Richmond Art Center Richmond Art Center

March Workshops: Engage Your Creative Process in One Day

One-day workshops are perfect for diving into a new skill or jumpstarting a creative process.  Bring a friend, make a new one. And for our first-time students, apply discount code FA16W for a $5 discount when you register!

March 5: Moon Tools: Primal Creative Process

Are you passionate about a project, an art vision or a new habit? Do you find you don’t quite have the motivation or stamina to get it going, or you are halfway through and lose steam? Maybe you’re almost done but can’t seem to do those last few steps to complete it. This workshop is for anyone at any of these stages.

Register for Moon Tools workshop here.



March 12: Natural Dyeing

Save your avocado pits and weeds from the garden! Learn to produce paints, dyes, prints and more from plant materials.

Register for Natural Dyeing here.




March 26: Cigar Box Diorama

You don’t have to be a child to love to make dioramas. It’s one of those classic projects, where one can capture a perfect moment in time all in miniature.

Register for Cigar Box Diorama here.

The Art of Living Black: An Interview with Lorraine Bonner

Lorraine Bonner was born and raised on the East Coast. She moved to California in 1970, and began working in clay in the early 90’s. Her work began in response to trauma, but soon evolved to embrace the larger political and spiritual themes of dominationism and the mutually reflective processes of the political and personal. She lives in Oakland and is a mother and a grandmother.

What do you find most inspiring about making art? Tell us about your current projects.

The most inspiring thing I find about art is how much I learn from the clay. It’s as if whatever experience or question has started the imaging and creating process, the clay has a way of illuminating (at least for me) a continuous unfolding of understanding, from the cellular to the cosmic, but most importantly, from the personal to the political.

I have been working for some time on a series entitled, “Multi-hued Humanity and the Redemption of Black,” in which I use clay of many colors to represent humanity and our many colors. I want anyone who looks at these works to be able to find their own skin color somewhere in the sculpture, and to enable us all to recognize the way that limiting our definition of ourselves to the two boxes “black” and “white” makes our thinking small.


At the same time, it is important to remember that the archetypes “Black” and “White” are equally powerful and essential to a full spiritual existence. Heartless, anti-human  political and economic power, defining itself as “White” has subordinated “Black,” and my current work is an attempt to bring this imbalance into view and create an opening in which black and white have larger meanings.

How did you become involved with The Art of Living Black? How does your work represent and uphold the tradition of this exhibition?

I became involved in The Art of Living Black many years ago, when I still had trouble thinking of myself as an artist. The support and encouragement, the feeling of family, the inspiration of other artists, all enabled me to develop greater confidence in myself and my art. I hope I am able to pass some of that inspiration and encouragement on to other artists.

What was your path to becoming an artist? Please share some of your favorite work.

I was dealing with personal trauma, therapy wasn’t working, and a friend gave me a bag of clay. My favorite work is a series called “Exploring the Perpetrator” in which I look at the impact of betrayal of trust, which is how I define “perpetration.”

Studying the Perpetrator

Who are your inspirations?

My main inspirations are the people who were the Civil Rights Movement. When I feel afraid, I think of them.

What do you like to do when you’re not making art?

When I’m not doing art I like to garden, read, or hang out with my kids and grandkids.

What’s on your bucket list?

I don’t really think I have a bucket list, at least at the moment, other than doing more art and writing.

If you could meet one artist, living or not, who would it be and why?

James Baldwin. His mind and courage and skill with language blow me away.

Thank you, Lorraine.

You can see more of Lorraine’s work on her website:

Lorraine’s Open Studio takes place this coming weekend, March 4-5, from 11am – 5pm @ 6725 Mokelumne Avenue in Oakland. Her work is currently showing at E14 Gallery, located at 472 9th Street in Oakland.

