- Associated Press - Sunday, October 23, 2016

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) - At 86, local sculptor Lalage Warrington still spends her days creating pieces of art out of clay, wire and found objects.

But it’s her earlier paintings and sketches that are getting some renewed attention.

She’s a resident at Summit Hills, a retirement community in Spartanburg. The retirement community has gathered some of her earlier works to feature them in a benefit art showing at the Summit Hills Clubhouse. The money raised will be used to set up a scholarship for young artists.

An opening reception was held earlier this month and featured the portraits, abstracts and modern art pieces she completed decades ago. Some of her sculptures also will be on display.

“I’m inspired by just life in general. I might see a picture in a newspaper and I’ll take that and get inspired,” she said.

Warrington grew up in Spartanburg and has been a local sculptor for years. She majored in art at Stephens College in Missouri and also at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. She later taught art at the Spartanburg Arts Center and continued teaching until she moved to Campobello in 1990. After the move, she began teaching painters and sculptors in Tryon, N.C.

Part of her sculpting career included several years of working with local law enforcement to create facial reconstructions of homicide victims. She is credited with helping identify skeletal remains based on her reconstructions. In 1980, the Herald-Journal published a story about her work helping to identify victims, and in 1981, she was featured in a New York Times article and a Smithsonian article about her work.

“The scientific community was skeptical at first. They said, ‘Oh, an artist couldn’t do that.’ They couldn’t believe an artist would go by scientific rules,” Warrington said.

Warrington said she’s enjoyed seeing some of her earlier works revisited and plans on selling them.

“I’d forgotten about them. I forgot what they look like,” she said walking down a hall of her hanging paintings and sketches. “You better buy them because it might be a treasure later.”

Summit Hills spokeswoman Stephanie Boteler said the opening reception was the first they’ve held for charity.

Boteler said she took one of Warrington’s sculpture classes that she has offered out of her home studio in the garage.

“We didn’t realize she had this talent because she’s known as a sculptor,” Boteler said of Warrington’s two dimensional works. “To me, it’s like uncovering Georgia O’Keeffe’s work.”

Boteler said she frequently displays art in the clubhouse and likes to promote the work of residents when she finds out about their talents.

“She wants to make it a bonafide art gallery, maybe even be a part of ArtWalk one day,” said Warrington, referring to Spartanburg’s monthly ArtWalk that promotes local galleries and art events across the city.

Warrington said most of the art on display was created when she was in college.

“I had a box I was lugging around everywhere. They’re all old art things I had done in school on sketch pads and all this stuff,” Warrington said. “Most of it is just sketches, but they seem to be impressed with them, and they wanted to do a reception.”

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Information from: Herald-Journal, https://www.goupstate.com/


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