Artist Paula Clendenin was born June 22, 1949, in Cedar Grove, Kanawha County. She has earned national acclaim for her paintings, richly colored, textured shapes that merge West Virginia’s mountain landscape with mystical and spiritual symbols.
Clendenin attended West Virginia University, where she received a bachelor’s degree and M.F.A. During her final semester of undergraduate school, she was inspired by a printmaking class to pursue art. She continued to make prints, but also began to paint on canvas. By the mid-1980s, Clendenin had developed a distinctive painting style, characterized by multilayered surfaces and mountain shapes. Her preferred medium is oil stick and paper.
Clendenin’s work has been featured in more than a dozen solo exhibitions and in numerous exhibitions with other artists, including ‘‘The Spirit Within, Four West Virginia Artists,’’ sponsored by the West Virginia Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington. More than 25 corporate, private, and public collections display her paintings. Clendenin’s paintings also appear in collections at the Library of Congress, Dallas Library Commission in Texas, and Fleet- Boston, formerly the Bank of Boston.
Clendenin has won several honors including the Governor’s Award three times in the West Virginia Juried Exhibition, and the Award of Excellence at Huntington Museum of Art’s ‘‘Exhibition 280.’’ Clendenin lives in Charleston and teaches at West Virginia State University. She has taught at several institutions, including the University of Houston, Marshall University, West Virginia Wesleyan College, and the Governor’s School for the Arts.