defies his experience when actually he has had more teaching experience than most graduate school students. He has taught for three years at his alma mater, and led a photography camp at the William King Museum of Art and presented in multiple art shows. He knows these will big steps in gaining respect among peers and colleagues.

His most recent milestone is this Point of View show. He says he so grateful to James and Debbie Griffin for taking a chance on his work and giving him a space to display his talents and hard work.

If Adam is not making art, he is usually listening to music or making music. He has been drumming since he was 8 years old, playing in several bands and churches for the past 10 years. Saying music is very similar to photography because you are capturing a moment in time and recording it, he has that connection.

Adam offers some sound advice for young and old alike, whatever your dream or goal may be: “Do not ever think that you aren’t artistic/good enough. Everyone has a voice; everyone has a point of view; it is up to you to find your voice and show people how you see the world.”

Some other wise words: “I make time for the little things in life. Spending time with my family. Allowing my energy reserves to be filled by my faith, my close friends and my wife. Reminding myself that I CAN take a break once in a while.”

Adam is working on graduate school applications for a master’s in studio art for this next year; the main goal is for him to teach photography full time at the collegiate level. He is up for the challenge and he has the support behind him.

Adam credits his parents, Jeff and Connie Trabold, siblings Sean and Lillian, along with spouse, Kathryn Baylor Trabold, for providing the continual encouragement and support that has fueled the of passion of photography into a life goal to teach others.

The Griffin Art Gallery is located at 105 Courthouse Square, across the street from City Hall in Jonesborough, Tennessee.

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