Get To Know Alicia LaChance

 In Culture

The St. Louis artist and co-owner of Hoffman LaChance Fine Art Gallery is perfectly at home in her open, light-filled studio. Prints and paintings of old work hang on the tall walls. The 5-foot-square painting called “New Village,” LaChance’s work adopted for a 27-foot floor installation in Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, overlooks two large wooden work tables where cans filled with bright paint stand. Her work is colorful, exuding a jubilant, hopeful energy through bold strokes and repetitive, geometric patterns. Much of it draws inspiration from multicultural folklore and influences from periods living abroad after her coursework at Fontbonne University, Seattle Central College and at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

When she’s not in the studio or with her kids, LaChance is bringing regional artists into the gallery, which she co-founded in 2004. Although past (and upcoming) shows feature nationally recognized work, she’s not hesitant to recruit talented and relatively new faces such as Nick Schleicher, whose “Synthesizer” show ran in September.

Photography by Wesley Law

Photography by Wesley Law

What is your current frame of mind?
I’m thinking a lot about the future and about my daughter, who’s about to go off to school.
When and where are you happiest? Around my kids.
What is your favorite smell? A good thrift store.
What is one word that describes you?
What did you have for breakfast today?
A cappuccino.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“That will have to do for now.”
What is your greatest weakness? The underdog.
What trait do you most admire in others?
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Definitely my children.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I’d like to know what it’s like to slow down.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Probably balancing being a fulltime artist with motherhood and retaining my identity.
Which living person do you most admire?
My dad.
Which historical figure do you most identify with? A painter named Emma Kunz.
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, who or what would it would be? Tesla. 
What is your most treasured possession?
  I have a collection of heart-shaped objects that my kids have picked up.
What is your greatest extravagance? New socks at Christmas. But usually, time with friends or family.
What is your greatest fear? Deep love and friendship eluding me.
On what occasion do you lie? Never. I tend to be brutally honest.
Who are your favorite writers? Don DeLillo, Jonathan Franzen—writers like them.
Which artists do you admire most? Katherine Bernhardt is a true inspiration and from St.  Louis—I’m not sure many residents are aware of her originality and influence on contemporary art.
What is your favorite hobby? Walking and looking.
Where would you like to live? In the south of France.
Who are your heroes in real life? Dedicated parents.
If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be? My grandmothers.
To what are you most looking forward? Taking a trip overseas with my kids—next fall, hopefully.
What is one thing you wish would happen? We would all get together and take care of this planet.
What is something you still want to learn? Oh gosh, there’s a lot. Being a yogi would be awesome.
What is one thing you want to do before you die? See my children’s accomplishments and be happy.

‘Archetypes’ are off-the-cuff interviews with St. Louis’ most inspiring, well-known personalities based on the 19th-century Parisian parlor game known as the Proust Questionnaire.

Editor’s note: A November 2015 print version of this story incorrectly indicated Alicia LaChance is married. 

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