For Adrienne La Faye, the question was simple — instead of waiting for people to come inside, why not take fine arts outside to the community?
After receiving grants from the Renton Municipal Art Commission and 4Culture, this local artist was able to do just that. La Faye is the creator of the Renton Outside Gallery (it’s exactly what it sounds like — an outdoor gallery located in downtown Renton).
The first set of installations, erected on the alley wall of Smoking Monkey Pizza building on 613 S Third St, are of La Faye’s series titled “Graphic Flowers.” She said the series is dedicated to her mother.
“My mom loves flowers,” she said. “I like flowers. But they die.”
While the series took 18 months to complete, La Faye said she hopes this is just the first step. Her goal is to start outdoor galleries in other cities and have other artists participate.
The vibrant use of color and mosaic-like painting is La Faye’s signature.
“I used to take art classes when I was a kid…. One of the classes was a stained glass class. It was a lot of fun. It put an impression on me, even on my style today,” she said. “My philosophy is that we all have purpose in the world. Just like your body, it’s all separate but it comes together as one. That’s how we all are.”
What’s reflected in many of La Faye’s works is her heart for social justice. Her paintings depict key African American leaders and figures — including Barack Obama, Bree Newsome and Dorothy — and the American black experience.
Some of her works are symbolic in nature. And others are of nature.
She admits some of her art can be controversial and political, but her goal is to invoke some sort of emotion.
Creating art is deeply personal for La Faye. She said she doesn’t care what others think but is more concerned about painting what’s stirring inside of her.
“Either they like your stuff or they don’t,” she said. “If you’re not being who you are, who you are meant to be, then you’re not doing your part. It comes off as not authentic. People might not like you, but they’ll respect you. I would rather have respect any day.”
La Faye’s work has been recognized throughout the area. She has held various exhibits around the Seattle and south King County areas, and have won awards and recognitions for her work.
She also hosts workshops for various organizations to teach children and adults how to draw and paint.
For more information about La Faye or to view her works, visit http://www.adriennelafayeart.com/.