The Boundaries of Sculpture and the Alternate Meanings of Maps at the Richmond Art Center

The Boundaries of Sculpture and the Alternate Meanings of Maps at the Richmond Art Center
Two new exhibitions, Marking Space and Mapping the Uncharted, bring new meaning to the traditional arts of sculpture and mapping this Spring.

RICHMOND, CA — February 22, 2017 — In the new Spring sculpture exhibition Marking Space, opening on March 21, seven artists examine the nature of material and expose structure in a myriad of forms. Bay Area artists Mari Andrews, Robert Brady, Genevieve Hastings, Jann Nunn, Gay Outlaw, Lucy Puls, and Tracey Snelling use diverse materials to mirror habitat and architecture, to reflect on social structures, and to represent various human concerns.

In Marking Space, the very boundaries of what sculpture has become are redefined. Turning our attention to identity, the environment, systems of power, and inequality, these artists have followed different paths with a common passion of expression. These works investigate language, the body, and the nature of image, recognition, space and orientation. Throughout these artworks, a narrative emerges: self, home, loss, boundaries.

The companion exhibition, Mapping the Uncharted, uses physical maps as a point of departure for reconfiguring impressions of geography, politics, and visual language. Historically, 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.

The five artists in Mapping the Uncharted give new meaning to the art of map making. Mark Garrett cuts and paints and transforms maps into visualizations of patterns that emphasize the fragility and debasement of the ecology. Lordy Rodriguez expands and conflates maps to make visible our cultural and political conceits. Diane Rosenblum appropriates artworks and superimposes auction prices creating a map of the art world. Guillermo Galindo creates scores of music composed with instruments made of found objects, these collected along the US – Mexico border in collaboration with photographer, Richard Misrach. Indira Martina Morre creates delicate surfaces marking the most ethereal — cyberspace – passwords and passages are noted with symbols and layers noting information.

The exhibitions Marking Space and Mapping the Uncharted open in the Main, West and South Galleries on March 21 and run through May, 20, 2017, at the Richmond Art Center, 2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond, CA. The opening reception for both shows will take place on Saturday, March 18 from 5 – 7 pm.

Two Artists’ Panels will be presented in conjunction with these exhibitions: April 1 and April 8, both starting at 2 pm. All events and exhibitions are free and open to the public. For more information about Spring exhibitions, programming, and events, please visit the Richmond Art Center’s website:


Robert Brady, Return
Diane Rosenblum, Yayoi Kusama Painting 1989 – 2005

About the Richmond Art Center:

The Richmond Art Center is the largest visual arts center in the East Bay, delivering exciting arts experiences to young and old alike who reflect the diverse richness of our community. The Art Center features hands-on learning, well-equipped studios, Art in the Community programs and contemporary exhibitions in its galleries.

Every year, the Richmond Art Center serves thousands of students through classes and programs taught by professional artists, both onsite at the Art Center and at sites throughout Richmond. The Art Center’s four galleries mount rotating exhibitions that display the works of emerging and established Bay Area artists. Artists such as Richard Diebenkorn, Richard Misrach, Wanxin Zhang, Mildred Howard, Bella Feldman, Hung Liu, William Wiley, June Schwartz, and David Park have been showcased here.

The Richmond Art Center originated in 1936, when local artist Hazel Salmi, who worked for the WPA, traversed the streets of Richmond with a suitcase packed with art supplies, eager to teach art to anyone interested. Today, everything at the Art Center continues to breathe life into Salmi’s original vision: That within every person lives an artist.

Visit the Richmond Art Center’s website for more information:


Julie Sparenberg
Communications Manager

Create your new registration account in time for Spring Classes.

Create your new registration account in time for Spring Classes.

We’ve recently upgraded our class registration program to better help our students register for classes and workshops, sign up for memberships, and donate to the Richmond Art Center. Class registration starts on Tuesday, February 21.

To create your account:

1. If you have a current account with us, you will need to set up a new account in our ProClass system. But don’t worry… it’s easy!

