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Artist group finds a home in Richmond Hill, fulfills a dream
Kathy Hatcher, Arts on the Coast member and new gallery point of contact, works on a special painting. - photo by Sandra M. Elliott

Much to the delight of the local community, area residents will now have access to the work of many artist-members of Arts on the Coast (AOC), a local fine arts organization.

Members have shared their talents with the community through their semi-annual arts shows and displays at local businesses. Now there is a new venue where artists can display their work, hold workshops and share their gifts with the local residents.

Thanks to business partners Carol and Gene Brogdon, who have allowed Arts on the Coast full access to a vacant space in the Sperry-Brogdon Building, artists can now help residents discover the artist inside themselves while sharing their talents. The space, where the AOC held its last Spring Art Show, will now be a place the artists can call “home.”

Kathy Hatcher is an artist-member who helped coordinate the deal and who also serves as the point of contact for the artists who wish to display their work.

“We wanted to have a place to not only display our artwork, but also to meet the public and encourage them to explore their own gifts,” she said.

“We are grateful to have a place to showcase our work, as well as bring special art opportunities to the local community. As an organization, we believe many people can benefit from a strong showplace for the arts.”

For years, artists in the Richmond Hill area have enjoyed a presence in the community, sharing their talents by expressing their love of the coastal area through their creative paintings, drawings and photos. Organizers hope the new gallery — yet to be named — will be a place that people can come to be inspired, as well as to interact with the artists and even bring their own pieces to work on while mingling with the other artists.

Sarah Volker, the president of the Richmond Hill Historical Society, is also a local artist.

“There has always been a certain ambience to living in Richmond Hill, but the art scene has been relatively hidden,” she said. “We have been searching for an opportunity such as this.”

Volker said she believes this gallery can be a “tangible spot that can bring a new focus” to the AOC members since it will allow active public input and participation. Various members of the group hope to hold classes based on the needs of the community, to allow all who desire to enjoy expressing themselves through art to learn new skills.

Arts on the Coast members are encouraging local residents to visit the gallery, which is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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