First Friday featured artist: Lori Mier

We are thrilled for the return of First Fridays downtown and will feature artist Lori Mier on Friday, April 1st, 2022 from 5:00pm-8:00pm. Read along to learn a bit more about Lori’s story and the influences on her work.

Lori Mier is the creator and owner of her story. She loves chai tea and sunrise hikes. She owns Blue Mountain Path Coaching LLC where she offers healing experiences as an Ecotherapist Guide, Author, and Photographer. Merin and Her Very Bright Star: A Story of Resiliency is her first children’s book. Lori is on a mission to help normalize grief and healing and hard conversations. Lori has a degree in Social Work and created a not-for-profit hiking program–Through Hiking– along with her husband to offer guided hikes to agencies and youth in foster care. She serves on the Equity Committee for Rockingham County Public Schools and also sits on the Board of Directors for RISE Foundation in Waynesboro, VA where she is committed to education, political action, and racial justice work. Although she is not originally from Virginia, Lori feels the most at home where she lives in the Shenandoah Valley with her husband and son.

It took a couple of years for Lori to call herself an artist. She never set out to be a photographer and only began calling herself one after multiple people asked if she sold the images that she captured on her sunrise and sunset hikes in the Appalachian Mountains. Originally she grew up in Minnesota, a few years on a lake resort, where she began connecting to nature; the northern lights, the great blue heron named Willie that would sit at the end of the dock every morning. What she now believes connects her to the Appalachian mountains is her time living in Oregon when she was a toddler; the place where her parents lost their lives. When she returned in the summer of 2020 to those Oregon mountains she saw how much they resemble what she knows of the Valley. Lori loves to capture the morning and evening light and share her spiritual and therapeutic connection of her hikes with others. She created an Etsy shop, Butterfly and The Storm, to do so. Her work can be seen in a gallery in Staunton, VA, Basement on Byers, and has been featured on the cover of and inside AT Journey’s Magazine and local travel brochures.