Keeping Chillicothe weird.

After coming back from a city that is truly a smorgasbord of eccentric people – foreigners, lolita girls, otaku’s, salarymen, death metal musicians, seniors, gangsters, students business owners, comedians, housewives, etc. – I was prepared for some dullness when I came back to Chillicothe.

In a big city like Tokyo, it is easy to take diversity for granted. Tokyo accounts for ten percent of Japan’s total population, not to mention that it draws around seven million visitors each year. Just in the university that I attended alone, more than eight percent of the students population was composed of international students from over ninety countries.

So when I came back to Chillicothe, I was ready to be the only minority in the town. Surprisingly, on my first day back, I met a woman from Fayette county who told me about her admiration for the Chillicothe downtown area. She marveled about the work small business owners did to keep the city alive and interesting. When I pressed to hear more, she told me about an impressive exhibition opening she attended to celebrate her artist friend’s work. “Which gallery?” I asked. “The one on Water Street,” she said.

And she was right about how impressive the gallery was. When I attended the August gallery stroll at the PVG, I immediately felt at ease and was excited to see a community of people talking to each other while enjoying art, live music, and food. What surprised me was not only the number of people who were present, but also the mix of people. There were students, people of different races, people from other cities, teachers, artists, musicians, business owners, dancers, veterans, and couples. The art world is often marked by pretension; so it is such an honor to work at a gallery that puts a strong value in uniting everyone. As they they in Austin, Texas, let’s “KEEP CHILLICOTHE WEIRD.”

Posted by Connie

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