Monday, August 15, 2005

Da Vinci Kids goes to Hilliard House

For Immediate Release

Contact: Krishanna Spencer
Phone: (804) 230-0246

"Da Vinci Kids: Have Clay Will Travel"

VSA arts of Virginia: Richmond Partners with Hilliard House to Provide Art to Children in Need.


Who: Da Vinci Kids, a program of VSA arts of Virginia’s flagship visual arts program, the Da Vinci Project, gives children with and without disabilities and challenges access to professionally staffed and equipped studios, creating an inclusive and nurturing environment in which to start creating art, often for the first time.

What: Weekly visual art instruction for the children at Hilliard House, an organization which provides women and children in need of housing a temporary, supportive home that attends to the growth of the whole person.

Where: Hilliard House
3900 Nine Mile Rd
Richmond, VA 23223

Wednesday Evenings; 6:30 to 8:30 PM.

VSA arts of Virginia: Richmond is delighted to announce that Da Vinci Kids and Hilliard House have partnered to provide ongoing visual art classes to children in need at Hilliard House. Beginning Wednesday, August 18th from 6:30 to 8:30 PM, classes will begin with ceramics and are tentatively scheduled to move into other art mediums at a later date. Classes are designed to introduce kids to the visual arts and teach them skills and techniques that are not only fun but can also be applied to life challenges, providing self-confidence, empowerment and positive communication skills in a creative and nurturing environment with professional working artists.

For more information or to volunteer contact Krishanna Spencer, District Coordinator at (804) 230-0246 or email


VSAVA is a non-profit tax-exempt, 501c3 organization based in Richmond and an accredited affiliate of the national organization VSA arts (formerly Very Special Arts). Founded in 1974 by Jean Kennedy Smith, VSA arts of Virginia provides access to the arts for people with disabilities for purposes of education, recreation and career development.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Call for Art for Artists With Disabilities

HOW: Enter up to 3 pieces of two or three dimensional hanging art work to be shown at Max's Positive Vibe Café. Call or e-mail for an exhibition form to send slides, CD or photos or call to arrange to drop them off at the office.

WHEN: All entries will be juried during the week of August 22nd and the results announced by August 29. Show will hang September 1st through the 30th.

WHERE: Max's Positive Vibe Café, Richmond, VA. Highly publicized and popular, Max’s Positive Vibe Café is a fully-working restaurant and bar training individuals with disabilities and economic disadvantages in the food service industry. The Café has generously invited VSA arts of Virginia-Richmond to exhibit artwork in its restaurant. Wall space in the entrance foyer and dining room is available for display on a monthly basis. Artists working in all media are encouraged to submit work for consideration. Sales information will be displayed with the artwork for VSAVA- Richmond to facilitate sales of artwork through its office.

Deadline: Monday, August 15, 2005

Postal Address: Exhibition Coordinator
0 East 4th Street, Studio, Studio 50
Richmond, VA 23224

E-mail Address:

Phone: 804.230.0246

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Everything you always wanted to know about VSAV-Richmond’s da Vinci project but were afraid to ask . . . .

1. Do Italian-named artists celebrate America’s Independence Day? Of course they do – so The da Vinci Project will not be operating on Saturday, July 2, so that our hard working instructors and assistants can have the weekend off with their families. Molta bene!

2. Was da Vinci naturally talented?
Sure he was, but he learned from others. That’s why every Saturday from 10 am to noon we offer ‘open studio’ time at our space in Artworks – it’s at 3rd and Hull Streets in the Manchester Arts district of Richmond, and right on the 60/61 bus line. We provide materials, support, and instructors for artists with disabilities – and welcome their family and friends to explore their creativity alongside them!

3. But nobody gave da Vinci free paints and canvases.
Probably not. We do ask for a $5 fee from each participant to help offset the cost of the instructors, assistants, and fees. But we never turn anyone away due to their inability to pay. We’re pretty sure Leonardo would have wanted it that way.

4. Da Vinci’s got Mona Lisa in the Louvre. Where do your artists have their work seen? And do you sell them?
Of course, our artists can choose to exhibit and/or sell their work. There’s the da Vinci studio in Artworks, for a start – we’re part of 4th Fridays each month, and you can see our artists’ work during Artworks’ operating hours. We also exhibit paintings by artists with disabilities at the Positive Vibe Café in the Stratford Hills Shopping Center. While we keep a small commission to help the Project keep going, the artists can – and do – earn money from their work!

5. You pay people to do this??
We do – but there’s not enough money to help assist artists, teach studios during the week for social service agencies and community service boards, transport and install artworks in the galleries . . . . so like Leonardo, we rely upon the support of volunteers to help us discover the creativity in each participant.

Because, after all, the arts are for everyone.

Got more questions? For information about VSAV and the Richmond da Vinci Project – including how to volunteer, donate materials, schedule studio time for a group, or support VSAV’s mission in other ways, please contact District Coordinator Krishanna Spencer at 804/230-0246 or

Monday, June 20, 2005

About VSA arts: Richmond

VSA arts of Virginia (VSAV) has provided arts programs for, by and with children and adults of all abilities since 1985. VSAV's impact is seen throughout Virginia- including Richmond.

VSAV-Richmond's artistic exploration features...

  • Presenting works by artists with disabilities, locally and statewide, at the Positive Vibe Cafe.
  • Providing instruction, creative expression and community through the da Vinci Project, offering open studio sessions Saturday mornings and workshops for individuals and community service groups on an on-demand basis.
  • Offers performing arts experience for students and adults with autism, Asperberger's Syndrome and other disabilities both developmental and physical through the Dreamers Troupe and eXceptional Orchestra.
  • Assists early education educators with integrating the arts and students with disabilities in the classroom through Start With The Arts training and curricula.

    A non-profit organization, VSAV and it's districts rely upon the generosity of individuals, corporations and community groups to ensure that the arts are accessible to everyone- regardless of ability or economic status.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Art at the Positive Vibe Cafe

VSAV of Richmond was invited to the Postive Vibe Cafe' Grand Opening where we provided art tables for all. TheGrand Opening, held on June 5, 2005 was one of the hottest days of the month, with temperatures over 90 degrees but we persevered and had a lot of fun.

Invited artists and exhibition contributors painted and did demonstrations for all who were interested. Art activities included a bisqueware painting table, acrylic and watercolor painting station, a ceramics station, and a drawing and coloring station with everything from pastels to crayons. There was even sidewalk chalk!

Here are a few photos of the VSAV: Richmond Art Zone.