Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

July 18, 2010

Traveling artist paints flower on empty Kokomo building

It certainly isn’t graffiti.

A fiery-colored flower bud pulls the eye to a wood plank-covered window on an empty building on the south-west corner of Buckeye and Jackson streets.

It is the work of Andrea LaHue, a Los Angeles oil painter who spends two months out of the year doing what she calls Random Acts of Flowers.

LaHue, who has been staying with friends in Peru, noticed the building at Buckeye and Jackson about three weeks ago and decided to paint on it.

She travels across the U.S. and selects derelict buildings, then decorates them with paintings of a single flower.

“I do it to inspire and to uplift the community,” she said as she swept her orange paint-tipped brush onto her canvas of wood boards. “Flowers don’t have any dogma associated with them. They’re just flowers. But they get a lot of the same messages across as dogma without all that.”

LaHue describes herself as an “army brat” who is a self-taught artist. She has spent the past few years living in cities such as L.A., New York and Paris.

She came to Indiana to see the “the heartland” and learn what “Main Street” was.

“I just love Indiana so much,” she said. “I just love the farmhouses. Everybody’s just so friendly.”

Among the 25 cities in which she says she has painted more than 60 flowers over the last two years are Brooklyn; Harlem; Washington, D.C.; Savannah, Ga.; and Tallahassee, Fla.

LaHue uploads photos and videos from her trip to her website. www.alahue.com, and her blog, www.randomactsofflowers.blogspot.com.

• Daniel Human is the Kokomo Tribune business reporter. He can be reached at 765-454-8570 or at daniel.human@kokomotribune.com.

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