1708 Gallery: 10 x 10

[ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JUNE 2015]

This summer, 1708 Gallery is running a ten week program, 10 x 10: Richmond Takes The Gallery. It runs from June 2 to August 9, each week featuring a different program. The gallery’s website read:

“Inspired by a program at Nurture Art, New York, 10×10 is an experiment—an open platform that treats the gallery as a communal space. Artists and organizations will use the time and space to try something different, to test an idea, to experiment with a project, and to engage with new audiences. Across these 10 projects, a picture of the originality and quirkiness, intelligence and ambition, and overall creativity of Richmond’s community is highlighted.”

I had to miss the first week, because I am working full time this summer, but I managed to pop into the gallery last week during Milk River Arts’ takeover. Milk River Arts is a non-profit visual arts center that provides career-focused support for artists with developmental disabilities.

The walls were lined with art that had been created by people in the workshops. I was instantly approached by two very nice ladies who asked me if I ever did art and encouraged me to give it a go. I created a nametag, and grabbed a sheet of construction paper and several colored pencils.

I didn’t really know what I was going to do at first, but the navy blue color of the paper reminded me of the beach at night time, one of my favorite solitary places. There was a book full of art by Matisse, one of my favorite artists, and I used his sketches as women as a reference. I ended up sketching myself sitting on the beach, the water creeping on my toes and the silvery moon shining up in the dark sky. I really tried to capture the magic.

I had so much fun making this! I chatted up another artist, Abernathy Bland, and felt very encouraged and accepted. There were a few people with special needs there and the people running the workshop were offering them encouragement, assistance, and respect. They were so happy and proud of their work and it was really great to see!

Again, 10 x 10 is running until August 9! This week’s program is Performing Statistics, which looks at how criminal justice reform would differ if it was led by currently incarcerated adults and teens and how the Richmond community can support those efforts. I am gonna try to check it out before the week ends and write about it!

Here is the website for 1708 Gallery: http://www.1708gallery.org/

Here is the facebook event for 10 x 10: https://www.facebook.com/events/1609739692636143/

Here is Milk River Arts’ website: http://milkriverarts.org/

Here is Abernathy Bland’s art blog: http://abernathyart.blogspot.com/

Here is Performing Statistics’ website: http://performingstatistics.weebly.com/

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