Adam Clem: Crew Leader, Stewart Painting Academy Instructor
We took some time this week to chat with Adam Clem, one of Stewart Painting’s most valuable assets!
When Adam started with the company three years ago, he was quickly given “lone wolf” responsibilities – smaller jobs that can be handled by one person without supervision. Today, Adam has developed as a leader in many ways – from organizing a team out in the field to teaching hopeful apprentices enrolled in the Stewart Painting Academy (more on that later). So here’s a little more about Adam, both at work and in his free time.
Stewart Painting: When did you start painting?
Adam Clem: I actually started painting in high school. I joined a summer painting crew, so that was my first introduction to house painting. But I’ve always loved the visual arts. In college, I majored in art and architectural history.
SP: Do you have a favorite painter or artist?
AC: Lots. But if I had to choose one, it would be Marcel Breuer. He was a Hungarian architect and furniture designer, and one of the masters of Modernism. He attended the Bauhaus School in Germany and eventually worked there as Master of the Carpentry Shop – which is where he really made his mark on the world of design with modular furniture. He had a cottage and studio right here in Wellfleet, which is now owned by his son.
SP: How do you express your passion for art and architecture in your work?
AC: I love being able to help our clients make a strong visual impact, such as a dramatic color change on the exterior of their home.
SP: Any favorite paint colors?
AC: I love almost any shade of blue. I also really like chrome green – it’s a deep, vibrant green that looks really great on shutters.
SP: What else do you enjoy about your work?
AC: Well, my father was a teacher, and I think his interest in education was passed on to me. I really enjoy teaching the apprentice classes that are part of Stewart Painting Academy.
SP: The one-day apprentice boot camps are coming up soon – Saturday, March 12 and Saturday, March 26. What should we know?
AC: The boot camp is great for students, veterans, and people looking to learn a skilled trade they can really put to work. We started doing this last year, and we’ve changed the format a bit. The current program is a streamlined, 4- to 5-hour session covering the essential skills an apprentice should know.
AC: We teach the proper technique for scraping, sanding, caulking, basic brush and roller techniques, and topics like that. We also discuss important work safety issues, such as the safe way to use a ladder.
SP: Have you ever hired an apprentice out of one of your boot camps?
AC: Yes. Last year, Stewart Painting ran a boot camp for the Angel House, and one of those students is now my apprentice. We also have an apprentice who will be returning to work here for the exterior painting season. He is a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and was in our first boot camp last year.
SP: That’s great. How do people register for this year’s program?
AC: Candidates should apply online or call 508-362-8023.
SP: Last question – just for fun. What are you reading right now?
AC: A translation of the Epic of Gilgamesh. I also read comic books.