One of Kyle Sutphin’s amazing bat paintings. Please check out his Instagram feed.

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week! Instead of talking about bats this week, I’d like to introduce you to an amazing artist from Richmond, VA named Kyle Sutphin.

Mr. Sutphin has always been interested in helping others. In high school, he volunteered at a wildlife rescue and helped take care of racoons, ducks, geese, squirrels, ground hogs and even a baby deer. His work at the rescue began when he found a duck with a broken leg. The rescue was able to help the duck and Kyle was so impressed with their work that he began volunteering every weekend.

Mr. Sutphin went to VCU and studied art education and painting. For a while, he lived in St. Louis and taught art to children. After moving back to Richmond, he married the love of his life, Taylor, and became a hair dresser. He and his wife adopted a bunny, a lab/pit mix, and a cute little cat. Sadly, Taylor passed away in March. It has been a difficult time for Mr. Sutphin who has been dealing with his loss by taking care of the animals, painting, and creating blackout poetry. He is using his artwork to help both bats and humans.

He was inspired to paint bats after watching them fly in the woods and fields near his house. Knowing that they are some of nature’s most misunderstood creatures, Mr. Sutphin wants people to see bats as the beautiful and majestic animals he knows they are. As he put it, “some animals just need a serious rebranding effort”, and his paintings definitely show how beautiful these little creatures truly are.

Mr. Sutphin feels it’s important to do what you can to help your community, so he helps both the furry creatures as well as humans. He is doing this by selling his artwork and donating the proceeds to the RVA Mutual Aid Disaster Relief Fund, which works to support lower income neighborhoods in Richmond, and has been especially busy during the COVID-19 epidemic. Mr. Sutphin would like everyone to realize that everyone can help their community. He says, “This planet is special, its people are special, its animals are special! Its insect and plant life are special! It’s up to us to protect each and every one of them, even when…no, especially when they are misunderstood!”

If you would like to see Mr. Sutphin’s bat paintings, he posted pictures of them on his Instagram pages, @kyleraysutphin and @hair_va. You can also see a beautiful picture of his wife, Taylor, and their bunny at the Richmond SPCA, where they have hung a plaque in her honor.

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