And if you need help, we’re happy to walk you through the process. Just call our front desk at 510.620.6772, Tue. – Sat, 10 am – 5 pm and someone can guide you. If after hours, leave a message and we will call you back within 24 hours.

Click on this link:

This link will take you the login page for our new ProClass registration system. Enter your Username in the Returning User window on the right.
Then click on the “Forgot your password?” link above the red Login button.

2. You should now see the “Forgot Password” screen, which will ask you for your email. Please enter the email address associated with your account and hit Submit.

3. You will receive an email from the Richmond Art Center giving you your randomly generated user name and password. 
Use this information to log in. You will be able to change both of these once you are logged in.

4. Once you are logged in, you will be on the main page for your account. 
From here, you can change your user name or password, update your contact info, save a credit card on file, add someone to your account, purchase a membership, donate or register for a class!

5. To change your user name or update your account info, go to “My Account”.

6. Just type in the username you’d like to have, and hit Save!

7. To change your password, go to “Change Password”.

8. Once you’ve logged in and updated your username and/or password to your preference, you are all set! You are now ready to use the new system at your convenience.

Our staff is here to help you with any of this tutorial should you have questions. Please call us at 510.620.6772 if you need help.

The Art of Living Black: An Interview with KaliMa AmiLak

KaliMa AmiLak is an Oakland-based Photographer, aspiring Performing Artist and Model. A native from Brooklyn, New York, KaliMa has transplanted to California to expand the discovery of herself and her artistry. She currently runs a Photography studio at American Steel Studios with a focus on portraiture, fashion, commercial and editorial work.

What do you find most inspiring about making art? Tell us about your current projects.

What I find most inspiring about making art is the creation of it all. The process alone is invigorating because the possibilities are endless. It’s like fire — once the spark has happened the fire goes wild. Your ideas grow because of your excitement. A current project I’m working on now is an event called #PHOTOBOMB, a networking event for photographers and  models exchanging experiences, information, and taking photos revolving around a theme. I’m also in the process of revamping my current baby, Evoke the Goddess, which is a photography series and platform for womyn to celebrate their self expression and a means of visibility, empowerment, spiritual and cultural movement.

How did you become involved with The Art of Living Black? How does your work represent and uphold the tradition of this exhibition?

I became involved with The Art of Living Black with the inspiration of Nye Lyn Tho’s first time appearance last year and with the help of Stephen Bruce, who is

Motherly Prayer

also a part of the exhibition and someone who I consider a mentor as well. I believe that my work represents and upholds the tradition of this exhibition through documenting the experience of being Black, and ways in which we can show how to maintain our pride and self love even though we struggle with it all the time. As a Black womyn who mostly photographs Black womyn, I think it’s important, especially at this time right now to deliver a message to womyn that there is light in who you are, to be empowered and that the power you hold is beyond measurable. I speak to myself about this as well.  

What was your path to becoming an artist? Please share some of your favorite work.

It first started when I was in Brooklyn College and I wanted to take summer classes to make my graduation time quicker and I thought, ‘why not photography?’ So I took film photography summer courses, and that was it. I fell in DEEP love with photography. I once said to myself, “this looks like it was taken in a magazine!” That drove me to do more photos, and to make my ideas come to life. I took digital photography the next year after that in college, and that led me to get my first DSLR for christmas. I think my favorite work came from eight years ago when I made a series called, A Day In My Shoes, where I took random grungy shots in Brooklyn with my Converses, and my recent project in which I’m going to revamp called, Evoke The Goddess, where I have taken photos of Black womyn dressed in African/Cultural cloth and other props of their desire and I capture them in their Godliness.


Who are your inspirations?

Great question. Black womyn inspire me because their strength is remarkable. The ways where they make their pain into something beautiful is inspiring alone, even if it isn’t art and it’s just living your life. It’s their growth overall. My parents because they’ve worked HARD to get where my family are now. Migrating to another country to make ends meet for your family at a young age is no easy task. But they did it, and all I wanna do is repay them for everything. Anyone who strives to work hard to do what it is that they love, putting their utmost time, energy and passion in their creation or career, is an inspiration to me.

