Adrienne La Faye

All people are born into the world with purpose. However, family, society, gender bias, and socioeconomics, have dissuaded us from utilizing our passions. Daily we must persevere to reclaim our True-Selves." ~Adrienne La Faye~

How I became an Artist, an Author and a Community Social Justice Educator.


 

       At five years old in kindergarten I fell in love with paint while finger painting. I starting eating the paint because I thought it would tasted like oranges, grapes or strawberries, of course I was wrong and I stopped. However, at that exact moment I knew I was an Artist. I don't know how I knew, but I knew. 

    I came out as a same gender loving woman and I was immediately ostracized from my family, church and friends, and everything dear to me. I had no where to turn except to live life on life's terms. Since I'd been a sheltered preachers kid, I thought I'd engage in the forbidden world of freedom.

    Now, I would live unbound by others opinions... However, that was easier said than done. I was raised to believe that my lifestyle guaranteed that my life from that point would be HELL. I truely believed I was lost and I deserved everything bad. With that mindset unfortunately, I became an addict. 

    Twelve years later of using I was hopless and wanted to die. I was so ashamed of myself, and I didn't know what to do.  I couldn't go back to where I'd come from and I couln't  live the life I had chosen. I had a friend who told where I could go to get help. I enter into a treatment facility and failed twice, but the third time seemed to stick. I finally got clean & sober in 2000.  

    Unequivocally it (even to this day) was the HARDEST THING I'VE EVER HAD TO DO IN MY LIFE. Often I think about how I made it out and the only answer I can come up with was, it was by the grace of GOD.

      Currently, after an unbelievable amount years of  hard work, pain, sweat and tears and a couple of decades later, I became a fulltime professional artist. I studied at the U of W and the Art Insitute of Seattle.

   

     I was committed after almost nineteen years of being clean & sober,  NOW, IT'S MY TURN TO GIVE BACK, to organizations and folks that helped me, and for help those who are hopelessly struggling.

    As an African American painter, an author, and a Community Social Justice Art Educator, I've been charged to battle the war daily.   Giving back, what a great idea. Right? I wrestled with how can I help with my skills?

    How do I convert my skills to be a vessel to be an agent of change?How does an artist give back to folks who can't afford to purchase art at a discounted rate? Okay, so I give them paintings, they might not have a place to sleep. Most people can't appreciate art when they're at their worst. I had no idea how I could help.

     I started with writing an Art Teacher Paint Workshop class proposal to the same local drug rehab facility that had helped me.  I presented to the program manager and they were overjoyed that I would inkind my knowledge and time.  My work began with their children because of the lack of Art Education in the schools.  

    These children where also in a Drug Court program that was suppose to turn their lives around. My first class was revealatory I saw how I could make a difference. The children were pumped about my classes and my drug story they related to me.

     Five years later, I assessed my work how I'd broaden my scope and have educated adult drug addicts, homeless children, single family home children, black and brown men and women the list goes on. That's how I became a COMMUNITY SOCIAL JUSTICE ART EDUCATOR. 

I've decided It's not enough,  I need to make a larger impact with folks who are still incarcerated and need to be heard.