B.J. Kocen, owner of GLAVE KOCEN GALLERY

“Milk River Arts is important to me because Sally (executive founding director) is all in. I see through her workshops that she and her mentors are pushing abilities, challenging these artists, AND selling their work!” 

When Will’s family moved from California to Richmond, his parents were concerned about how their son would adjust. Will has developmental disabilities and is a visual artist, musician and, as his dad puts it, “has always been a creative soul.”

The family found Milk River Arts. At this small, joyful studio, Will draws, paints, and creates collage and found object sculpture alongside professional artists who take his talents seriously. His parents say the Milk River Arts community has validated their son’s abilities over and over again. By supporting and celebrating his work, mentor artists continue to inspire Will to create and also elevate his artistic voice.

Milk River Arts promotes and sells work made by artists with disabilities in its studio and in partnership with local galleries and exhibition spaces. Will has been creating and selling his work at Milk River Arts for three years now, which means he’s a professional artist! That’s yet another validation for him and his fellow artists at Milk River.

“As parents, one of the most important things we want for our children is for them to feel valued and feel like they are making a contribution to the world,” says Will’s dad. “Milk River Arts has been pivotal in making this happen for our son.”

Help support a neurodiverse community of artists by volunteering or donating to Milk River Arts.