Dreams Become Reality in Downtown, Where Artists Feel at Home

April 7, 2015

Kelly at Ravel's Art Place.

Kelley at Ravel’s Art Place.

By Cristina Manos

Jacqueline Kelley, author of the book “We Are People Too…” has found a home for her lifelong dream right here in Downtown Tucson. Her art studio, and nonprofit art education center, Ravel’s Art Place Inc., at 59 E. Pennington, will open on Saturday April 10, during Second Saturdays with a little party. Stop by while you’re Downtown enjoying the sights and sounds of Second Saturdays to catch a glimpse this special new studio and learning center.

Kelley and her long time friend, Rhena McCain, have been working on many projects together throughout the years. Ravel’s Art Place has been made possible by the collaboration of Kelley and McCain, as well as a few private donations, which helped springboard the idea into reality.

“All things are possible, if you really believe,” Kelley says. She’s been all over the United States teaching art for 25 years. Kelley wanted to start this type of studio in Tacoma, Washington, in Hartford, Conneticut, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and in Sacramento, California. She landed in Tucson 4 years ago, and considers it fate. She came here to care for her mother, and an opportunity Downtown opened up for her to fulfill her dream. Kelley now feels that she is “at home.”

Ravel1Ravel’s Art Place is designed to inspire creativity and to motivate those who feel they may lack the ability to be creative. Kelley believes that all of us have a creative niche, and she’s willing to try to find that in anyone interested in visiting her studio and/or classes. Kelley works with mixed media, so even those who don’t draw can learn how to create with wire or material, for example. She will even host open mic nights at her studio for those who want to dabble in spoken word or the music-side of their creative juices.

Kelley is all about community. “The goal is to bring uplifting, motivating, inspiring diversity to the community,” Kelley says. She wants to inspire people to faith and to fulfill their dreams. A few years ago, after suffering from two strokes and 2 aneurysms, Kelley was bed-bound for 18 months. She now has a new perspective on life that she wants to share with other people.

In many ways, Kelley has already shared her perspective with the world. Her book, “We Are People Too…” is a calling to all people to have compassion for every person, and to stop placing those who are handicapped or suffer from debilitating disease into categories that allow for discrimination. People with disabilities are just like people without disabilities, we all require love, care, compassion and opportunity in order to bloom into our fullest potential, she points out. Kelley wants us to know that by being kind to one another we can create a better world.

Ravels2Ravel’s Art Place will feature one local artist a month, as well as pieces by both locals and artists from all over the world. Kelley will have some of her own pieces on display. Local artist, Josh Flood, will have his work on display at Ravel’s Art Place for the grand opening.

Stop by this weekend during Second Saturdays and welcome Ravel’s Art Place to the Downtown community while scoping out art displays and the space created for the studio’s educational classes and open mic opportunities. It’s a chance to connect with your local art community in a cozy space embedded in one of the most creative places on Earth, Downtown Tucson.

Pennington Street between Stone and 6th Ave is also home to Reilly Craft Pizza & Drink if you want to enjoy an amazing craft cocktail while on your Second Saturdays stroll. Or if you are in the mood for a most amazing, award-winning meal, you may want to reserve a table at Café Poca Cosa, so that after you witness Tucson’s amazing art and music community, you can stimulate your taste buds with a taste of Downtown’s most creative food.