This Saturday, June 30, 2018, Gallery Grapevine will host its Official Grand Opening from 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm, at 740 S. Salem Road, Suites 100/101, Conway, AR 72034 (see www.gallerygrapevine.org).
From musical selections by the Conway Symphony Orchestra Quartet, to the confirmed attendance of Judge Jim Baker, Twin Groves Mayor Namon Goff, and so many other political candidates, community leaders, and local artists, it appears that Conway is excited about expanding the arts and culture scene in the city.
Featured on Good Morning Arkansas last week, Gallery Grapevine (G-Vine) Co-Founders Ray Oglesby (Lake Elsinore, CA) and Sherita Herring (Beverly Hills, CA) recently relocated to Conway. G-Vine was birthed from their shared adoration for the arts.
Migrating from sunny Southern California they opened the gallery in Conway because they appreciate the South’s southern hospitality. Plus, Arkansas is centered in the middle of the United States and is strategically located to easily reach thousands that are ready for new ideas, activities, and excitement. They’re looking forward to bringing their global collaborations and international artists, speakers, and trainers to this vibrant, emergent, part of the U.S.
In addition to cultivating the arts community, the gallery is also intended for the community, offering a state-of-the-art location for meetings, small events (weddings, baby showers, birthday parties), conferences, podcasting and other special occasions and activities, including Sip & Paint parties for those that wish to have a unique gathering for friends, family or colleagues.
Though located in Conway, G-Vine will also impact the arts communities of Little Rock and smaller municipalities in surrounding areas such as Maumelle, Benton, Russellville, Pine Bluff, Morrilton, Mayflower, and others. This is important because advancing the arts has an overall positive effect on society. As a matter of fact, studies reveal that even in low to moderate-income neighborhoods, if arts resources are present, those communities are healthier, better educated, and safer overall than those in similar societies with fewer creative resources; according to the School of Social Policy & Practice at the University of Pennsylvania.
In addition to community studies, reports also reveal that youth arts drastically improve the lives of young people. In an effort to inspire and empower local youth, this summer G-Vine is launching the Youth Summer Series for children ages 5-12, while training youth 13-16 as junior counselors (see the calendar at https://www.philanthropyalliance.org/calendar.html). Offering Saturday painting classes and educational activities, the programs are intended to educate and inspire young minds through painting classes, and other activities, including virtual, age-appropriate speakers on the BIG screen, covering various subjects: animal lovers, bullying prevention, team building skills, leadership development, and more.
G-Vine’s programs will offer age-appropriate programming, from toddlers to the aging, by presenting on-going mentoring and support for artists from all walks of life. This is important, not because there isn’t already local talented artists, but many don’t understand the “art of business”.
Through Ray and Sherita’s national and international collaborations, the gallery will build artists’ capacity by providing business development training (marketing, financial literacy, exhibit planning and more), while also linking local illustrators to needed resources; ensuring the culture’s growth and livelihood remains a reality, and not a fleeting fad.
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