In partnership with the creative firm Dream For Purpose, we are launching the Black Is 365 project; consisting of youth programming, public art events, and installations with the goal to center and celebrate Black voices in our community. The project is inspired by the Black is Beautiful movement originating in the 1960's and by the need to extend focus on the achievements and struggles of Black Americans beyond the 28 days of Black History Month. Over the course of the year we want our young people, their families,and our city to celebrate the the possibilities and beauty in Blackness.
The first action is an installation in the windows of our Atlas teen art center and gallery located in Richmond's historic Jackson Ward neighborhood. Across our four large gallery windows reads 'Black Is 365.' The text piece was designed by Ricky Parker, an ART 180 board member and the creative Director of Dream For Purpose—the creative firm responsible for the Black Is Beautiful billboards that went up across VA in 2020. The fillable blank in the title invites you to contribute your own ideas of what Black means to you, and what it celebrates.
While our gallery is currently closed to the public during COVID, we encourage the public to visit the gallery's exterior to see the piece.
Open Studio will be a bi-monthly free, virtual art event hosted from within our Atlas gallery by a pair of local artists. The event will take place via Zoom and materials will be provided upon registration and will be available to pickup in advance of the event. We encourage anyone to sign up regardless of artistic experience!
Our first Open Studio of 2021 will take place Tuesday, February 9 from 6:30-8 p.m. The artist Jowarnise will lead a painting focused workshop accompanied by musician Calvin Presents. Registration is now open, click here to sign up!
The Edward D. Robinson Artist Residency
As we continue to further our organization’s mission with opportunities for Richmond youth to transform communities with their art, stories, and lives, it gives us great pleasure to announce that ART 180 will launch its first artist residency program for students from Richmond Public Schools.
Applications will open Monday, March 1, 2021.
The Edward D. Robinson Artist Residency celebrates the art and life of long-time ART 180 participant Edward Dean Robinson, whose talent and personality inspired those around him and who made his transition on June 21, 2018. As a former resident of Richmond’s Gilpin Court, Edward attended Richmond Public Schools where he graduated third in his class and was accepted into Radford University. Robinson had mental health disorders and was, on several occasions, misdiagnosed by health professionals. In sharing Edward’s story, and celebrating young artists in Richmond Public Schools, the goal of the residency is to provide youth of color attending RPS an opportunity to work with nationally recognized professional teaching artists, develop their artistic skills, and build a portfolio while working alongside their peers. It’s also important that ART 180 continues its mission to create a safe space for youth to be the individuals they are pursuing and the inspirations they identify, without judgement.
The Edward D. Robinson Artist Residency fosters that individuality, leadership, creativity, self-exploration, and supportive relationships.
For the 2021 Edward D. Robinson Artist Residency, ART 180 will select one young artist from eight Richmond Public Schools (RPS) for a three-month art intensive to study under our first artist-in-resident, Chris Visions. Those selected may be considered via an application process defined below. Applications are open for juniors or seniors from the following RPS high schools: Armstrong, George Wythe, Huguenot, John Marshall, Open, Richmond Community, and Thomas Jefferson high schools, and Franklin Military Academy.
Inaugural artist in residence Chris Visions is a storyteller and a communicator, passionate about creating visual, emotive experiences that speak to the human experience. His artistic journey began at the age of four under the guidance of his first art teacher—his mother—leading his interest in art to fill up all his coloring books while in church, starting his first mural beside his front door, and creating comics on the bus to school. These passions would be the groundwork that led Chris to his training at Ms. Goad’s Art Camp,
Ms. Kleinchester’s Art Class, Virginia Governor's School, Virginia Commonwealth University,
The Illustration Academy, and Conceptart.Org Workshops, along with hours of digital training.
Chris’s professional artworks are included in Marvel Comics, Into The Spider-Verse, DC Comics, Fantagraphics Books, Cartoon Network, Vice, The NBA, and many others. His pursuit for art has also landed him in acting roles in the 2019 film Harriet and his art featured in TV shows like The Good Fight and NBC’s Hannibal.
No matter the subject, Chris’s images are created from the same spiritual place that his journey began. His joy is taking that evolving inner-g and channeling it towards the viewer, leaving them transformed in some guided way.
The artist-in-resident will be awarded a materials stipend and studio space at Atlas, ART 180’s gallery and teen center at 114 West Marshall Street in Jackson Ward. For 45 days, the eight youth artists will work with Chris Visions to create a collective body of work, a public mural, and individual portfolios to be viewed in a final exhibition in August 2021. It is ART 180’s hope that youth use this time to build technical skills, collaborate, and develop a portfolio for college applications.