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Lafayette artist transforms home’s exterior into drive-thru art exhibit

Visitors can also park and view the work that will be displayed eight feet apart

“Inhale Exhale” a painting by Lafayette-based artist Adderly Grant-Lord. On Saturday and Sunday, from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m., Grant-Lord will showcase her art, as well as the work of stone sculptor Collen Nyanhongo, at an outdoor exhibit outside of her home. Vistors can stay in their vehicles and drive through onto her circular driveway or park and get out for a closer look. (Adderly Grant-Lord/ Courtesy photo)
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Lafayette-based artist Adderly Grant-Lord has greatly missed visiting galleries and partaking in weekly art walks during COVID-19 closures, so she has decided to set up a drive-thru art exhibit on the exterior of her home. From 2-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, fans of creativity can view paintings by Grant-Lord and sculptures by Collen Nyanhongo without ever stepping out of their vehicles. The site of the artistic pop-up is Grant-Lord’s home at 2490 Cana Court, Lafayette. If visitors choose to park and explore the work, that will be displayed 8 feet apart, they can don a face mask and do so.

Adderly Grant-Lord paints outside. The artist has plans to transform the exterior of her Lafayette home into an art exhibit that will be open for visitors Saturday and Sunday from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. (Adderly Grant-Lord/ Courtesy photo)

“Since lockdown, it has been especially hard not being able to participate in First Art Fridays,” said Grant-Lord, who studied at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. “As long as I can remember, I have attended those Fridays in Louisville and Boulder with fellow artists and friends among local communities. My soul depended on those interactions that were filled with inspiration and I felt a definite loss.”

The concept for an in-person, social-distance, art gallery was born after Pine Street Church, in Boulder, approached Grant-Lord to design a detachable mural that would offer the community a message of hope during this global health scare.

Adderly Grant-Lord paints a piece that was hung on the outside of Pine Street Church in Boulder to encourage the community to stay strong during the coronavirus pandemic. (Adderly Grant-Lord/ Courtesy photo)

“It was while I was hanging the painting at Pine Street Church, that I envisioned a complete art exhibit with eight feet apart social distancing,” Grant-Lord said. “My art is my joy, pure bliss. I really just miss all the interaction. I look forward to seeing my friends and just indulging in the art works.”

Grant-Lord’s work, filled with vibrant hues and chaotic splatters, carries a sense of motion. At times, she dives into the abstract, at others she depicts tranquil dream-like landscapes. All pieces on display this weekend will be for sale.

“Everyone will wear a mask and follow the social distancing guidelines so we can have a great time and be safe,” Grant-Lord said. “We will have free masks for those who are in need. I am encouraging my guests to walk up for a more personal view. For those with mobility limitations, a drive-thru is recommended. I have a long circular driveway, so you don’t have to get out of your car for viewing.”

Joining Grant-Lord will be Zimbabwean stone sculptor Collen Nyanhongo, who comes from a long line of creatives.

“Wearing a mask when I go out in public has just been a continuation because I always wear a mask when I am sculpting,” said Nyanhongo, who is working on a new piece that he hopes to display Saturday.

Adderly Grant-Lord’s acrylic on canvas painting “Faith Breaking Through.” Grant-Lord will transform the exterior of her Lafayette home into an art exhibit while adhering to social distancing this weekend. (Adderly Grant-Lord/ Courtesy photo)

His in-progress piece is about the “hard times” in our lives that can be metaphorical “holes that chip away at our spirits if we let them.”

“If we allow ourselves to bend but not break, to look to others and not just ourselves something beautiful happens,” Nyanhongo said. “The holes allow light to shine through and our ‘holes’ become whole.”

Nyanhongo’s work, chiseled out of springstone, serpentine and lepidolite, further adds to the artistry of blooming gardens and public spaces. His stunning and intricate pieces can be found in galleries in Arizona, California and international locales.

“I am inspired everyday,” Nyanhongo said. “Most times when I create, I don’t know the magnitude that a piece carries until I hear people confirming how much they are feeling about the sculpture or how much it resembles what they are going through.”

Previously, he created a 15-ton marble sculpture for a public art project in Fort Collins.

“Family Reunion” made from mixed stones by sculptor Collen Nyanhongo. Nyanhongo will have his art displayed this weekend at an outdoor exhibit organized by artist Adderly Grant-Lord. (Ron Kirk/ Courtesy photo)

“Art is a driving force that makes people think and feel differently each time they admire it,” Nyanhongo said. “That’s what I enjoy — seeing people puzzled by a piece of art or deeply sucked in to the piece of art that depicts their situations.”

Grant-Lord is hoping the two-day event attracts folks throughout the Front Range.

“I will definitely be attending,” said Boulder-based realtor Ann Cooper. “I think it’s really important to experience the joys of art in these unsettling times. It reminds us of the beauty of people and the world itself. It’s calming. It provides us all with a sense of peace, which is so badly needed.”

While many virtual offerings, including livestream concerts and online gallery tours have surfaced, this may be the first in-person art event of its kind in the area since the start of social distancing.

“Adderly (Grant-Lord) came up with this concept and I think it’s brilliant,” Cooper said. “Adding Collen’s sculptures will only enhance it. Both are amazing artists.”

Grant has used the world’s current state as the inspiration for many of her pieces.

“I am definitely influenced by these times and what is showing up on my canvas is all about empowerment,” Grant-Lord said. “I am constantly questioning, what it means to be strong. Is it holding on or letting go? I think letting go requires more strength, because you are leaving the comfort of knowing for the unknown.”

Grant-Lord is hoping this weekend’s outdoor exhibit is just the first of many.

“I would love to host a fashion, jazz, art and sculpture exhibit next,” Grant-Lord said. “The when and where will depend on how much joy we share this weekend.”

“Through the Eyes of Love” carved out of springstone by sculptor Collen Nyanhongo. (Ron Kirk/ Courtesy photo)

For now, admittance into the outdoor exhibit remains free.

“Art, at this moment, is what will help us through this mentally stressful time because never before has human connection been so cut off and limited,” Grant-Lord said. “I strongly believe that art gives your inner voice a physical space. Art can provide comfort, joy and bliss.”

Grant-Lord and Nyanhongo want exhibit visitors to take away a message of hope.

“I am so excited to share what art does for me — provide joy during a time filled with fear and anxiety…maybe an awakening of the soul, replacing a sense of loss with inspiration and reminding others to hold on,” Grant-Lord said.

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