Dolly Parton to Contribute to Virtual Fundraiser for Linda Regula Legacy Scholarship Fund< < Back to
Paul Richmond is one of many whose lives were forever changed by artist Linda Regula, who passed away at the age of 76 in July. Richmond, an internationally recognized artist and activist, began taking art lessons with Regula when he was barely four years old.
Richmond remembers his first time in Regula’s house in staggering clarity.
“By the time my mother and I had walked all the way up (Regula’s) stairs to her studio — I was stopping and looking at each piece, and I think we both knew it was meant to be,” said Richmond. “She was my art teacher from that time until I was 18 and started art school.”
Throughout his adolescence, Richmond said Regula’s weekly art classes served as a place of solace at a time in his life when he was being bullied regularly at school.
“Linda encouraged me to take all of those feelings and express them in art,” said Richmond. “I hadn’t really considered that before. I had seen her paintings and the way she used art to process her own life, but that was the first time I realized I could do that too — that art could be a way for me to deal with what was happening at school and in my life.”
As an adult, Richmond stayed in touch with Regula. In 2011, they created the You Will Rise Project, a multimedia showcase for artwork created by young people dealing with bullying in their own lives.
On Saturday, October 17, You Will Rise and ArtCOZ (the Artist Colony of Zanesville) will present a virtual event honoring Regula’s legacy that will establish the Linda Regula Legacy Scholarship Fund for young people who utilize artistic expression to communicate their personal experiences with adversity. The event will include livestream performances, including one by the one and only Dolly Parton; as well as an auction — which will include a rhinestone-studded guitar from Parton’s personal collection.
Richmond said he has always connected Parton and Regula because of the similarity of their Appalachian roots and desire to utilize their imaginations to create art that made the world a better place. When Richmond was 12, he came to Regula and said that he wanted to figure out a way to meet Dolly Parton. Regula helped Richmond develop a plan to do just that. Over the next several months Richmond created a large drawing for Parton and convinced his family to visit Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN.
“It worked out, I was able to meet Dolly, and it was such a wonderful memory from my childhood, and Linda always loved telling that story,” said Richmond. “When we started putting together this event, I thought ‘wow, wouldn’t it be cool to bring Dolly into this somehow?’ And Linda always taught me that if there is something you want, you just have to ask, and try, no matter how hard it may seem. So that is what I did.”
Kristen Brown, the current president of ArtCOZ, said Regula made an enduring mark on the arts in Zanesville, where Regula lived for the last 17 years of her life. During that time, Regula was very active in ArtCOZ (serving as president for a time) and founded the annual Y-Bridge Arts Festival.
Listen to WOUB’s interviews with ArtCOZ president Kristen Brown and artist Paul Richmond, embedded above.
Rise Together – Honoring the Legacy of Linda Regula, will take place virtually Saturday, October 17 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. EDT. The auction benefiting the Linda Regula Legacy Scholarship Fund is up now at this link. You can donate anytime to the Linda Regula Legacy Scholarship Fund through the Muskingum County Community Foundation’s website.