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Activist inspires others through colorful artwork

SEATTLE – “All I ever wanted to do was paint and be a fine artist.”

Adrienne La Faye describes herself as a “colorist” who uses a signature style of bold, bright colors in her works and draws inspiration from her own life. She insists that her entire reason for painting is because of the colors.

“I just believe that colors are everything,” said La Faye. “There are times I get in this zone and I can’t stop painting for like eight, ten hours.”

And getting lost in the art feels natural to La Faye. Her passion lies on the canvas and she knows that it is her life’s calling to be an artist… An artist who paints based on feelings.

“I’m an activist. I believe that part of an artist’s job is to be the narrator of today,” said La Faye. “My painting is about chronicling what is actually going on around in my world, and sometimes it’s not nice, it’s not pretty.”

But La Faye doesn’t shy away from these emotions, she uses them to inspire creativity and even pulls from her own experiences.

“And being an African American, lesbian, ex-drug addict, I’m like the epitome of intersectionality,” said La Faye. “For twelve years, I was a crack addict. I believe the reason I even became a drug addict is because my family ostracized me because I was a lesbian.”

La Faye knows her parents are good people, but it hurt her that they could never accept her for who she truly was.

The artist has been clean and sober for 17 years now and wants to make a difference, not only with art, but with youth.

“I’m hoping to be a teaching artist for kids,” said La Faye.

And with her repertoire of prestigious awards, that’s what she plans to do. Her latest works include a paintings of black life and a portrait of President Barack Obama.

“You go into any black family’s home and there’s usually a painting of Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, and Jesus,” joked La Faye. “Well, now we’ve got to add Obama to that collection!”

La Faye’s other works of art depict the lives of those who have been marginalized and disenfranchised. It’s her form of social justice and activism.

“I’m on this journey to try to be the best possible person that I can be and to do good, and to give back to my community,” said La Faye. “Because we all have obstacles. We all have our battles. We all have something that we’re trying to overcome. I feel compelled to help other people.”

Now, La Faye has accepted who she is and is ready to make a change.

“God made me to be exactly who I am.,” said La Faye. “I’m happier now than I’ve ever been.”

You can see Adrienne La Faye’s paintings on display in Mayor Ed Murray’s office and at an upcoming exhibit at King Street Station.

Copyright 2017 KING

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