What do you like to do when you’re not making art?

I’m very much of a chill person, so you would probably catch me watching a movie or on my laptop blasting music, lagging around like a cat in the house, reading, or spending the day outside. But I like making art so I might paint too.

What’s on your bucket list?

An Ode to Kali

Oh my. I’ve honestly just started my bucket list! A few things on my bucket list is to meet YeYe Luisa Teish, or at least spend like a week with her, to travel back to Africa, Louisiana, Peru, Japan, Hawaii (the list goes on!), to have some land in my country [Dominica], to buy my first home, to have a solo exhibition tour and to honestly just live my life the way I see fit, whatever that may be — fearing less and trusting more.

If you could meet one artist, living or not, who would it be and why?

Michael Jackson. Hands down. This is the man whom I have revolved my life around ever since I can walk and talk [my family would tell you lol!]. Despite everything, he was genuinely beautiful. He is one of the epitomes of a legend who is still unstoppable, and divinely creative.

Thank you, KaliMa.

For links and more info on KaliMa’s work and TAOLB shows:

Instagram: @laydeekayephoto

Oasis Gallery
American Steel Studios
1960 Mandela Parkway
Oakland, CA

Saturday Feb, 18th 3pm – 6pm
Sunday Feb, 19th 1pm – 4pm
Monday by appointment only

Featured Artists : KalLma AmiLak, Zoe Boston, Nye Lyn Tho, Winter Williams

Oasis Gallery
American Steel Studios
1960 Mandela Parkway
Oakland, CA

Satellite Art Tour
Feb. 25th & 26th 11am – 5pm
Mar. 1st Artist / VIP reception 6pm – 8:30pm
Mar. 3rd Art Murmur First Friday 6pm – 9pm
Mar. 4th & 5th Studio Tour 11am – 5pm

The Art of Living Black: An Interview with Raymond L. Haywood

Raymond L. Haywood. Photo by 2016 award winning artist Gene Dominique.

Raymond L. Haywood has been painting and drawing since middle school. His art praxis is derived from years as an accomplished carpenter, illustrator and textile designer. Mixed media art is his passion. Influenced in his formative years as an artist living and working at the Vulcan Foundry Studios in Oakland, the time there literally forged his unique studio practice and his community involvement. He continues a community-based approach to working in the arts. His current studio is located at the American Steel Studios in West Oakland. Raymond is a seminal member of The Art of Living Black, the only juried African American showing and open studios hosted by the Richmond Art Center. He recently created “N/Visible Atelier” which is having its inaugural showing at Warehouse 416 in 2016.

What do you find most inspiring about making art? Tell us about your current projects.

What inspires me as an artist are other forms of art in relation to my paintings and silkscreen prints. My praxis of painting and being creative heals my soul and makes me happy. My work is about beauty and reflection, capturing moments in time that are fleeting and ethereal.

Current bodies of work: I am working on two bodies of paintings currently, the first is entitled “Ethereal Travels” and with these I am exploring abstract expressionistic landscapes inspired by specific locales I have visited.

The second body of paintings is entitled “ The Sea of Tranquility”. These paintings are influenced by my graffiti and ink drawings that become hand cut stencils. The four bodies of work in this


series are named after the intersections of the tranquillitatis: Nectaris, Crisium, Fecunditatis and Serenitatis.

How did you become involved with the Art of Living Black? How does your work represent and uphold the tradition of this exhibition?

Rae Louise Hayward and Jan Heart Schuyers were friends and mentors of mine. I initially met Rae in an African American Art salon called “The Colors of Black,” hosted by Professor Marie Johnson Calloway in 1987 or so. Jan Schuyers was the first African American female director of the Pro Arts Organization in Oakland. I learned a lot from her and the Pro Arts folks.

