Mural artist makes the city his canvas

By: Glenda C. Booth

When he sees a nondescript wall or side of a building, “Sir” James Thornhill sees art. To him, it’s like a blank canvas waiting for artistic reinvention. Thornhill literally “paints the town,” with colorful murals that honor heroes and heroines — especially local notables associated with the historic district of Jackson Ward, a section of Richmond known as the “Birthplace... READ MORE

Missions to help heal the world

By: Barbara Ruben

In the remote village of Cerro Iglesias, in a mountainous region of Panama, Pastor Micah Davis arduously mixed cement by hand and spread it to create bases for huge water storage containers that would pave the way for the village’s first running water. Then, Davis went to a nearby city to pick up supplies when a torrential rain began to fall. “It was just [coming down as] solid... READ MORE

International tai chi champions

By: Robert Friedman

Many recreation centers provide instruction in the ancient martial art of tai chi. But it’s a rare program that sends 17 of its members to China to participate in an international competition, and no doubt even rarer when such a group sweeps the awards in their categories. That’s exactly what happened, however, when a group from the East Columbia 50+ Center’s tai chi class traveled ... READ MORE

From CPA to haute chocolatier

By: Carol Sorgen

As Valentine’s Day approaches, lovebirds will line up for chocolate-covered strawberries at Ruthie Carliner’s evocatively named Velvet Chocolatier shop in Stevenson Village. Her chocolates can also be found at Whole Foods, and Oprah included her creamy sea salt-topped caramel cups in her list of “favorite things” back in 2011. But Carliner’s calling in creating decadent... READ MORE

Picture book takes a romp through Richmond

By: Catherine Brown

Fun. Upbeat. Thoughtful. These three words perfectly describe Short Pump Bump! A Lyrical Spherical Rhyming Romp Through Richmond, a children’s book just published by lifelong Virginian Angie Miles. Short Pump Bump! pays homage to our fair city with a collection of poems illustrated by Scott DuBar, a VCU graduate with whom Miles has worked for the past eight years. Short Pump Bump!... READ MORE

Artist retires, rekindles dream

By: Rebekah Alcalde

This past August, LeeNan Hayden Manzari was watching “Project Runway” — the long-running fashion design reality television show — when to her amazement, her painting of a flamenco dancer flashed on the screen. She’d submitted it online to the show’s Remake It Work contest, where fans of the show submit artwork inspired by the program. But she never thought it would... READ MORE