Anne Hunter Galleries in Seaside features artists who are socially committed to their communities, including renowned photographer Antoine Verglas, pop culture painter and muralist Bradley Theodore and multi-media artist Rae Broyles. Gallery owner Anne Hunter recently lent her support to the gallery’s youngest artist yet, preparing for a showing of the 10-year-old artist’s work.
Ashley Moody has been painting since she was a child. Her random brush strokes as a toddler quickly evolved into the works of a talented artist. “I think it runs in the family,” says Ken Moody, Ashley’s father. “Her grandfather was a commercial artist.”
Moody realized it may be more than a hobby when Ashley won a national drawing contest hosted by the White House, and family friends started buying her paintings.
Hunter was a founding board member of GirlSpring, Inc., a non-profit focused on empowering girls from 9 to 18 years old to become strong women. A percentage of all gallery proceeds goes to GirlSpring to help fund mentoring programs for girls around the country. “I had been developing a mentorship program specifically for the gallery when Ashley’s parents asked if I would consider advising and working with her as both an artist and future business owner,” Hunter says, “such as the gallerist of her own art gallery. The timing was perfect and Ashley is the first artist and future gallerist to participate in the program.”
Ashley uses acrylics on canvas, and has recently begun painting with oils. Local artist Allison Wickey will be collaborating with Ashley this summer and teaching her new aspects of painting, and also how to work with galleries in preparation for her first show in September. “I haven’t closely studied her work. But I am impressed in her discipline and interest at a young age,” Wickey says. “I mainly plan to spend my time with her answering questions, telling her about my experiences with the arts as a young woman leading up to now and asking her about her experiences and inspiration.”
Ashley’s parents and sister are supportive of her passion for the arts. And Hunter says she likely has a great future as a painter. “My hope is that Ashley will pay it forward,” Hunter adds, “and mentor young female artists as she evolves in her art career.”