Rae approached me in 1996 to show in the first TAOLB and I have been showing ever since. I think I am one of a handful of artists who have been in consecutive shows for the past 21 years. Rae convinced me that the more we share our crafts and the gift of creating art the more effect it has on society.

Representing all the tenets of TAOLB is actually my story. When I graduated from the University of California at San Diego with a Bachelor’s degree in painting, I moved back from San Diego to Richmond. I lived on 29th Street, a stone’s throw from the Richmond Art Center. I was working in my garage and discovered the Art Center when a reporter from the Contra Costa times interviewed me. I received my Master of arts with a painting emphasis in 2003 from San Francisco State University in part from the mentorship of past director Rachel Osajima and Rae Louise Hayward’s influences. I was a silkscreen teacher at the RAC from 2010 – 2013.

The Art of Living Black is a showcase of all levels of artists from the African Diaspora. From artists just starting out  who have never shown to professional artists like myself. We get to share the opportunity to show in a professional venue, peer review, community building and mentorship. I participate every year to continue to grow and honor the traditions and inspiration of artists Rae Louise Hayward and Jan Heart Schuyers. It’s my job to recruit new participants and mentor those who have never shown before.   


What was your path to becoming an artist? Please share some of your favorite work.

I initially planned to be an oceanographer and do my graduate studies at Scripps Institute in San Diego California. I discovered painting, drawing and sculpture as an undergrad elective. I had awesome professors like Eleanor Antin, Faith Ringgold and Italo Scanga.

Who are your inspirations?

Artistically my inspirations range from authors such as Walter Mosley and Zora Neal Hurston. Painters that have influenced me are Sargent Johnson and Faith Ringgold. I am also very affected by films like The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover by Peter Greenway and Moonlight by Barry Jenkins.

What do you like to do when you’re not making art?

I love swimming, biking and walking with my wife, Monica Haywood. I also like reading science fiction and biographies of famous artists and writers.

What’s on your bucket list?

I would love to visit Brazil and learn how to drive race cars.

If you could meet one artist, living or not, who would it be and why?

If it were a male artist it would be Kerry James Marshall an African American painter.   If it were a female artist/ author I would love to have a conversation with Octavia Butler, science fiction.

Why do you paint versus other mediums?

I am fascinated with the variety of the painter’s palette, the magic of making images from liquids and the fun of painting.

Thank you, Raymond.

You can see Raymond’s work and that of the other artists participating in the 21st Annual Art of Living Black here at the Richmond Art Center through March 2. For more info on Raymond’s work, other upcoming shows and social media:

American Steel Studios
1965 Mandela Parkway, Oakland CA

TAOLB Satellite Show Venue
Feb 25th & 26th  11:00 – 5:00 pm
March 1  Artist/VIP Reception 6 – 8 pm
March 3rd Oakland Art Murmur First Fridays 6-9
March 4th & 5th Open Studios 11 – 5

Warehouse 416
TAOLB satellite show, curated by Damon Powell Ph.d 
416-26th Street, Oakland CA
Open Studio Dates
Feb 25th & 26th 11 – 5
Feb 3rd – Feb 26th


In Memoriam: Betty Hardison

Betty Hardison was a visionary of the Richmond Art Center. She recently passed away and we wanted to honor her memory and service. Everyone at the Richmond Art Center is deeply indebted to the work of Betty Hardison. We are grateful for the efforts she made to ensure that artmaking and art appreciation are an ingrained part of the Richmond community — enriching the lives of the thousands of people who enter our doors every year.

Get to Know Us: An Interview with Ed Lay

Many of you might know Ed Lay as one of our longtime metals instructors and as a dedicated and talented working artist. Ed was born in the Philippines, and raised (mostly) in New York. He has worked primarily in the academic tech world and has a lifelong interest in education.  For 30 years, he wrote programming languages for kids and teachers at UC Berkeley’s School of Education. Now he teaches metalsmithing, jewelry fabrication and enameling at the Richmond Art Center, and we are proud to have him as a core member of the teaching artist team. You can see Ed’s work currently on exhibit as part of our Teacher Is Artist: Studio/AIC Faculty Show, which features select pieces from our teaching artists who inspire so many through our Studio and Art in the Community programs.

