altDriving through the Highlands down Bardstown Road near Grinstead, you can see Daniel Horton most days setting up shop at Songs for Seba. The shop is infused with multi-color splashes of paint, the warm spicy aroma of incense, and pulsating music. The bright blue storefront is named for Seba, Horton’s adult daughter who lives in Atlanta.

There is no singular way to categorize what Songs for Seba and Horton offer to visitors. Yes, he sells African art pieces along with his own hand-painted shirts, paintings and handmade greeting cards. However, it is what he gives away at no charge – hope and encouragement – that is most compelling.

“Little sister!” his voice booms, as a young woman with tattoo-covered arms steps in for a morning greeting. His African accent, which originates from Liberia where he spent the first two decades of his life, reverberates around the small shop, welcoming all.

In 1999, Horton started selling his handmade wares out of a backpack on Fourth Street. He was invited to set up two tables outside of Cafe Kilimanjaro by the owner, who hired him to clean the former restaurant on Sundays for $20 a day.

The poetic painted words on foam board, clothing and canvas are born from years of searching for self. He serves formally as a sponsor to those who want a new way of life, and as a mentor, role model and friend to many at Highland Baptist Church. His original art has a widespread appeal and is available to all.

You may visit Daniel Horton at Songs for Seba, 1124 Bardstown Road, two doors down from Ditto’s restaurant. The shop can be reached at (502) 650-2267.