The Victorious Return of SHOP CLASS
I’m pretty vocal about my opinion that my home town (Richmond, Virginia or RVA) gets a bad rap.
Despite a dubious historical significance and years of old-money leadership, this little city is bursting at the seams to break out of its conservative past. Home to a top art school and a recent AdWeek Agency of the Year, small creative businesses are popping up all over town. Richmond will never be New York or Boston or San Francisco – obviously – but at 10% the size with cool architecture, great restaurants and a low cost of living, we have the benefit of a close-knit and supportive creative subculture, and that is worth bragging about just a little.
Last summer I had the opportunity to participate in SHOP CLASS, an event series featuring the work of RVA creatives and creating interactive experiences with an audience of bystanders interested in their work and point of view. The series was hosted at my favorite local co-work space, The Marvin Lang Building. The workshops were led by: A chef improvising with local food the audience provided, a musician who re-works rock music in other genres, an artist known for his Skull-A-Day series, two writers helping us articulate our city’s brand, and the series hosts Peter Fraser, Ansel Olson and John Sarvay leading audience groups through a $20 sculpture challenge. In the last session, I gave a talk about yoga as a metaphor for design and yogi Kelly Trask led the audience through a vinyasa practice based off our presentation.
This year, I joined the SHOP CLASS planning team, and I’m SO glad I did. The series begins in just a few weeks and we’ve had a great time putting together a lineup of local creatives to share their work. They are:
First up will be Ashley Hawkins and her crew representing Studio Two Three, Richmond’s non-profit community print studio and gallery. After hearing about the studio and learning about the art of printmaking, SHOP CLASS attendees will all get to do some screenprinting and leave with art they’ve created.
Next is Patience Salgado, better known as Kindness Girl – a local birth photographer, writer and kindness worker striving to make the world a better place every day by sharing small and random acts of kindness. Patience will tell her story, and the audience will brainstorm and produce a kindness project which we’ll enact together in the community in the weeks following the session.
And then there’s Kendra Bailey Morris – a chef, cookbook author and blogger specializing in southern cuisine. Attendees are asked to each bring a locally grown food item, and Kendra will improvise and share dishes based on the bounty the audience provides. (The photo above is from a similar session last summer.)
But wait, there’s more!
We’re ironing out details for a fourth session (the first on the calendar) in September. Details will be announced soon. If you’re in town and would like to attend, register soon – tickets are going FAST! I’m in no hurry for summer to end, but have to admit I’m excited to spend some time this fall being inspired by the great creative energy of my city.
Photo courtesy Ansel Olson