What do you find most inspiring about working with metals? Tell us about your current projects.

I was initially attracted to the inherent contradiction in the properties of metal: seemingly rigid and unyielding in the finished product, yet malleable and

Hand of the Maker

plastic when engaged with the right tools and techniques.  What has kept me engaged in metals is the huge number of possible ways to work the metal.  It became clear that there would always be something else to learn.

I am currently working on a piece for the Halstead Design Challenge, a Project Runway like competition where we are all given the same kit of materials and a theme from which we will produce a brooch.  I am also playing with origami style transformations applied to sheet metal. Finally, an ongoing interest of mine is to produce specialized tools for the metals studio.

How did you become involved with the Richmond Art Center?

Lily Vase

I fell into it by accident.  After years of taking my daughter to art classes at RAC and dropping her off, I thought I might take a class myself.  The metal studio is next to the kids studio.  One class led to another to becoming a studio monitor to teaching.

What was your path to becoming an artist? Please share some of your favorite work. 

Princess PEZ. This is a working PEZ dispenser as well as being a whimsical work of art!

I’ve always made things and I’ve taken art classes whenever possible. It seems less a path to becoming an artist and more a matter of waiting for life circumstances to allow for the time to be one. Some of my favorite work includes the Gates to the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian, Art Nouveau jewelry and the 3D printed sculpture of Bathsheba Grossman.

Who are your inspirations?

Rene Lalique, one of the premier Art Nouveau jewelers. Hugh Power, my mentor.  He taught advanced jewelry fabrication at the Richmond Art Center for 43 years.   He didn’t just teach us how to make things, but how to think.  I try to practice that every day I’m at RAC.

What do you like to do when you’re not taking art?

I read. A lot.  Mostly fiction and graphic novels.  Non-fiction has become too surreal.

What’s on your bucket list?

Not much.  I try to be a live in the moment type of guy.

If you could meet one artist, living or not, who would it be and why?

Guff Cuff, inspired by the art of Dr. Seuss.

A few years ago, Metal Arts Guild of the Bay Area used this same question as the theme of a show.  We were asked to choose an artists and produce work inspired by that artist.  I chose Dr. Seuss.

Art of Living Black Special Events

This month we are proud to host two major events in conjunction with our current exhibition, The 21st Annual Art of Living Black.

The Art of Living Black Artists Talks

February 4, noon – 2pm. Free.

We will present a panel of the The Art of Living Black 2016 award winners, Justice Renaissance,  Gene Dominique  and Nye’Lyn Tho.  The talk will be moderated by Kelvin Curry.

Please join us for this important conversation and learn more about what inspires these artists in their practices and their lives.


Special Talk with Richard Mayhew

February 11, noon – 2pm, Free.

Committed to the idea that art can play a role in racial equality, Richard Mayhew creates emotionally evocative landscapes that often feature a nondescript, solitary tree. Once a regular at the Cedar Bar, a bohemian hangout in New York City, he developed his improvisational approach from the Abstract Expressionists he met there, conceiving of painting as something akin to jazz.

Though he traversed the United States by car to study different environments, his gestural process of pouring paint onto a canvas and working it into lush fields of color drives his practice. “Landscape has no space, no identity,” Mayhew once said. “It allows the painting to be about emotion.”


