“Local, original art will be a key design feature of Lafayette Flats.”
This was a line in our business plan when we first dreamed up the idea of Lafayette Flats, but it was more than just words on paper. It is really little piece of the heart and soul of our project. We are committed to each year acquiring a new work for the Lafayette Flats permanent collection. You can read about last year’s acquisition here.
For this year’s purchase, we were pleased to be able to acquire a fantastic painting by our Charleston friend and nationally acclaimed artist Paula Clendenin. “Ambition,” one of Paula’s 2006 works, now hangs over the main stairwell of Lafayette Flats. The painting’s dominant visual element, a ladder, is very meaningful to us, hearkening back to our ambitious nine-months of toil resurrecting the Malcolm Building and turning it into Lafayette Flats (a time during which we spent many hours on ladders!).
Paula was born in Cedar Grove, Kanawha County. She has earned national acclaim for her paintings, richly colored, textured shapes that merge West Virginia’s mountain landscape with mystical and spiritual symbols. Her work has been featured in more than a dozen solo exhibitions and in numerous exhibitions with other artists, including ‘‘The Spirit Within, Four West Virginia Artists,’’ sponsored by the West Virginia Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington. More than 25 corporate, private, and public collections display her paintings. Paula’s paintings also appear in collections at the Library of Congress, and Dallas Library Commission in Texas. Paula has won several honors including the Governor’s Award three times in the West Virginia Juried Exhibition, and the Award of Excellence at Huntington Museum of Art’s ‘‘Exhibition 280.’’ Paula lives in Charleston and recently retired from teaching at West Virginia State University, where one of her former students was Lafayette Flats co-owner, Amy McLaughin!
“Ambition” is not the first work of Paula’s in Lafayette Flats but its placement over the main stairs makes it one the most prominent pieces of art in the building. We couldn’t be happier with this year’s Art Fund purchase!