Richmond Art Center
Richmond Art Center

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Recent Press: Richmond Art Center’s new executive director has unique resume

The Richmond Art Center’s new executive director, José R. Rivera, might be the non-profit organization’s most improbable appointment of its 84-year history. The arts education and exhibition center is prominently located at Richmond’s Civic Center Plaza and has four galleries, over 600 members, hundreds of art classes, an operating budget of over $1.5 million and serves thousands of underserved youth and adults in workshops and community outreach presentations. Visibility is RAC’s middle name, it could be assumed.

Read the article as a PDF Link or Online

Remembering Clayton Bailey (1939-2020)

We are saddened by the death of artist Clayton Bailey on Saturday, June 6 at age 81. Known for his innovative and irreverent ceramic and metal sculpture, Bailey was a lead figure in the Funk Art and Nut Art movements. He lived in Port Costa for many years, and from 2013 until recently ran the Bailey Art Museum in Crockett.

Read Clayton Bailey’s obituary in the San Francisco Chronicle

Visit Bailey’s website for some insight into his eccentric world

Bailey first exhibited at Richmond Art Center in a group show in 1970. He went on to be included in exhibitions every decade at RAC until 2009, when he participated in a two-person show with his wife, Betty Bailey, called Robots & Watercolors. This exhibition was organized by Richmond-artist John Wehrle and featured over thirty of Bailey’s metal robot sculptures displayed beside Betty’s whimsical watercolor paintings. Betty died in 2019. 

A Statement by John Wehrle

In art and life Clayton Bailey was generous to a fault. His eccentric creations, whether ceramic or metal, were always exquisitely crafted and whimsically logical.

Clayton’s work personified a serious quirkiness that was emblematic of a rich vein of irreverent humor that found fertile ground in Northern California.

I first became aware of Clayton’s work viewing Dr.Gladstone’s ceramic discoveries at the de Young in 1975. I was working under the CETA program and painting my first mural there. The elaborate comic nature of Clayton’s installation was delightful and memorable.

Years later, our artistic paths crossed again when Jeff Nathanson included Clayton and myself, along with other Contra Costa artists in the introductory North by Northwest show at Richmond Art Center.

For RAC’s 50th anniversary exhibition in 1996, Jeff commissioned Clayton to make a commemorative edition of “Dr. Gladstone’s Snake Oil” ceramic jugs as a part of the celebration. I still treasure mine. 

Dr. Gladstone’s Snake Oil by Clayton Bailey

And Clayton and I both owned 1950 Bullet Nose Studebakers, albeit at different stages of our lives. 

So it was an honor and a privilege when Clayton agreed to exhibit his robots along with Betty’s drawings at RAC in 2009.

Robots and Watercolors, Richmond Art Center, 2009

Clayton’s robots exist in a world, inspired by Captain Marvel and Studebakers, where a brighter future of robot butlers is just around the corner. In today’s world of plastic and pixels these robots propel a metal flea market past into the future. The pleasure of Clayton’s work lies in the recognition of the alternator or the teapot transformed into an anthropomorphic dog or tipsy ballerina. They ultimately speak as much to the human condition as to the world of technological wonders.

Recent Press: Art of the Heal, East Bay Express

“Art of the Heal”, East Bay Express, By Janis Hashe, June 17, 2020

When it’s safe to do so, the venerable Richmond Art Center will reopen under new leadership. José R. Rivera, the new executive director, is well aware he’s assuming control as the RAC faces multiple challenges.

Read the full article article: PDF Link or Online

“Richmond Art Center appoints Jose R. Rivera as new executive director”, Richmond Standard, By Mike Aldax, June 15, 2020

The Richmond Art Center has appointed Jose R. Rivera as its new executive director.

Patricia Guthrie, board of directors president for the Richmond Art Center, described Rivera as having “a wealth of management experience and a deep commitment to the arts and community which we feel will help move the Richmond Art Center forward at a time of great societal change.”

Read the full article article: Online

Critical work to unite as a community: A statement by RAC’s Executive Director

Dear Friends of Richmond Art Center,

As I take over the helm of Richmond Art Center, my heart is heavy mourning the murder of George Floyd and the over 100,000 lives lost during the past months of coronavirus pandemic.  This, of course, is on top of the losses of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and countless others.

I am outraged and saddened by their murders. However, outrage is not enough. As philanthropy shifts its response to support our communities’ recovery, we wholeheartedly agree not to go back to the so called “normal”.

Issue 2: With Love…

Welcome to Richmond Art Center’s e-newsletter, With Love… . Through this publication we share art and ideas for creating together to help folks adapt, innovate and make meaning during shelter-in-place.


Community Survey (help shape future programs at RAC)

Hello Richmond Art Center Community,

Staff at RAC are working to create something new, exciting and special for our online programs and we would like to hear from you!

How can Richmond Art Center support you and your families’ creative needs? Please complete this quick online survey and help shape our efforts to reimagine programing and explore different ways we can continue to connect to each other through art.

We will be closing the survey by end of day on June 1.

Thank you for your help!

Thinking of you,

RAC Staff

Survey link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeRJDui62MExRW3bbtg9aN9fR4rEGRtBKkBfBujzTj5F9KOJQ/viewform

Press Release: Richmond Art Center Awarded Three California Arts Council Grants

State funds support in-school and after-school art programs, as well as a new artist residency at RAC

Richmond, CA: The California Arts Council announced grant awards totaling $57,000 to Richmond Art Center (RAC). The grants RAC will receive are Artists in Communities, Artists in Schools, and Youth Arts Action.

Artists in Schools and Youth Arts Action grants will support RAC’s in-school and after-school art programs in Richmond schools this upcoming school year. The Artists in Communities grant will fund, in part, an artist residency, youth art photography class and exhibition at RAC.

Issue 1: With Love…

Welcome to Richmond Art Center’s new e-newsletter, With Love… . Through this publication we’ll share art and ideas for creating together to help folks adapt, innovate and make meaning during shelter-in-place.

A message from RAC’s Interim Executive Director

Dear Richmond Art Center Community,

We are living through unprecedented and uncertain times. As the Interim Executive Director of the Richmond Art Center, I understand the important role it plays in the lives of our community. Our commitment to health and safety remains the top priority. To reduce the spread of COVID-19, our Board of Directors is following the recommendations of Contra Costa County Health Services and the California Department of Public Health by closing the Richmond Art Center through May 3. This is a painful step for us, and for the community we serve.

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Richmond Art Center
2540 Barrett Avenue
Richmond, California 94804
510.620.6772

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