Monday, August 6, 2018

2018 Art Fund Purchase


Each year we dedicate a portion of our vacation rental income to a fund from which we purchase new West Virginia art. Promoting art and artists from our home state is actually in our business plan for Lafayette Flats. You can read more about it here.

For our 2018 Art Fund Purchase we traveled to another beautiful part of our state - Tucker County - to explore the art scene in the revitalized small town of Thomas. While browsing The White Room Art Gallery, we came across a unique piece of art that we immediately knew would be perfect at Lafayette Flats. It traveled home with us, and now hangs in the bedroom of flat no. 1, Nuttall.

"Ride On” by Eddie “Spaghetti” Maier, is an artful and clever depiction of mountain biking, an extremely popular activity in Fayetteville and the surrounding New River Gorge National River. But even those who have never set their bum on a bike will appreciate the beauty of this crankie.


To create the crankie, Eddie carved a beautiful scene of a mountain bike trail into a slab of reclaimed wood. He created a print on paper that is then scrolled inside a wooden form - of his own making - that contains two spools on the inside and a glass viewing screen on the front. Finally, he painted a continuous line drawing of a biker on the glass screen.

The magic of the ride through the woods happens when the scroll is hand-cranked, as the tiny music box plays “Country Roads.”

We love the way Eddie captures the natural beauty of West Virginia in his woodcut prints. From hibernating bears and baby bunnies to bluebells and milkweed, a look through Eddie’s online gallery will reveal his love of Appalachia.

We were able to chat on the phone with Eddie shortly after purchasing “Ride On.” We could hear his children playing in the background at this Maidsville, WV home. He talked about his love of peddling art throughout the Mountain State, and the welcoming feeling he gets from interacting with folks on the streets of Morgantown specifically and West Virginia generally.


Eddie also turned us on to a website all about crankies and the rich storytelling history of the artform. We will share the link with one caveat; only click if you have hours to devote to crankie exploration. The Crankie Factory is fascinating and a complete time suck.
Eddie shows work at different galleries through West Virginia, but he prefers street vending at fairs and festivals. He compared it to fishing. “I throw out a line and see if anything bites,” he said laughing. He finds this technique particularly helpful when selling crankies, because who doesn’t love a good story?

Read about our previous Art Fund purchases:
2017 Meredith Gregg “Lotus Rising"
2016 Paula Clendenin “Ambition"
2015 Stephanie Danz “Rhodies"

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