By Ruth Brajevich, CMO, Ware Malcomb
Admire any great building within the city skyline and it is easy to see the strong connection between art and architecture. However, there are few people who embody this connection as completely as Lawrence R. Armstrong, a long-time member of the IMA’s International Executive Council. As an accomplished artist and the Chief Executive Officer of international architecture firm Ware Malcomb, Armstrong has successfully combined his two passions into separate, yet connected, careers—and he continues to pursue both at full speed.
As the CEO of Ware Malcomb, an award-winning international design firm with 22 offices throughout North America, Armstrong has led the firm through a period of extraordinary growth. Over the past year alone, the firm has opened or relocated offices in the vibrant downtown areas of several major U.S. cities, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver and San Diego.
Armstrong’s personal work as an artist has also accelerated, with appearances in numerous high profile international art exhibitions and galleries. His art was recently selected for exhibition at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Calif. Featuring works from Armstrong’s Layered Canvas Series, iPhone Sketches Series and Layered Paper Series, the exhibit ran during October and November 2016.
“It was an honor for me to have the opportunity to exhibit my art at John Wayne Airport,” said Armstrong. “I’m very grateful to the John Wayne Airport Arts Commission for bringing art to the millions of people who come through the airport annually, and excited to have been selected to be a part of this incredible program.”
Armstrong also recently celebrated the grand opening of the new Lawrence R. and Sandra C. Armstrong Gallery located within Kent State University’s new College of Architecture and Environmental Design building. An alumnus of Kent State, Armstrong’s work from his Layered Vision exhibit was featured as the first exhibit of the new gallery, running through December 2016. At the conclusion of the exhibition, Armstrong will be donating a piece from the exhibit for permanent display at the new gallery.
“It was very special for me to be a part of this gallery opening within Kent State’s new College of Architecture and Environmental Design,” said Armstrong. “This space combines two of my life’s passions – architecture and art – in the very place where they were first nurtured as a college student at Kent State.”
Armstrong’s paintings and sculptures represent an ongoing exploration of the concept of layers: both how they interact and intersect with one another, and also the meanings contained within. In this way, his art actually does imitate his life; as Armstrong’s passions for art and architecture interact and intersect, both pursuits are enhanced in the process.
Ruth Brajevich is the Chief Marketing Officer of Ware Malcomb. Established in 1972, Ware Malcomb is an international design firm providing planning, architecture, interior design, branding and civil engineering services to commercial real estate and corporate clients. With 22 office locations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Panama, the firm specializes in the design of commercial office, corporate, industrial, science & technology, healthcare, retail, auto, public/educational facilities and renovation projects. Ware Malcomb was among the top 10 midsize firms in Real Estate Forum’s 2015 Fastest Growing Companies list, the top 20 architectural firms in Building Design+Construction magazine’s 2015 Giants 300 ranking, and the top 50 interior design firms in Interior Design magazine’s 2016 Top 100 Giants.