Meet All City Art Club!

Published on February 7th, 2022 by Janna Hall

Richmond’s deep and rich culture is wrenched in history, diversity, and creativity. Black culture saturates nearly every aspect of that culture. So many elements of our world as we know it has been shaped by Black culture, the art scene in Richmond, a city that thinks of itself as a living canvas for creativity, is no exception. 

The vibrant arts and entertainment scene in Richmond includes one of the top art programs in the country, along with world-class venues, museums, and art galleries. Although festivals and local colleges have influenced the city’s welcoming embrace of street art, all areas of the city didn’t receive that same treatment, leaving a gap in representation and art styles. All City Art Club, a grassroots art collaborative, has been working to bridge that gap.

All City Art Club uses street art as a catalyst for change and revitalization in underserved communities in Richmond and surrounding communities. SillyGenius, a Richmond-based artist, alongside Auz Miles, PT Carroll, and Nadd Harvin, have painted more than 20 murals around the city. In collaboration with local organizations, their work impacts the communities of Bellemeade, Swansboro, Broad Rock, and beyond. With murals and community-based projects including a bicycle/pedestrian safe zone, basketball court, schools, and community gardens, All City Art Club’s mission is clear: they view art as an agent of change. 

“We’re all very aware that art, and its ability to transform space and place, to unite & inspire people, really is the future,” says All City Art Club Founder, SillyGenius. “It’s time to give the artists and the community the support they need to create the change we want to see, on the ground, in real-time.”

Art makes people feel good about where they live, but it’s so much more than just brightly colored paint adorning walls; art evokes emotion, thought, and conversation. The silence and erasure of Black people’s experiences continues to occur in this country. We can fight this through unity and collaborative efforts by creating spaces for Black voices and experiences to be heard and seen. All City Art Club’s community projects introduce street art without the goal of tourism or gentrification but to unify and inspire. The work that they have implanted into this city communicates identity, culture, space, and art as an outlet for creativity, social connection, and achievement. Each project is a glimpse into how impactful Black culture is to Richmond’s overall identity. 

Last month we spoke about how unity can propel us into greater success and make sustainable growth possible. Our partnership with All City Art Club pushes us forward with the initiative to obtain holistic and human-centric community development. Efforts to support their mission for equitable and inclusive access to arts and diverse expression can be made through the donation link on our website!