Robert Blankenship, co-founder and mastermind of the RiffRaff Arts Collective, is a multi-faceted artist excelling in photography, painting, graphic design, music, sound engineering, and more. He is a "renaissance man," as his work extends in countless directions, building and nurturing the vast scope of activities the collective produces. He runs Audible Art Studios, a division of LLyniuM entertainment in The RiffRaff, which offers multi-track studio recording, live recording, photography, graphic design, websites, etc.. As creative director of LLyniuM entertainment, his marketing concepts have driven events like Culturefest World Music and Arts Festival and All Together Arts Week to success. Robert is also responsible for the interior design and the graphic marketing of the RiffRaff Arts Collective. Robert plays guitar, banjo, didgeridoo, shamisen, drums and other instruments with the original music project Option 22 and he engineers the music events presented by LLyniuM & The RiffRaff. He is inspired by nature, music and all that is; his ability to capture the profound and interesting in life is what distinguishes him. His art can be seen at Tamarack and in The RiffRaff Gallery. He is currently producing all the content for the original touring production Create Your State that he and Lori, along with Option 22, tour the region with to inspire creative community development. Hailing from Summers County, WV, Robert now lives and works full time at the RiffRaff.
Option 22 is an ecelctic Americana ensemble with a revolutionary vibe. Dubbed by one listener a “new age jam band,” their broad style spans from newgrass to space-folk to roots-rock world funk and points in between. They are channels for the music, allowing it to flow through them and deliver it to whomever is present along with messages of hope, love and healing. On the fly collaborative dynamics, rhythmic muscle and thematic inventions shower you with sound that is sure to lift your vibration and unlock the doors of your heart, allowing you to groove freely and transcend.
Based in Princeton, West Virginia, Lori McKinney (vocals, drums, djembe, spoken word) and Robert Blankenship (guitar, banjo, shamisen, hand-drums, didgeridoo) have been writing and playing music together since early 2004, forging songs from the creative blast furnace of the divine flow. Now infusing the mix are the funky, driving bass lines of Kayla McKinney (bass), the intense and rock steady rhythms of Ary'an Graham and the seasoned, soulful guitar stylings of James Hart (lead guitar).