The Drama: Virginia Is For Artists
- Words: Tyra Bangs
"The Drama goes way back, so far back I can't remember," shares Joel Speasmaker, the founder and creative director of the Richmond, VA outfit with the suitably melodramatic name. Founded in 2000 as a collective of likeminded underground Virginian artists, The Drama's core seven members (who now live all over the country) organize art shows and run an online store, as well as publish a totally awesome art and design magazine. Issue six of the zine (also called The Drama) was recently released, which features work from Wes Lang, Ron Rege Jr., Harrison Haynes, and Brian Roettinger of Hand Held Heart/Dim Mak; past issues of the $6 tome (available through the website and at independent bookstores worldwide) have highlighted heavyweights such as Commonwealth Stacks, Typevsm, and Isaac Lin. "One of our biggest goals has always been to make each section of the magazine as equally important as another," says Speasmaker, "so it's almost like you are reading a book or a story as you go through the issue." Of course an unintended goal of The Drama's growing popularity is to make Richmond a future stop for visual art tourists and avant-hipsters. If you go, Speasmaker recommends "First Fridays, Bell Isle, Carytown, The Bottom and Tobacco Row, and walking around the Fan."
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