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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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NBC12 Reporting Two Police Officers and Suspect Shot on Semmes

At around 1:25 a.m., RPD officers were called to investigate a report of an armed person in the 800 block of Semmes Avenue. When they arrived, gunfire erupted.

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From NBC12:

Two Richmond Police officers and a suspect are injured after a shooting on the city’s south side early Tuesday morning.

At around 1:25 a.m., RPD officers were called to investigate a report of an armed person in the 800 block of Semmes Avenue.

When they arrived, gunfire erupted.

The officers and suspect were transported to a local hospital for treatment. Sources said one officer was hit in the torso and has serious injuries, the other having non-life-threatening injuries. Sources said both are stable.

Two additional suspects were detained for questioning.

The Department’s Force Investigation Team will investigate the shooting and prepare a report for review by the RPD Chief of Police and submission to the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

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Crime

Richmond Police, Mayor Stoney apologize after tear gas deployed before curfew on protesters

Protesters took to the streets of Richmond again Monday night and were met with a forceful response and the deployment of tear gas by Richmond Police – an action for which the department and Mayor Stoney later apologized.

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Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Richmond again Monday afternoon and evening to speak out after the death of George Floyd. The group organized near both the Robert E. Lee and J.E.B. Stuart Monuments on Monument Avenue and remained mainly peaceful until police approached demonstrators at the Lee statue and deployed tear gas, as can be seen below from the below Twitter video from VPM.

Around the same time, reports began coming in that protesters at the Stuart monument were attempting to bring it down. A young demonstrator scaled the base of the statue and took what appeared to be a hack saw to the leg of the monument’s horse in an effort to bring it down. Police responded by calling on protesters to stand down, citing the weight of the monuments and their potential to crush bystanders.

Richmond Police and Mayor Levar Stoney later apologized for the deployment of tear gas on peaceful protesters – well below the 8:00 PM curfew – saying it was uncalled for and inviting protesters to City Hall at noon Tuesday to “apologize in person.” For its part, RPD said the officers involved had been “removed from the field” and would be subject to disciplinary action.

The protesters then continued marching down Franklin Street, then W. Broad Street, where things fizzled out around 10:30 PM near 14th Street.

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PHOTOS: Protests continue for third day around Richmond, tear gas deployed as marchers ignore 8PM curfew

Hundreds of protesters rallied at sites around town Sunday as the third day of protests in response to the death of George Floyd took place in Richmond.

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Hundreds of protesters rallied at sites around town Sunday as the third day of protests in response to the death of George Floyd took place in Richmond. Protesters gathered at peaceful rallies on Brown’s Island and at the 17th Street Farmers Market downtown on Sunday morning.

Later in the day, another group formed at the Lee and Jackson monuments on Monument Avenue in the Fan. As dusk approached, the group made their way east on Franklin Street, turning onto W. Grace Street and then Broad Street near City Hall and Children’s Hospital at VCU.

An 8:00 PM curfew put in place by Mayor Levar Stoney did not deter most protesters, who continued marching and chanting until Richmond Police deployed tear gas and pepper spray into the crowd. Slowly, over the course of an hour, protesters dispersed.

Many businesses along W. Broad Street from Arthur Ashe Boulevard to the Arts District, already left cleaning up broken glass and graffiti Sunday morning from Saturday night’s protests, were left on edge, though there were far fewer reports of property damage Sunday.  Many of the businesses affected were small or minority-owned. By Sunday, many showed their support for the protests, spray painting “Black Lives Matter” or “Small/Minority-Owned” on their window coverings to both show solidarity and deter further damage.

Photographer Dave Parrish caught much of the Fan/Downtown protest Sunday afternoon and files these photos.

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