Richmond Art Center Richmond Art Center

Richmond Creates: The 5th Annual Art in the Community Show

Richmond Creates: The 5th Annual Art in the Community Show brings a portion of the work created this year in our off-site satellite classes here to the Richmond Art Center. The artists shown here range from ages 5 to 85 and were all participants in 6-10 week art classes held at local school and community centers. This exhibition showcases work made in a variety of media – printmaking, sculpture, metals, book arts, public art, weaving, painting, ceramics and mixed media. The talented teaching artists facilitating these classes are dedicated to sharing the joy and power of the creative process in service to learning and well-being.

This year, AIC offered a total of 38 classes and one school-wide residency, engaging over 1500 students. In collaboration with the WCCUSD office of expanded learning, we provided after-school art classes in 6 elementary schools, one middle and one high school. In its third year, our school-wide spring residency at Washington elementary focused on printmaking, ceramics and book arts.  Half of our partnerships occur in non-traditional learning spaces which include local non profits, City of Richmond community centers, the E.M. Downer YMCA, and housing-affiliated community centers. This year Art Center staff and teaching artists shared strategies for artmaking with 45 elementary school teachers and 20 after school group leaders through the Bring Art to Your Classroom professional development workshop series.

52nd Annual WCCUSD Student Art Show

The Richmond Art Center has a five decade-long partnership with the WCCUSD, and many of the district’s art students receive instruction from teachers who have received art-specific training through the Art Center. This exhibition features over 250  works of art, created in a variety of media—from ceramics to acrylic— representing the creative artistic talents of students from middle and high schools  throughout the school district. Says Executive Director Ric Ambrose, “The Richmond Art Center and WCCUSD share an ongoing vision: that art education is a crucial component of a thriving and productive community. We are proud to support the efforts of so many teachers and students in our district as they discover and learn through explorations in art.”

There will be a special reception honoring the WCCUSD students and art teachers on Thursday, April 13 from 5-7 pm, which will be free and open to the public. The John F. Kennedy Band will perform and several art awards will be given out for the students’ artistic talent and originality. The West Contra Costa Unified School District has generously sponsored the annual student exhibition.

Image: Joelle Park, 10th grade, El Cerrito High School

Marking Space

Sculpture has witnessed many changes: it has left the pedestal, it has sprawled on the floor, it has crawled up the wall, it has dug into the earth, it has written itself a thought on paper, and it has washed away with the tides. In Marking Space seven artists move off that historical pedestal to establish measured distance, to examine the nature of material, and to expose structure. In diverse materials, Mari Andrews, Robert Brady, Genevieve Hastings, Jann Nunn, Gay Outlaw, Lucy Puls, and Tracey Snelling, deploy matter to mirror habitat and architecture, to explore aggregation, to reflect on social structures, and to give voice to a common impulse to locate myriad humanistic concerns in space.

Here the very boundaries of what sculpture is become as fluid as the active movement of these artists from one material to another, from one line of visual investigation to another. Turning our attention to identity, materiality, the environment, systems of power and inequality, these artists have followed different paths with a common passion of expression. Yet there are thematic arcs to be read across each artist’s work. Likewise, there can be found thematic and conceptual commonalities bridging the works of these artists.

The struggle for resonance between form and content, a content of personal devotion and conviction, is especially poignant in the works of Lucy Puls who takes the book and makes language concrete in literal ways. Carum Thesaurus holds the breadth of language, but the pages are rolled, embedded, separated, encased, and suspended. Meaning remains elusive.

How measure is taken: by the breadth of the hand, the length of the arm, the foot or the stride, the body is intrinsic in anchoring space and in finding place.

The idea of the step, the shift in balance, can be manifest in the literal of Outlaw’s Screaming Mayme  as it can in the abstract of Three-Legged Inversion. We can also see this unhampered in Robert Brady’s wooden figure, Return, which not only takes on the figure, but dons angel’s wings to introduce another level of spiritual content.

