BY DAVID WILLARD
“It is a big world, full of things that steal your breath and fill your belly with fire…But where you go when you leave isn’t as important as where you go when you come home.” This excerpt from Lindsay Eager’s book, Hour of the Bees, perfectly describes the emotional and sometimes instinctual need to come back to where you came from…to come home. Good or bad, it is the place that helped make you who you are. Lye Lawrence, currently a Charlotte-based artist, grew up in Winston-Salem and knows firsthand the power of coming home.
“I grew up in Winston-Salem. After college, I landed a job downtown and really got involved with the art crawl. I discovered Dane Walter’s work at Delurk Gallery, was blown away, and swore I would show mine there someday. I moved to follow my career, and I’ve been living in the Charlotte area for around 3 or 4 years now. When Delurk put out a call for submissions last year, I jumped at the chance. Chad Beroth messaged me and asked if I wanted to do a show, so we planned out one for October, and now I’m a collective member,” says Lawrence.
Lawrence’s talents and works are prime examples of diversity and pushing every area of your creativity. “I make a lot of things, but now it’s mostly botanical-heavy acrylic ink paintings on polypropylene. Plants make up a big part of my life right now. I love to figure out what each one needs, grow them, draw them, and make medicines with them,” he comments.
“My style likes to change often. I have a visual range that I operate in; since I paint, illustrate, cartoon, and design websites, things have to be a little flexible. It’s allowed me to experiment with different styles and media a lot, though! One thing I always come back to is the visual language of taxonomy. There’s something exciting about illustrating an organic mass in a telling way,” he continues.
When asked about the downtown arts scene, Lawrence is quick to point out what makes it such a special place for artists. “I can’t speak much to this since I live 45 minutes away, but it’s honestly the most welcoming art district I’ve ever been in. Everyone is stoked about making solid work and trying new things and crafting a scene that feels good for everyone. The folks at Delurk have been wonderful, and I feel relaxed whenever I’m there. I feel so lucky to have seen Winston grow up with me. I used to live on the edge of downtown – there were so many abandoned buildings. I think a lot of them are finding new, innovative uses. There’s always something new opening it seems, and I love it. I’d be lying if I said I haven’t thought about uprooting and moving back multiple times. I’m also really excited to see what the new studio spaces and the innovation quarter will bring,” concludes Lawrence.
Lye Lawrence has used his time away to hone and even explore new areas of his craft. His artwork speaks to a wide array of patrons and art lovers alike. Luckily for the art enthusiasts of the downtown Winston-Salem area, Lawrence keeps coming back to the place his love for art started: home. He sees what many artists and residents alike see in our area; he sees a living, indeed breathing, example of what happens when art comes alive in the area. Thanks largely to the artists that call downtown Winston-Salem home, and the residents who get to breathe it in with a just a stroll down the street.
Artist’s website: inkloose.com