Art show to open at the Glave Kocen gallery benefitting child development

Photo by Austin Walker
The front of the Glave Kocen gallery, the location of the art show happening Oct. 29-31. Photo by Austin Walker
Photo by Austin Walker
The front of the Glave Kocen gallery, the location of the art show happening Oct. 29-31. Photo by Austin Walker

A gallery opening this month will benefit an organization dedicated to working with children through their toughest moments through trauma-informed mental health aid, child development services and on-scene emergency assistance.

The seventh annual Artists Support ChildSavers Show will run Oct. 29-31 at the Glave Kocen Gallery, and will feature multiple artists focusing their work around ChildSavers and their efforts.

Owners and husband-wife duo BJ Kocen and Jenn Glave have a strong relationship with both ChildSavers and the local, contributing artists.

“Jenn and myself really like to get behind causes that help children through difficult situations,” Kocen said. “We don’t have children of our own, so I think this is our way, somewhat, of being an aunt and uncle to numerous kids. We also have developed a real bond with the staff of ChildSavers, and we’re proud of the work we’ve done together.”

ChildSavers primarily works with children who have been subject of trauma, ranging from anywhere between witnessing domestic violence at home or shootings in their neighborhood to being the victim of a sexual assault.

ChildSavers employs a staff of 40, and serves 34 localities throughout Central Virginia with several programs. Traditional therapy is provided for individuals ages 2-17. Childsavers works with child protective services, Richmond Police Department and other first responder agencies to provide an immediate service.

“If a child is running away from home, we’re there to provide crisis intervention,” said Thomas Millisor, Vice President of Development at ChildSavers. “Or there’s a fire, and first responders and everyone’s there for the family and what’s going on with them, but not taking care of the kid. We’ll provide them some coping mechanisms to start dealing with the situation.”

The organization’s theme of “art transforming lives” can be observed through their programs that utilize art therapy to aid child development.

“We have a couple different modalities,” Millisor said. “One is play therapy, but not all children express through play, some express through art. We allow them to do that as well. Visual arts can be stimulating. They can be calming, they can be soothing.”

This year’s art show will be revamped compared to past years. Fifteen new artists have been added to the show, bringing the count to 54.

“I expect this year to the best yet,” Kocen said. “We’ve brought in 15 new artists, we’ve improved the quality and quantity of the silent auction table and have basically just amped every single aspect of the exhibition. This is the seventh year of the Artists Support ChildSavers Exhibit, and the timing was perfect to reinvent the event.”

A few silent auction items include a three-night stay in Hilton Head, South Carolina; airline tickets to anywhere in the Continental U.S., Alaska, Canada and Mexico; and a private six-hour fishing charter for two people.

The show will feature predominately flat art, including photography, mixed-medium canvas and hardboard, as well as oil, pastel and acrylic painting.

“Most of our artists are going to make art with ChildSavers in mind,” Millisor said. “It might be inspired by the work that we do, but all the art will be appropriate for us to hang in our building. Most of the artists that are a part of the show are also a part of our collection in the building.”

Over the course of the three day show, 400 guests are expected to attend. This year, attendees will be charged an admission fee. Individual tickets are $30 in advance and $40 at the door; junior patron tickets are $100.

“We felt that it was a fundraiser, and we wanted to make sure we’re getting all the opportunities to engage our audience,” Millisor said. “We thought that would be a great way to increase the level of the show.”

One example of this came while planning for the show, the organizers realized its last day is also Halloween. Children-friendly activities such as pumpkin decorating, Stanley Rayfield’s Caricature Drawings, and Trick or Treating throughout the nearby galleries will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sophia Belletti, Staff Writer

11802522_10207448112303567_588286187022952754_oSophia is a sophomore journalism major who writes for the Odyssey in addition to the news, sports and spectrum sections of the CT. Sophia also works in sales at Nordstrom and likes hiking and going to concerts. // Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

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