Kent Conference Center showcases artwork from Kent State alumni, artist and CEO Laurence Armstrong

Lyric Aquino

In a dimly lit room at the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center, 20 people gathered Friday with wine and cheese in their hands to observe paintings in a gallery filled with art from Kent State alumnus and CEO of Ware Malcomb Lawrence R. Armstrong.

According to his biography, Armstrong is fascinated with light, color and layering. Many of his pieces contain multiple layers of canvases, wood and colors.

“My work, both in art and architecture, is an ongoing exploration of the concept of layers,” Armstrong said in his biography for his feature pamphlet.

Armstrong graduated from Kent State in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science in architecture and again in 1980 with a Bachelor of Architecture. He is a licensed architect in more than 45 states.

He has been published in Real Estate Business Online, Development Magazine and Professional Report Magazine for his work in both architecture and real estate.

Armstrong said he travels across the world in order to fuel his creativity to create his art.

“I have noticed that the many passions in my life manifest through me,” Armstrong said.

Marilyn Sessions, a member of the Kent community, attended the gallery. She said she found the gallery to be “extremely beautiful” and was filled with a “nice variety and use of color.”

Sessions said she considers herself to be a supporter of local artists and art in general and believes this gallery, and hopefully others like it, will be good for the community.

“It’s easily accessible and good for the community,” Sessions said. “I hope this is done more frequently.”

Spencer Clark, the sales and marketing manager of the hotel, said he thought of the idea of holding a gallery in the conference center.

“I thought this was a great way to get the community together and say ‘hey, this is our local art,'” Clark said.

Clark proposed the idea to his colleagues of holding more galleries in the conference center, especially during the summer. Clark intends to have someone organize the work of local artists in several different galleries over time.

When asked about possible future galleries, Kent community member Terri McGuckin said it would be terrific.

“I could see a lot of people coming here, especially when the weather gets nice,” McGuckin said.

Armstrong planned to be in attendance at the gallery and discuss his work with the guests; however, due to traveling issues, Armstrong was unable to attend and sent his regrets to those in attendance.

Lyric Aquino is the humanities reporter, contact her at [email protected]