Owner & Founder
Mary Beth Blackwood
After almost a decade of teaching elementary art in Chesterfield County Public Schools and a year off living the "new mom" life, Happy Palette was born! Our worlds were turned upside down in the middle of a pandemic and I felt the opportunity was right to open a children's art studio in the middle of it! I had an almost 1.5 year old and not many hands-on activities for her at that age. When I opened Happy Palette in November 2020, I wanted to bring a fun, colorful and creative world to Richmond families.
I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art and Art Educations from James Madison University as well as a Virginia teaching license for Visual Arts Prek-12. With my background in the arts, I want to provide art experiences for children of all ages. Starting as young as one, our students experience sensory play, develop fine motor skills, discover new art techniques and and so much more hands-on fun!
When not at the studio, you can find me adventuring around with my husband, Nolen and our energetic three-year old daughter, Sadie!
I’m Anna! I grew up in northern Virginia and currently live and go to school in Richmond. I am in my fourth year at VCU in the art education program. I love all kinds of art, especially sculpture and clay. Bringing joy to students' lives through art is something that I am very passionate about and lucky that I get to experience at Happy Palette!
Anna has been with Happy Palette since May 2021!
Hi, I’m Sam! I’m a Bridgewater college graduate with a BS in psychology, however, don’t let the degree type fool you. Art and creative expression have always been a constant in my life, both in study and in practice. I can often be found behind the camera, be it filmmaking or photography, as well as on my laptop doing digital art. Locals, though, may remember me best as “the chalk lady,” who has been leaving sidewalk chalk art around town since early 2020. I love how my street art can brighten someone’s day and I’m so happy to bring that same energy to work with me at The Happy Palette!
Sam has been with Happy Palette since November 2021!