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Abstract Athlete Launches Art Project at Stony Point Fashion Park with Local Students

Richmond-area schools of Thomas Dale, Huguenot, GH Reid, Maggie Walker Governor School, and AVR were inspired by professional athletes and a Purple Heart recipient artist to create their own art.

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Art that is geared to bond together athletes, veterans and artists has arrived in Stony Point Fashion Park. Partnering with a national Benefit Corporation (B-corp) called The Abstract Athlete, the mall recently unveiled art with a purpose. The goal was to install art created by current and retired professional athletes and veterans for shoppers to enjoy, as part of the mall’s Live 360º program. The works were installed at the end of December and are located on the barricade near Talbots.

​Co-founders Chris Clemmer and Virginia Commonwealth University professor Ron Johnson began The Abstract Athlete as an initiative to change the stereotypical negative relationship between art and sports, and show the benefit of a daily creative practice in which one skill can help the other. The Abstract Athlete works with the artwork created by professional athletes and veterans to showcase the work and use it as teaching tools to inspire creativity.

The Stony Point project consists of four unique paintings using artwork created by current or retired professional athletes, and one veteran to use that artwork to make a difference in the greater community.

Hillary Werth, United States Bobsled Team – G.H. Reid Elementary

Vernon Davis, Washington Redskins – Camile Ways, Thomas Dale High School

Brett Tomko, Retired MLB Pitcher – Kevin Gayles, Huguenot High School

Richard Sullivan, Atlanta Braves – Zion Sandiford, Academy of Virginia Randolph

In addition to the mall artwork, The Abstract Artist held workshops at schools during the months of November and December. The organization selected the Richmond-area schools of Thomas Dale, Huguenot, GH Reid, Maggie Walker Governor School and AVR to bring the professional athletes’ and veteran’s artwork to students in 4th grade through high school. The students then created their own inspired artwork.


“We love this project because it blends a lot of things we’re doing here at Stony Point,” said Karen Alley, marketing director at Stony Point Fashion Park. “The focus on creativity, interaction and community building make up the core of the Live 360º program. This partnership with The Abstract Athlete brings that energy into the mall and outwardly into Richmond schools. We’re proud to be doing our part to promote this project.”

The mural will be available until May 31, 2020.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

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