Each year since 2015 we have allocated a portion of our vacation rental income to our West Virginia Art Fund. The purpose of this fund is to support West Virginia artists by purchasing a new work to display in Lafayette Flats as part of our effort to create an alternative narrative of the state’s culture and to show our guests the rich and diverse artistic talent that is found here.
We first saw Robby Moore’s work displayed on the walls of one of our favorite Charleston restaurants, Bluegrass Kitchen. We were taken by the unique look of his figures and his inventive use of various media. We had the opportunity to meet Robby in 2015, chatting with him for a few minutes at his resident studio at Tamarack. On that visit, we purchased one of his small original paintings entitled, “Garden Party” which now hangs in Quinnimont’s bedroom. In addition to the art, we also left with the feeling that one day a large piece by Robby Moore would be hanging in the main hallway of Lafayette Flats Boutique Vacation Rentals.
At a 2019 show at The Grove in Fayetteville, we picked up two more pieces of his work – “Looking In” and “This Plant.” By then we had grown to respect more than just Robby’s art. We respected his expansive work with other West Virginia artists and art organizations.
In 2020 we visited the Beckley Arts Center and were impressed by the fresh energy Robby brought to the place as its new executive director. Feeling that positive energy in such a challenging year was a sign that it was time to commission an important work for the main entrance at Lafayette Flats as our 2021 West Virginia Art Fund purchase.
About Robby Moore
Robby Moore grew up in Southern West Virginia and graduated from Concord University with a Bachelor of Art degree in Studio Arts. He has served as a professional theatrical director, scenic designer/artist and even a professional marionette puppeteer.
It wasn’t until well after college that Robby found the inspiration he needed to begin exhibiting his artwork. He attended a popular but unofficial art show during Charleston’s FestivAll where he said he finally felt like he belonged. Since then, Robby has been showing his work throughout West Virginia.
As mentioned above, Robby now works as the executive director of the Beckley Arts Center.
Lafayette Flats Art Commission
When Robby visited Lafayette Flats to see the location for the piece and to experience the overall feel of the interior, we talked about our shared love of West Virginia art and artists.
We also explained to Robby that we enjoy using traditional Appalachian crafts and culture but in very non-traditional, modern ways. The contemporary WV art collection at Lafayette Flats always surprises our guests and often changes or expands their ideas about our home state. And it’s our guests that we curate the collection for. We want them to feel inspired but comfortable. This is after all their home away from home.
The piece Robby created in response to our conversation captures all the ideas we hold dear, and it is perfectly titled “Make Yourself at Home.”
At the center of the piece is a figure gesturing toward a chair with open arms, acting out the title of the work. The expressive body shape of the figure and the realistic eye are both representational of Robby’s style.
For the background, Robby created a traditional quilt pattern with paint on a very non-traditional fabric, silk. On the left is a green mountain on which Robby inscribed names of West Virginia cities, and on the right, a blue mountain on which are written West Virginia zip codes.
“Make Yourself at Home” is the largest piece in our collection, measuring about 6.5’ wide by 5’ tall. The mixed-media Robby used includes silk fabric, acrylic paint, marker, thread, and yarn.
We are thrilled with the finished piece and thank Robby for adding to the Lafayette Flats Art Collection.
Learn more about our past West Virginia Art Fund purchases.
2020 – Nevada Tribble
2019 – Rosalie Haizlett
2018 – Eddie “Spaghetti” Maier
2017 – Meredith Gregg
2016 – Paula Clendenin
2015 – Stephanie Danz