a large field of sunflowers with trees in the background
    A field of sunflowers in Ukraine in 2018. ADAM DAVIS/Contributed

    Adam Davis grew up near Niagara Falls, New York, but hated cold weather and, as a kid, he spent the long winters inside drawing race cars, airplanes and other “typical kid stuff.”

    His artistic bent continued in college, where he ultimately switched majors from electrical engineering to art and humanities, although his mind still works like that of an engineer when it comes to fixing, fabricating and figuring things out. (Which comes in handy, as he and his wife work on their 40-foot catamaran, Bikini Bottom, as they sail the world and recently dropped anchor in Key West.)

    His drawings of race cars have evolved into photographs — of the sailboat he shares with his wife, of his dog and their travels. A field of sunflowers in Ukraine. Sloppy Joe’s at night in Key West. Sailboats under a fiery sunset. 

    His first photography gallery show will take place at Stone Soup Gallery & Frame Shop, 802 White St., on Thursday, April 18 during the monthly Walk on White art stroll. His images are printed directly on glass for a striking visual effect.

    “I think my photography speaks for itself. It isn’t to impress the world, but rather to document the time that I get to go sailing with my wonderful wife and my rescue dog. They chose me and this is a tribute to them and our time together,” he said. “If it inspires you or someone else to be creative and show off your skills, then my misguided adventures have done some good, and my ancestors will be proud.”

    Davis has partnered with Fracture, a company that specializes in printing photos on glass  — single prints, gallery walls, business gifts and posters. 

    Fractureme.com became the perfect partner for my gallery show,” Davis said. “A lot of my work will be printed on glass sheets as large as 40 inches by 30 inches.”

    Plastic and faux-wood picture frames have never been Davis’ thing.

    “My family had an antique business and, pre-internet, traveled the world in search of rare treasures — Steiff teddy bears, Oriental rugs, rare china, reverse-cut tiger maple furniture. My mother actually sold items to Martha Stewart and Oprah Winfrey. My father bought 1920s-era gas pumps, jukeboxes and movie posters from the golden age of cinema — whatever was rare and collected.”

    The experience gave Davis an appreciation for authenticity, originality — and travel. 

    “Things with plastic parts and bar codes aren’t usually worth keeping,” he said. “Wood, glass and metal are made to last,” as are the indelible memories made while traveling.

    During a whirlwind European vacation to visit friends in 2018, the couple put 3,300 miles on their rented Peugeot in two weeks, from Scotland to Ukraine.

    “In Monaco, my wife saw Paris Hilton’s yacht in Hercule Harbor and said, ‘Paris has the right idea.’”

    A successful job at an environmentally concerned, startup company that recycled cars enabled Davis to retire at 42 and see the world. 

    Enter Bikini Bottom,  the couple’s floating home — a 40-foot catamaran that needed a complete refit, then sail and rigging work that has been done in Key West. 

    “I had been coming to Key West since 1991 and we’ve made great friends here, so it was the perfect fit. Along the way, I started taking photos for the blog and realized I still had some artistic skills from college.” 

    They’re documenting the boat renovation and their high-seas adventures on their blog at gingerandthesea.com.

    Mandy Miles
    Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.