Storytelling has been at the forefront of our existence since the beginning. We tell stories to entertain, to educate, and to preserve cultures. How we tell stories continues to evolve as time passes. However, the cultural and social significance of storytelling remains the same.
You would be hard-pressed to find someone who understands this more than Savannah native and business owner Richard Law.
Law, the son of a social worker and minister, has been using art to tell stories since he was a child. Growing up in the South, Law found inspiration for his art through everyday life in the Lowcountry. Many of his early images included barbershops, museum artifacts, musicians, and container ships that passed through the city’s port.
“My personal and professional experiences in life as an artist and individual have inspired me to create subject matters that other people can relate to. Now is an important time because I am evolving more as an artist. I have come to a point in my life [where I am able to] develop an appreciation for the experiences I have had,” said Law.
After the encouragement of a friend prompted Law to share his hobby with the world, Law, owner of Raw IImage Barbershop & Boutique, began honing his skills as a self-taught artist. With roots so deep in the Savannah community, there was, however, a moment when Law thought sharing his art would not be possible.
“I felt one thing needed more of my time than art. Having a deep compassion for both professions, the ability to cut hair and sell clothes is another form of art that gives me [the ability] to express myself at different levels as a creative artist and entrepreneur,” he explained.
On April 22 at the opening reception of his current exhibit, “The Art of Richard Law with a Spring of Southern Hospitality,” Law was in his element. It was the beginning of story time as Law shared the inspiration behind each of his works.
Chris Banks, a devoted follower of Law's, was in attendance. When walking through the exhibit, Banks stopped at a painting of a marsh. “I think about how the slaves escaped from the plantation,” she said, staring at Law’s “Sandfly Marsh Scene” painting. She said images like these remind her of a time when alligators, snakes and other elements stood between African-American people and their freedom.
“I believe Richard Law wants the world to remember him as being an artist who inspires. His work captivates your mind and spirit,” curator Darlene Wilson said. “Most importantly, [his work] depicts the culture and history of the African-American community and its ancestors.”
Law’s exhibit is open until June 22. With plans to build a strong foundation in the city of Savannah, Law’s work has also caught the attention of tourists who stop in to the Hostess City, an experience that makes Law feel even more proud.