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  • Writer's pictureMichael Ashley Gallery

Healing with Art and Giving Back to Your Community

Never underestimate the power of art and the love to lift a city and its people from the ashes. Protests and looting in Minneapolis forced many businesses to close and board up their windows. This is when a local artist had a very unique opportunity to heal his city with are by painting stirring messages of hope across a desperate city.

Plywood that once served as protection is transformed into an open canvas. Many artists thought that protest would build a bridge but now they are creating one. Images on plywood have popped up across the city depicting not just Floyd but the plight of the black community and healing symbols of unity. You don’t have to be a professional artist to create something beautiful and meaningful to your community.

With businesses being forced to close down, the wooden boards made the city look terrible and run down. Allowing the locals to come out and contribute has turned a hopeless looking city into a beautiful work of art, reinvigorating the city with light and love.


In this healing spirit, The Milwaukee Art Museum wanting to do something meaniful as well. For the past few years, the museum has attracted about 20,000 visitors to its summer Art & Chalk Fest to watch professional artists use the art museum's parking lot as a concrete canvas. This year, The Milwaukee Art Museum has invited everyone to draw chalk art outside their building. Artist have gathered from all over the world in support for unity.


"This is how our city processes trauma, how it processes grief and how it starts to recalibrate and move forward together."


Homespun Gifts and Decor

Local Handmade Gift Shop in Minneapolis

In these hard times, we also wanted to continue to contribute out art gifts spreading joy to others, but all of our festivals have been cancelled. This year, we have teamed up with Homespun Gifts and Decor, a unique Minneapolis gift shop, to sell our Fine Art Prints. We will be featured in store and on their website ( the week of October 19th - October 25th

Each week, a different artist will be featured whose products will only be available during that featured week! Grab your favorite item before it is gone.  At least 10% of all proceeds from our weekly sales will go to a Minnesota-based agency fighting for racial justice.

Please help support this charitable cause by visiting

About Homespun

Homespun is owned and operated by husband-wife team Ben Cooney and Jill Hayes.  Ben and Jill both grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis but didn't meet until attending college at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse.  Jill and Ben's shared passion for the arts goes way back.  In 2009, Jill and Ben co-founded EDIT, a youth-serving non-profit organization focused on artistic social activism.   In 2015, they started another art business called Lucid Wood, which is how they got their first taste of the retail world.  When not working on Lucid Wood and Homespun, Ben and Jill are usually home hanging out with their daughter, son, and dog, cooking good food, and enjoying the awesome Minneapolis arts and music scene.



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