Meet August “Do the Right Thing” Winner: Rondell Crier
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — A Chattanooga man is using his love for art and teaching to make a difference in his neighborhood.
Rondell Crier opened a studio on Glass Street for residents to turn their creative ideas into art to help others.
That’s why Crier is this month’s Do the Right Thing winner.
“I always try to be as humble as possible with the work that I do, because it’s really about other people,” Crier said.
Crier opened Studio Everything four years ago, sharing his resources with his neighbors for building projects in the community.
“I can put some things that I can’t use 24 hours a day to use for other people to access and utilize them,” he said. “As an artist, I believe in mentoring, and giving back that way, so it’s been great.”
Crier didn’t want to keep the $500 award money News 12 gave him for himself. Instead, he passed it on to some of his art students.
“They’re always using the tools that we have at the studio, but maybe they can buy tools of their own, because they’ve been learning a lot. So, that’s for you and Amari,” Crier said.
Chrystion McKibben is a junior at Red Bank High School, and works with Crier at the studio five days a week.
He says he likes having access to so many different tools here.
“I want to be a carpenter when I grow up, so I do a lot of woodworking stuff, and cutting on the saws. He said that’s an art, so I say that’s just me enjoying what I’m around,” McKibben said.
“Giving kids a space to come and be themselves, ask questions, mess up, show up, and just be around other adults that are showing up too, that are consistently showing up. That seems like a small thing, maybe, but it’s huge, and that consistency has made a huge difference,” said Whitni McDonald, who nominated Crier for the award.
Crier says he loves seeing kids like Chrystion – and even adults – use the space.
“So often, kids who live in this neighborhood don’t have access, or they may find themselves getting kicked out of everything else, and so, to have a place like this, where they can come and not have that situation as a possibility is important, so I have a lot of patience, and so I use that patience to work with them, and keep the doors open, and keep them engaged in something that’s positive,” Crier said.
Crier says it’s important to give back to the community – something everyone should do.
“People should find a way to personally help others, and so whatever that means, I think everybody has the capability of extending themselves to someone else in need,” he said.