Gallery owner provides hope for art students
Alicia Bibb has created a space where Hope students are celebrated for their remarkable artistic talents.
She’s the owner of Studio on 6th, a co-op art shop in downtown Springfield where students’ artwork has been on sale since July in a community outreach space known as “The Reading Room.” It’s there in the back of the store that guests can find an assortment of colorful and affordable student-made crafts, including picture frames, key chains and business card holders.
“Our customers really like that room and they really like supporting a local organization that helps people with special needs,” Bibb said.
In case you were wondering, the most popular items are the pencil holders.
“Those we can’t keep in stock. They go pretty quick,” she added.
Students create the crafts through a process known as decoupage, which involves gluing colorful paper from magazines or other publications onto wood.
Hope art instructor Wendy Scott is planning a field trip this fall so students can see their work displayed for sale at the shop.
“It’s wonderful to know we’ve had a positive reception from everyone. People in the community see that our students can do so many amazing things,” she said. “Our students defy the odds every day and exceed the goals that people set for them.”
Seventy-five percent of proceeds from artwork sales go back to Hope, and those funds are used to buy art supplies to support the school’s art program. The remaining proceeds go to other charities and help cover store operating costs.
Bibb approached Hope about the shop displaying student artwork because the cause hits close to home. Her adult daughter, Sarah, was diagnosed at birth with Cerebral palsy, a disorder that causes physical disability. However, Sarah went on to make scarfs and received a lot of praise for her beautiful creations.
“I just remember watching her get so excited about that and how good that made her feel. I knew when I created the ‘Reading Room’ that I wanted to give other people like Sarah a sense of worth and value in giving back to our community.”
Bibb said she plans for the room to be a permanent fixture at the art shop.
If you can’t make it to Studio on 6th to buy the crafts, student paintings are also on sale in Noll Café at Noll Pavilion in Springfield.
At Hope, we support children and families to achieve optimum growth, independence and joy.
The Hope Institute
15 East Hazel Dell Lane
Springfield, IL 62712