Building Veterans’ Self-Understanding through Self-Portraiture
Special Reception and Artists’ Talk: Saturday, August 10, 2-4pm More info…
This large-group exhibition brings together Veteran self-portraits from the Arts and Culture Commission of Contra Costa County’s ABOUTFACE program. Over 100 self-portraits are presented, for the first time bringing together the numerous ABOUTFACE works created over multiple years of the program. Collectively the pieces form a ‘unit’ that represents the varied stories of Veterans transitioning from military to civilian life.
About the program: In 2015 the Arts and Culture Commission and the Physical Rehabilitation Service at Veterans Affairs Health Care in Martinez developed ABOUTFACE to improve the lives of California’s Veterans through arts programming. Based on the belief that individuals have the capacity to heal themselves, ABOUTFACE engages Veterans through painting workshops focused on artistic skill development and self-expression. The two-day workshops are team-taught by a teaching artist and a qualified therapist, with a Veteran coordinator present. Workshop activities include meditation, peer discussion, sketching each other and painting a final self-portrait.
Image: Dennis A. Giacovelli, Untitled (Self-Portrait), 2018. Second Class (E5) Engineman: Navy 1969- 71, Vietnam 1970.
This exhibition brings together recent works by three artists who received the Spotlight Award for their work in the 2018 Members’ Show: Bill Abright, Jennie Braman, and Ruth Tabancay. While working in disparate media, these artists share an interest in transfiguring and deconstructing the human form.
An Artists’ Talk will be held on Saturday, June 15 starting at 11am. More info…
Bill Abright’s ceramic sculptures reveal chaos within recognizable figuration to explore the complexities of body-mind psychology. Through layering miniature thrown vessels, abstract shapes, and fragile stick-like limbs, he creates surrealistic composites that imagine how the essence of a form is the sum of many strange parts. The artist describes his work as a kind of clay-built stream-of-consciousness, “My best work doesn’t know its end in its beginning.”
Abright was introduced to clay by Bruce Duke at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton in the late 60’s. He completed his graduate degree at San Francisco State in 1974 working with Bud McKee, Stephen De Staebler, Joe Hawley, and David Kuraoka. Abright recently retired after 40 years teaching ceramics at the College of Marin. He has exhibited nationwide and his work is in collections including the Oakland Museum of California, the Crocker Art Museum, and the Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC. He lives and works in San Anselmo with his wife, the artist Claudia Tarantino. They have two sons who are artists, Oben Abright and Guston Abright.
Jennie Braman’s most recent body of work is based on an imagined group of beings she calls Gatherers. In starting with the idea that bodies are sites where stories begin, Braman’s work uses figuration to explore nonlinear storytelling. A sense of crossing – the artist calls it “leaping” – is built into her worldbuilding through techniques that include working with her non-dominant hand, using ink on a slow-drying resistant surface (Yupo paper), and combining text with pictorial imagery.
Braman is an artist and educator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is full-time faculty in Studio Art and Art History at Berkeley City College in Berkeley, CA, and served as Chair of the Art Program for the last decade. Braman’s current drawings investigate the nature of representation and the creative language of the body. She received her MFA degree from John F. Kennedy University, with a Certificate in Dream Studies, and received her BA in Art History, with a concentration in Women’s Studies at Williams College.
Ruth Tabancay trained as a microbiologist and in her creative practice uses techniques that include stitching, embroidery and felting, to recreate objects and organisms cell by cell with humor and poetry. She reveals both the extraordinary side of utilitarian objects – for example the wild threads of a nylon stocking – while also considering a darker side of what can’t be known with the naked eye alone. Her intricate series of embroidered Petri dishes uses colorful embroidery thread to illustrate the beauty of pathogens that include Mycobaterium tuberculosis (tuberculosis), Streptococcus pyogenes (strep throat, scarlet fever, impetigo) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (gonorrhea).
Tabancay’s passion for science led her to study bacteriology in college, and after a stint as a hospital laboratory technologist, she went on to medical school. After 11 years in private practice, she left medicine to study art. Her works refer largely to her previous studies in microbiology, anatomy, and geometry. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley; UC School of Medicine, San Francisco; and California College of the Arts. Her work has been exhibited in venues nationwide. Tabancay is a member of Mercury 20 Gallery in Oakland, and an active member of Surface Design Association and Pacific Rim Sculptors.
Images (l-r): Ruth Tabancay, What’s In You and On You: Normal Flora and Pathogens (detail), 2018 (Photo by Dana Davis); Jennie Braman, Untitled (Shadow #5), 2018; Bill Abright, Self Made Man, 2018. Courtesy of the Artists
Richard-Jonathan Nelson’s solo exhibition examines how Black bodies and craft can be intermeshed to depict a speculative future. Through hybridizing traditional craft practices – like embroidery, weaving, and quilting – with digital art, Nelson’s work challenges the history of “uploading” Black Disapora as a monolithic culture; and reimagines the Black body as a place for futuristic progress. Nelson’s work draws reference from African-American low country herbalism, cybernetic Afrofuturism, and his family’s history working with fabric.
An Artist’s Talk and Gallery Walkthrough with Richard-Jonathan Nelson will be held on Saturday, June 29 at 11am.