The humanity of our lives is often understood through our bodies, through the vulnerability and awareness of the fragility of anatomy. In Breathing Space the fragility of the human body, the delicacy of the intricate systems of life, these inform Jann Nunn’s work as a vision of strings of thin glass pipettes gently rise and fall to air warming and cooling in cycles, a body of glass breathing – an invocation of life.

This careful and mindful eye is cast on nature in the work of Mari Andrews. The structures of plant form are taken for the structure of the sculptures, the materials found and collected are laid out in mimicry of their own architecture. Andrews orders the most delicate scraps in place and allows the quirky images to unfold like a winding trail.

With a probing eye, Tracey Snelling constructs the most specific and detailed representations of buildings, streets, and neighborhoods with lights and sounds and societal markers. Snelling creates tableaux mirroring our common architecture, reflecting our daily habits.

Genevieve Hastings is creating a new installation for the Richmond Art Center Courtyard as part of Marking Space. Occultation presents a mysterious structure beckoning entry. The enveloping and haunting work of Hastings creates a space to evoke memory, association, and relationship to interior and external worlds. Based on the workers’ company housing erected cheaply and quickly where crops once grew in Richmond,Occultation stands as a sign of all that is no longer visible just as it gives voice to lost connections and offers the beauty and solace of commemoration.

These artists present personal work investigating language, the body, and the very nature of image and recognition, space and orientation. Materiality is explored; materiality is challenged. The objects in space are spread out and then the physical is expanded through the integration of media. And throughout these artworks, a narrative emerges and re-emerges: self, home, loss, boundaries. The fleeting and shifting, the solid and anchored – here they evoke immediate response and lingering memory. The metal is scarred, the wood splintered, the asphalt cracked, the paint flaking. The child is screaming, the angel limping, the dinosaur extinct. So the art reaches high to the ceiling, stretches out along the path, lights up and calls out. It holds up the dry seed pod, points to the constellations, and whispers as softly as the air escaping our lungs. In bright plastic or smooth stone, a way is marked – a path from what we know and where we are to where we may find its meaning.

Artists’ Talk

April 1, 2017 at 2:00 pm

Panel Discussion with Mari Andrews,  Genevieve Hastings, Jann Nunn, Gay Outlaw, and Lucy Puls

Mapping the Uncharted

Maps have been drawn to mark where we are, what lies around us, what lies before us, and to note the paths taken so that others may follow or we may return. We mark these paths to understand what is present, what is important, and in what relationship things exist. Maps anchor us to a home-base and they give us the freedom to explore expanded vistas.

The five artists in Mapping the Uncharted use physical maps as a point of departure for reconfiguring impressions of geography, politics, and visual language.

Guillermo Galindo composes music from instruments made of found objects. These objects have been collected along the US – Mexico border in collaboration with photographer, Richard Misrach. Abandoned under dire conditions these belongings of illegal immigrants all have a sound in Galindo’s constructed instruments and find voice in his compositions. Galindo’s scores of unique notation are printed on maps, photographs, and flags which have marked humanitarian water stations. Thus his scores create a map of passage and loss.

Mark Garrett cuts and paints and transforms maps into visualizations of patterned accretions emphasizing the fragility and debasement of the ecology.

Indira Martina Morre creates delicate surfaces marking the most ethereal — cyberspace – passwords and passages are noted with symbols and layers noting information. In an almost blinding light, the surface allows islands of gray to emerge with direction and aggregated form.

Lordy Rodriguez expands and conflates maps to make visible our cultural and political conceits. He takes the very iconography of map making and transposes it into a vocabulary for witty images reflecting our popular culture, expectations, and prejudices.

Diane Rosenblum appropriates artworks and superimposes auction prices creating a map of the art world. The transformation of the artwork into a gauge of the art market economy charts a world which otherwise can only be seen by those who navigate the sales rooms and offices of auction houses.

Artists’ Talk

April 8, 2017 at 2:00 pm

Panel Discussion with Mark Garrett, Indira Martina Morre, Lordy Rodriguez, and Diane Rosenblum



The Teacher Is Artist: Studio/AIC Faculty Show


This exhibition showcases and celebrates the diverse talents of the Richmond Art Center teaching artists who inspire thousands of students in our Studio and Art in the Community programs.