The Art of Living Black: An Interview with Orlonda Uffre

Orlonda is an Oakland resident, originally from New York, of African Caribbean heritage, with a definite bi coastal state of mind. She has 4 siblings, and hundreds of first and second cousins, in the Caribbean. She was once called a Renaissance woman because of all the career and personal lifestyles she has experienced and occupied. Orlonda likes to start things, and is one of the original participants in the founding of The Women’s Interart Center in NY, and the first Art Director for Brava! For Women in the Arts, in San Francisco. Most recently, she has been functioning as Exhibition Coordinator, for The Art of Living Black at the Richmond Art Center.

Throughout all those transitions, she has always been a visual artist/painter, and photographer – and for the better part of the last decade, an educator as well.

What do you find most inspiring about making art? Tell us about your current projects.

I must confess, I have no choice when it comes to making art – I’ve done it all my life, with or without inspiration. I guess the euphoria that envelopes me when I get lost in the actual process, is most compelling. I am freed. Although I have to admit, much of what I create has purpose, and is addressing an idea or a reality, like the cultural narratives which define the African Diasporas. Some narratives can’t be contained by literal translation, and so I seek to explore them in abstraction – like the space that spirit inhabits in Nkisi or Ifa. The paradox of purpose within freedom.

My most recent projects have been driven by current events, and the recycling of history – like the resurgence of regressive isms, racism, sexism, classism, etc. Although I would prefer to be a free agent and artist, as opposed to reactive, I do feel compelled at times to include art that addresses ideas and realities that some of us face. “Along the Divide” is a painting which emerged as a reaction to police brutality and racial profiling. And to maintain a sense of sanity and dignity in the light of these demoralising times, I painted “Spirit”, which references the resilience and core dignity of African belief systems, and the idea of character as central to African ethics.

Gaslight, Orlonda Uffre, 2016

How did you become involved with The Art of Living Black? How does your work represent and uphold the tradition of this exhibition? 

I was told about The Art of Living Black by a former gallery owner, Corinne Innis, in 1999. She had the Chi Gallery in Oakland, and created a circle of artists, that are still inspired by her dedication to art making. Then I met Rae Louise Hayward, whose soft spoken beauty and spirit, welcomed me in.

The tradition of this yearly exhibit is to welcome new and seasoned artist, from the African Diaspora, to feel a sense of inclusion, and experience a community of creative exploration.

What was your path to becoming an artist? Please share some of your favorite work.

Having been born an artist, my sister and father negotiated with my mother, to allow me to go to the High School of Art & Design. I took several admissions tests, and was accepted.This was a definite shift in my life path from Brooklyn to Manhattan – from urban working class/barely making it, to witnessing wealth and privilege on display, every day as I went to school.

So many artworks have inspired me – the political statement of Winslow Homer’s “The Gulf Stream” depicting a black man in a rudderless fishing boat, struggling against the waves of the sea, encircled by sharks. Hale Woodruff, whose art spanned historic as well as abstract subject matter, and painted the Amistad Mutiny. Lois Mailou Jones, of the Harlem Renaissance, Wilfredo Lam, “The Jungle”, Marcel DuChamp, “Nude descending a Staircase, No.2”.

Who are your inspirations?

Gandhi, Malcolm X, Nina Simone, Toni Morrison, James Baldwin.

What do you like to do when you’re not making art?

Hike, wander through natural environments, go to the ocean, eat Indian or Ethiopian food – sushi too.

What’s on your bucket list?

Travel  – anywhere that’s safe for women to travel, in warmer climes.

If you could meet one artist, living or not, who would it be and why?

Wow, I’ll have to get back to you on this one – I’m sure I could narrow it down to one artist.

Actually, I would prefer a round table and open conversation between the brilliant minds of the past, and the conscious doers of today. Maybe 30 or so, multigenerational, multicultural women.

I could try to moderate…LOL.

Thank you, Orlonda.

The 21st Annual Art of Living Black is currently on exhibition in our Main and West Galleries through March 2. Please join us for an informative Artists Talk on February 2 beginning at noon, followed by our Opening Reception at 3pm.

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Richmond Art Center
2540 Barrett Avenue
Richmond, California 94804

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Gallery admission is free.