About the Artist: Richard-Jonathan Nelson is a multi-disciplinary artist who uses textiles, video, and digital manipulation to create alternative worlds of speculative identity. His work is multi-layered, chromatically intense and mixes images of the natural world with reference to hoodoo, queer culture, and Afro-Futurism. Born in Savannah, Georgia (1987) and working in Oakland, CA, Nelson received his MFA from California College of the Arts in 2017. His work has been exhibited at Southern Exposure, Embark Gallery, Root Division in San Francisco, and Aggregate Space in Oakland.
Image: Richard-Jonathan Nelson, Untitled, 2019. Courtesy of the Artist
Exhibition Dates: June 11 – August 16, 2019
Annual Members’ Meeting: Saturday, June 8, 3-5pm More info…
Opening Reception: Saturday, June 8, 5-7pm More info…
Artists’ Talk: Saturday, June 15, 11am-1pm More info…
Closing Party: Friday, August 16, 3-5pm More info…
Each year, the Richmond Art Center invites our members to participate in our annual Members’ Show, which is showcased in the Main Gallery. One of the oldest and largest non-juried member exhibitions in the Bay Area, this tradition presents a wide variety of media, styles, and subject matter by aspiring, emerging, and established artists, many of whom are colleagues, teachers, and students of the Richmond Art Center.
Participating Artists: Tarnel Abbott, Cassandra Adams, Maria Cristina Alvarez Magliano, Dahlia Armon, Ester Armstrong, Ned Axthelm, Debra Barnes, Kevin Barry, Wallace Bastein, Mira Benoni, Jim Billy, Andi Biren, Priscilla Birge, Andrea Bishop, Bonnie Randall Boller, Francesca Borgatta, Linda Lee Boyd, Susan Brand, Stella Breslin, Edythe Bresnahan, Regina Brital, Clair Brown, Jim Bruce, Jessica Cadkin, Ron Calime, Lois Cantor, Suzanne Carey, Peter Carleton, Cherie Carter, William Clipson, Mort Cohn, Mary Lee Cole, Hélène Paulette Côté , Larry Craighill, Steven DeMello, Anne Dinkelspiel, Angela Douglas, Deb Dyer, David Edmunds, Emily Erickson, Gene Erickson, Niloufar Farzam, Claudine Feibusch, Donna Fenstermaker, Lorrie Fink, Nancy Freeman, Rita Gardner, Marilyn Gee-Cartwright, Carla Gelbaum, Elaine Gerber, Regina Gilligan , Kate Godfrey, Sally Goldstein, Mara Greenaway, Hunter Harris, Katie Hawkinson, Laura Heid, Andrea Hendrickson, Jeanne M Hendrickson, Marilyn Hill, Susie Hodges, Paul Hofmann, Ann Holsberry, Susan Hybloom, Judith Jacobs, Lisa Jacobs, Mary Jeys, Dale Johnson, Bill Johnston Jr, Jessica Jordao, Laura Kamian McDermott, Omayya Kanafani, Rachel Katz, Diana Keevan, Betsy Kellas, Betsy Kendall, John Kendrick Jr., Destiny Kinal, Holly King, Lisa Krepela, Paula Kristovich, Carol Ladewig, Jill Landau, Diana Lawrence , Leah Yael Levy, Lois Lim, Marjorie Little, Karin Lusnak, Alix J. Magloire, Erin McCluskey Wheeler, Travis Meinolf, Teddy Milder, Kat Mill, Judy Miller, Barbara Moffat, Steven Morales, Gordon Morris, Jackie Mucha, Stephen Napoli, Fabiola Navarrete, April Netzer, Shamy Noily, Stephen Nomura, Fletcher Oakes, Owen Oakley, Karen Ondracek, Elmarise Owens, Shirley Parini, Edward Penniman, Susan Pulliam, Brian Randall, Lynda Reed, Marva Reed, Jeanne Rehrig, Jimmy Reina, Virginia Rigney, Rebecca Riley, Hilda Robinson, LaVonne Rochon, Brian Rothstein, Tatyana Ryevzina, Shelley Salinero, Stephen Salinero, Jabali Sawicki, Victoria Sawicki, Louise Schiller, Jennifer Schmitt, Karen Schwartz, Osaze Seneferu, Saadi Shapiro, Susan Sharfman, Michael Shemchuk (Shem), Joyce Shon, Susan Shore, Steve Skaar, Allison Skidgel, Joseph Slusky, Leslie Smith, Maryly Snow, Christine So, Care Standley, Sophie Stathakos, John Steinberg, Joanne Sterricker, Frances Tauber, Leitha Thrall, George Tomberlin, Susan Tureck, Emily Twigg, Orlonda Uffre, Denise Vejby, Catherine Waller, Christine Walter, John Wehrle, Susan Wehrle, Barbara Welch, Andrew Werby, Tom Wetherbee, Gary Wilson, Nan Yarbrough, Dave Yoas, Fumiyo Yoshikawa, Clarie Young, Kate Young, Susan Zimmerman
Are you an artist participating in the Members’ Show? Click here for information and important dates
Top image: Mary Jeys, Waving Hand, 2018. Courtesy of the Artist
Above image: Installation of the Members’ Show 2018. Photo by John Wehrle