Pictured above: Joyce Shon, Marisa Burman, Sofie Siegmann, Claire Siepser

Marvin Lipofsky: Molten Matter/Fantastic Form

A leading figure in the world of glass, Marvin Lipofsky was instrumental in establishing and promoting the California Studio Glass Movement. This exhibition moves from early work through phases of formal exploration and aesthetic mastery.

The Richmond Art Center is pleased to be able to present this survey of Marvin Lipofsky (1938 -2016) offering a view of an artist who reached into molten matter and emerged with a striking array of fantastic forms.

The 21st Annual Art of Living Black

collagetaolbThe Richmond Art Center is proud to host the only annual exhibition in the Bay Area to exclusively feature regional artists of African descent. Now in its 21st year, we look to some of the deeply resonating art presented in this annual tradition of spotlighting the most extraordinary and striking work of the moment.

The Art of Living Black was founded by the late sculptor Jan Hart-Schuyers and late painter Rae Louise Hayward after their realization that black artists were not being represented by galleries in any significant way. This year’s exhibition will showcase a broad range of works by more than 75 artists from throughout the Bay Area.

Pictured above: Nyé Lyn Tho, Gene Dominique, Justice Renaissance

Scheduled artists talks

Exhibiting artists: Saturday, February 4, 12-2pm

Special talk with Richard Mayhew: Saturday, February 11, 12-2pm

Annual Members Show

Main and West Galleries

Member’s Exhibition

The Annual Members’ Exhibition opens our summer with the sights and textures of the diverse work of our members. We have highlighted the following artists to exhibit in greater depth: Francesca Borgatta, Susan Spann, John Wehrle, and Erin M. Wheeler. 

Members’ Spotlight Talk
Saturday, June 25, 12 – 2 pm

Top row: Susan Spann, Francesca Borgatta
Bottom row: John Wehrle, Erin M. Wheeler

Making Our Mark

As the Richmond Art Center celebrates its 80th Anniversary year, it is preparing a major exhibition in tribute to its history and its mission. The exhibition, Making Our Mark, looks to artists who have had a history with the Art Center: artists who have exhibited, supported, and enriched the programs over the years. In selecting these artists, we reflect on the scope of interest—media as richly varied as painting, ceramics, fiber, sculpture, and photography—and themes as diverse as the cultural backgrounds at the foundation of the community.

We have also asked each of the invited artists to put forward a younger artist: someone whom they have taught or mentored or whose work they have felt should be shown and promoted. This, too, is in line with our history and our mission—giving voice to new artists and opening the galleries to new visions.

Some of the invited artists, including Jim Melchert, Hung Liu, Squeak Carnwath, and Lia Cook, had their very first exhibitions at the Richmond Art Center and have over the years served as the core of the Bay Area art community, teaching, mentoring, and lighting a path for younger artists. And for some of the younger artists, this exhibition presents one of the first major showings of their work.

Turning our attention to materiality, the environment, systems of power and inequality, these artists have followed different modes of expression with a common passion for their art.

These 28 artists participating in Making Our Mark, including William Wiley, Christopher Brown, Mildred Howard, Richard Misrach, Deborah Oropallo, Enrique Chagoya, as well as Allan deSouza, Michael Hall, Johanna Poethig, and Dru Anderson stretch in many directions and their art will occupy the Main, South, and West Galleries in a survey of our history, our present moment, and our anticipation of the future.

David Park and The Human Spirit

David Park: Personal Perspectives


The Human Spirit:
Contemporary Figuration as an Expression of Humanism

David Park: Personal Perspectives contains 37 works on paper in various media executed from the 1930s through 1960, the last year of Park’s life. Drawn from the artist’s estate and private collections, this exhibition includes works shown for the first time. Presented in the intimate South Gallery at the Richmond Art Center, visitors will have an unique opportunity to study his space, compositions, and very personal narratives. 

