a dog named Story and a creative community

Just down the street, around the corner, behind the door there is some person, place or thing waiting for discovery. The treasure there is not really hidden, but rather simply unassuming and unnoticed. Such was the case on my recent visit to Richmond. Walking around the Church Hill neighborhood on the one warmer day in a long stretch of colder ones, I turned the corner and spotted the red awning. Not quite sure if the building was a residence or business, I ventured to the doorway and peered inside. One look revealed brightly colored art work, paint brushes, frames, work tables, and a sweet dog. This was an art studio! Milk River Arts.

Director, Sally Kemp, invited me inside for a studio visit. I met her dog, Story, and she filled me in on the mission of Milk River Arts. I listened . . . as best I could . . . but my eyes kept traveling the space admiring the art with color and form and lines everywhere. The studio was inviting and warm and bright and cheerful. And Sally talked about the artists and their work with the kind of enthusiasm reserved for those people and things we truly cherish.

Milk River Arts is a non-profit organization that creates opportunities for individuals with disabilities to engage in art making inside a community of artists. Milk River introduces emerging artists to mentors, ideas and materials and encourages exploration. Participating artists aspire to support and elevate one another. The goal of Milk River Arts is to create a joyful and generous space where artists can teach and learn and everyone feels valued.

Milk River Artists will exhibit their work during the month of February at Niche Fitness Studio in the Fan District of Richmond.

I’m looking forward to my next visit to Richmond when I can check out the art. I’d love to meet the artists and I really need to visit Niche for help with stretching for my back.

It’s easy to see the world as a negative place – to convince ourselves that we can’t make a difference, that nothing we do matters or that we are never enough.  

It’s equally easy to extend kindness and see beauty in every offering.  

A creative community can help us to make the right choice.