When Adam Clague knew he’d found his lifelong mate, he filled half a canvas with a still-life painting and asked his future wife Andrea to paint the other half. And to marry him.
She did both, and that picture is among their works being displayed through Nov. 14 in downtown Lee’s Summit.
The Clagues, of Liberty, are only 30, but they are getting noticed in the national art market, said Teresa Hogan Keene, director of Got Art Gallery, which is hosting the show.
This spring, Adam Clague won Second Honor Award at the International Portrait Competition at Reston, Va., for “Girl Knitting.” Among 1,700 entries, only 21 chosen for that show. Andrea Clague’s work “Aglow” won grand prize at the 2012 Legacy Gallery’s Scottsdale Salon of Fine Art.
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Hogan Keene said the artists have a long list of other honors as well.
“Both have a knack for finding that perfect composition that draws you into the painting,” Hogan Keene said. “They’re so very humble about the gifts they have ... They’re going to go a long, long way. I truly believe it.”
The exhibit, which opened Friday, is only the second gallery show the couple has planned together. Their first was part of completing their college degrees.
Hogan Keene said the artists make an accomplished use of color and light in their similar styles, which they describe as realistic impressionism.
Adam is from Detroit and Andrea is from Akron, Ohio. They met at Pensacola Christian College, studied together, then got married.
After finishing school, the couple moved to Liberty where they could live in his grandparents’ house without paying rent or a mortgage.
That allows them to pursue full-time painting careers — selling paintings, teaching and conducting workshops.
Andrea Clague said they’ve traveled a lot during the past two years, to Montana, St. Croix in the Virgin Islands and upstate New York, staying with artist friends and searching for subjects.
She said she looks for lines through a scene. “It can be a beautiful flow.”
Adam said he enjoys the challenge of making three dimensions stand out in a two-dimensional art form.
Their work is represented by the Hudson Fine Art gallery, in Hudson, Ohio.
The Clagues said they try to discover the art in common scenes that can be overlooked in the everyday bustle.
“Sharing with somebody the beauty they might not otherwise see,” Adam said. “We try to be really truthful to it. Nothing we can do with our imaginations improves the beauty God put there.”
Got Art Gallery is at 18 S.W. Third St. in Lee’s Suimmit. It’s open from noon to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.