The exhibition The Human Spirit: Contemporary Figuration as an Expression of Humanism bridges the Art Center’s historical role in presenting formative exhibitions of the Bay Area Figurative artists in the 1950s, The Human Spirit will extend our consideration of legacy to the work of over 20 contemporary Bay Area artists who have expanded the figurative art tradition through paintings, sculpture, photography, video, and performance.  This survey will include the work of Elmer Bischoff, Joan Brown, Terry St. John, Christopher Brown, Charles Garabedian, and Enrique Chagoya. Following a highly personal path with exuberant use of materials and iconography, these artists have forged visual language built on vocabularies including folk, medieval, aboriginal, and outsider art.


Two exhibits celebrate Richmond Art Center milestoneSan Francisco Chronicle/SF Gate, Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Taking Drastic Measures, East Bay Monthy, May 2016

Public Programs

Opening Reception
Saturday, March 19th   5-7 p.m
A first viewing for RAC members and the community, artists, their families and friends. Free and open to the public.

David Park: A Personal Point of View
Sunday, April 3rd 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
A discussion of the artist’s work and life with the Artist’s daughter, Helen Park Bigelow and family and friends. Free.

Being Human: A Performance by Allan deSouza
Sunday, April 10th   2 p.m.
Artist, critic, and, educator, deSouza presents a performance developed for the exhibition, “The Human Spirit,” with an eye to the rhythms and movements of society and personal experience. Free.

David Park in Perspective: A Radical Choice and a Profound Legacy
Sunday, April 17th 1:30 -3:30 p.m.
In light of Park’s influence on his contemporaries and impact on teaching, art attitudes and practices, and the persistence of values with artists, we bring together a roundtable discussion with artists exhibiting in “The Human Spirit” examining directions within, outside, and against the mainstream in art. Free.

Critical Approaches to Figure and Form, Concept and Content
Sunday, April 24th   1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
A panel discussion and open forum with art critics, writers and historians including DeWitt Cheng, Terri Cohn, and John Zarobell. Free

Modeled and Formed: Drawing from the Model in the Company of Park
Thursday, April 21st   6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
A working session with model open to artists of the community for a Park- inspired evening of drawing.   $25

The Del Sol String Quartet Concert
Saturday, May 7th  2 p.m.
These extraordinary musicians programming music in concert with the exhibition and improvising off individual artwork. Suggested Donation. No one turned away!

Plein Air Perspectives: A Watercolor Workshop  
Sunday, May 15th  12- 2 p.m.
Pack up your paper, watercolors and gouache and join us for painted vistas and views around the Richmond Art Center.

Never Fade Away: Closing Reception for David Park
Sunday, May 22nd   3-5 p.m.
Free and open to the public.

Watch the exhibition videos:

Video 1: David Park: A Personal Point of View
David Park produced a late body of work extraordinary for its focus and direction. In a sharp shift from abstraction to figuration. Park’s move stands out as a re-orientation of radical proportion. Yet it is as a teacher and mentor that Park presides as the cornerstone of an entire art movement and perspective, which came to be known as Bay Area Figurative Art in the 1950s.
Video 2David Park: A Radical Choice and a Profound Legacy
Artists Chris Brown, Kota Ezawa, Allan deSouza and Livia Stein participated in a roundtable discussion as artists exhibiting in The Human Spirit. The panelists examined directions within, outside, and against the mainstream in art, in light of Park’s influence on his contemporaries and impact on teaching, art attitudes and practices, and the persistence of values with artists. This event was moderated by our Director of Exhibitions, Jan Wurm.
Video 3Critical Approaches to Figure and Form
A panel discussion and open forum with art critics, writers and historians John Zarobell and DeWitt Cheng, moderated by our Exhibitions Director Jan Wurm.


The Richmond Art Center is grateful for the generous support and sponsorship of the exhibition provided by Blick Art Materials, Susan and Steven Chamberlin, Jacobs & CO., James Curtis III, Nina and Claude Gruen, Hackett | Mill, Richard Diebenkorn Foundation, Harry W. and Mary Margaret Anderson Charitable Foundation, Oliver and Company, and the Zellerbach Family Foundation.

All images courtesy of Hackett | Mill
Representative of the Estate of David Park.

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