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Local artist starts classes at new gallery (w/video)

March 27, 2014 at midnight
Updated March 28, 2014 at 10:29 p.m.

Trent Rickman talks with one of his students, Gracien Campbell, 4, during a mommy and me art class  March 5 at Studio 313 Rio located in the back of the new Gallery 313 Rio. "I felt like it was a beautiful way to be of service to the community," Rickman said of creating the art classes in the newly created space. "I felt like it's a possibility with endless possibilities attached to it."

Behind a wall of windows in a newly remodeled storefront on Rio Grande Street, a space for local artists to display their work has taken shape.

While Trent Rickman hangs his paintings in the gallery, the back room is where he hangs his heart.

And then he invites others to fling paint at it.

When owner Frank Reyes offered Rickman a studio space in the back of the new gallery, dubbed Gallery 313 Rio, he saw an opportunity to share his love of colors and artistic expression with others.

"I love art, so I wanted to share with any and everybody," he said.

The 34-year-old Cuero native created fliers asking for Victorians to "come & paint with me," offering mommy and me classes as well as special needs and adult sessions three days a week.

A giant canvas fills half of one wall of the room with a free-form swirled heart in the middle where Rickman's students are encouraged to throw paint when they finish a creation or need a break.

His first class was March 3. He's had a small stream of mostly children with their parents trickle in to join in the fun every week.

"I've had a few people ask me to teach throughout the years, and I was too hard on myself," he said, citing worries about his lack of a degree or written qualifications.

However, as others visit his work space to spread watercolors and acrylics on paper, canvas and occasionally themselves; Rickman's natural ability shines through.

"This path has heart - then I'll take it," he said of his decision to create his own job and jump headfirst into running the classes.

"I'm just trying to follow my stars, so to speak," he said. "This is where I feel guided, this is where I feel good, and it's more than I imagined it could be."



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