Swift Creek Mill Theatre is pleased to present Kathy Rivera as its featured artist during the production of “The Andrews Brothers” running Nov. 11 through Dec. 31.
Kathy Quesnel Rivera graduated Madison College with a BS in art education in 1971. She taught one year and left teaching for the business world. Through the mid-’70s she restored oil paintings and cleaned antique prints in a little shop in Staunton. In 1979, she purchased a frame shop in Bon Air. Six years later Rivera bought a gift shop named Accents Unlimited and incorporated that year. She ran the shop for 32 years, moving it five times before finally retiring.
In 2013 Rivera took watercolor classes at the Virginia Art Museum with Dawn Flentes. The following year, she studied watercolor with nationally known Susan Stuller in Richmond.
Rivera was in a car crash in 2015 and spent four months in body braces and seven months in physical therapy. During that time, she continued her study with Stuller, but switched to acrylic and began painting dog portraits for her shop clients.
One Sunday in 2016 she walked into Crossroads Arts Center and found Chuck Larivey doing a painting demonstration. He spent three months doing demos every Sunday, and Rivera was there for them every week, the oil bug having bit her. She began talking to Chuck about teaching and eventually convinced him to give it a try.
She transitioned to oil paint that year and never looked back.
Rivera built a studio in her home where she teaches beginners and intermediates. Now retired, she paints daily with Larivey.
All are welcome to enjoy Kathy’s work in the Mill Room during dinner or lunch or during intermission of each performance.
Swift Creek Mill Theatre has been a Richmond and Tri-Cities institution for 50 years. It has come a long way since three local families took a 353-year-old gristmill and turned it into an intimate space for the production of so many splendid theatrical experiences. Five decades and more than 340 productions later, the Mill is still going strong in its historic location at 17401 Jefferson Davis Highway.