Stephen King wrote in The Body that people come and go like busboys in a restaurant.
As one of the creators for ArtPrize 2009's Nessie, his name became synonymous with the guy with the very big ideas. Rich may seem aloof at first. Tall in stature with a gladiator built, he clearly can be an intimidating person to get to know. I first met Rich during ArtPrize last year. Since then, we've encountered each other at hotel parties, community meetings and through informal gatherings with many of our mutual friends. But just like a busboy in a busy restaurant, he came and went.
His name resurfaced again after one of our mutual friends asked him to help us build a giant radio flyer wagon to help build awareness for Heart of West Michigan United Way's Schools of Hope. To my surprise, Rich eagerly volunteered his services and was resourceful enough to solicit material donations and even secure entertainers in the event we plan a fundraiser. What would have taken weeks to organize took Rich a couple of days to orchestrate. Done! The human "app" has done it again. We decided to postpone our radio flyer wagon project but his genuine effort to help out was not left unnoticed.
I invited Rich to lunch to thank him for his efforts. In an hour, I learned about this self-made renaissance man; a lover of the arts and history with a masters degree in photography to add to his accolades. Despite his popularity in the community, he prefers to keep a low profile. He will gladly trade a night out with a hundred celebrities for an intimate dinner with a few close friends. He has a genuine desire to help out and before you could thank him for assisting, he is off helping another person.
Instead of writing a critique of the gallery (which I am definitely not qualified for), I thought it was more appropriate to understand the person behind the canvases of art pieces at the Richard App Gallery. Through this experience, I gained a much deeper appreciation for what he has on display and the personal pride he shows for every artwork shown at the gallery.
The Richard App Gallery is currently showing through the end of May the graphite drawings of Armin Mersmann. True to his word, Rich has also placed a radio flyer wagon in his gallery to collect children's books for Schools of Hope. Please drop off some new or gently used children's books at the gallery. While you're at it, relax and enjoy the many beautiful pieces Rich has personally selected for his gallery.
Unlike that typical busboy in a restaurant, this one has a name and the charisma to make you want to come back. His name is Richard App.