Richard Graves Says Art Makes Our Communities Stronger

Posted by Monica Hoel
If you think Richard Graves is dreaming that his art will end up in a glitzy New York gallery, think again.

He believes that art is “essential to life” – not only essential for the people who innately want and need to create it, but also for the people who wish to buy, enjoy it, own it. Richard says art is integral to a healthy community, and making it accessible to people in the community is part of the challenge of any successful artist.

During the past year, Richard decided to leave a long-term position as station manager for WEHC-FM and pursue his work as an artist full-time. That’s a big step, but he has a creative business plan that goes along with his creative brush strokes. Having his work available for sale at venues where there are crowds of people is part of his mission to make art part of the community; but as he works out the business side of being an artist he finds that he is also far more successful when he’s able to create and sell pieces in association with festivals, shows, and even music events.

He challenges us to look at what we have hanging on our own walls. How many pieces have a memory attached from an event or perhaps a conversation with the artist. “The art in your home gives you a personal connection to the artist and also to your community.”

He reminds us that art is much of what has brought us sanity and laughter and inspiration during these days of social separation during the pandemic. “Think of how many books and television shows we’ve enjoyed during this time. And we’ve lived a lot more with the art on our walls.”

The work of drawing or painting or sculpting the perfect artistic manifestation is only a portion of the work of being a full-time artist. Richard has a clear sense that the real success in this field is understanding the role of art in our lives and in our world.

Richard has an opening with an art talk on April 15 that you can enjoy from home. Click here to learn more.  And you can find Richard’s work on his webpage, and also on ETSY. He hopes to be seeing us all at festivals soon!

You may also enjoy a conversation with Richard in the archives of WEHC’s radio talk show, The Duck Pond Wall (interviews are in alphabetical order).

  • Richard Graves
    Emory & Henry Class of 2008.

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