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lela altman

lela altman

bio: i grew up a southern girl from a smallish town, desperate to get away and find adventure. i absorbed glossy page after glossy page of fashion magazines and daydreamed of all things beautiful. i sketched elaborate dresses that friends, family and neighbors found fascinating. those scraps of encouragement, as well as my own unwavering passion, led me to study fashion design and art at virginia tech. to prepare for a move to new york city, i sewed up little outfits for myself and sketched away for my portfolio, desperately hoping the pants i made and wore to interviews looked like helmut lang and not home ec. i found design jobs with small companies and then came the holy grail, master of minimalism, calvin klein. working under his vision was the realization of all my fantasies. i visited the moma, whitney and my personal favorite, dia for inspiration. along the way, i began to paint in my tiny apartment. it felt wonderful to create something for myself; there were no parameters. over the years, i’ve continued to paint. landscapes, abstracts, flowers. fanciful paintings of birds and branches for her walls when my daughter was born. but moving to nashville opened a whole new chapter in my work. i was compelled to paint. i obsessed over developing my techniques, more ideas in my head than i could get out. as soon as each painting was finished, i was already starting another, had it laid out in my mind, anxious to see it in person. a musician came over for din

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