Two Passions Combined: The Classic Clef Studio of Guitar and Art Gallery

January 21, 2015 | Posted By: Connor Watkins

Classic Clef Ribbon Cutting

The Classic Clef Studio of Guitar and Art Gallery recently celebrated its Greater Lexington Chamber membership with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Bonita Strickland, who opened the business in March 1994, has a unique passion for guitar and art.

“I love bringing together my two passions: guitar and the paint-brush. The guitar makes me a better painter, and I could not paint without the inspiration of the music,” said Strickland, who is a classical guitarist and artist with a Bachelor of Music degree with emphasis on performance from USC. “There is a common thread woven through music and art. I thank God for both gifts and for being able to share them.”

Over the past 21 years, Strickland has shared her passions with countless people here in Lexington, where she has lived for 28 years.

“I love seeing my students of all ages become excited about the progress they are making, and I love the excitement that I see when they walk through my door,” said Strickland, who is currently the only employee.

But that wasn't always the case.

Strickland remembers being the “only act in town” back in the ‘90’s when she had as many as five working teachers with around 150 students coming to the studio for one-on-one lessons each week.

“Unlike a traditional music store, I formed the first real studio in the area to offer classical guitar training,” said Strickland, who recently released a new CD titled Simply Classical.

Strickland has always made it a priority to offer more than guitar lessons at her studio, providing more of an experience. She offers French Vanilla coffee and chocolate covered pecans and almonds to her clients and guests.

“I make their visit as comfortable as possible. I have a variety of customers that come to my studio for different art related requests and I teach individualized music theory and performance skills to students ranging in age from kindergartners to older age senior citizens,” she said. “My goal is to always offer an enjoyable experience.”

Guests can also enjoy Strickland’s beautiful art, which is displayed in her gallery. She has art shows and is available for performances at concerts, weddings, receptions, birthdays and more.

“I plan to continue pursuing music and visual art. My plan is to continue sharing these passions with the Lexington community,” she said. “The Classic Clef Studio of Guitar and Art Gallery would like you to join me in a journey of Love, Hope, and, Peace. My favorite saying: “Life is Like a Guitar-What You Get Out of It Depends on How You Play It!”

For more information or to view some of Strickland’s artwork, please visit or call (803) 356-5990.