Richmond Art Center Richmond Art Center

Review: Art in the Community This Year

This year, our Art in the Community program (AIC) worked with a total of 48 student groups in ongoing arts learning 

experiences, as well as holding a weekly drop-in class at the Richmond Public Library, engaging over 1700 students. In collaboration with the WCCUSD office of expanded learning, we provided after-school art classes in eight local elementary schools and two middle schools.

In its fourth year, our school-wide spring residency at Washington elementary focused on printmaking, mixed media and fibers/weaving. Half of our partnerships occur in non-traditional learning spaces which include local nonprofits, City of Richmond community centers, and housing-affiliated community centers.

This year Art Center staff and teaching artists shared strategies for artmaking with 40 elementary school teachers through our Bring Art to Your Classroom professional development workshop series. Strategies for artmaking that were explored during our workshops emphasize teaching practices that build ownership of artistic processes and skills, comfort with problem-solving/ leadership thinking, reflection, and self expression.

This spring, AIC partnered with Korematsu Middle School to kick of our first class exploring the world of 3D model and design! During the semester students worked with teaching artist Vince De Jesus to learn drawing and design applications in 3D modeling. Students spent the semester conceptualizing sculptural themes and translated their designs into an array of 3D printed objects.

This year’s 6th annual Art in the Community Show, Richmond Creates, highlighted work created via partnerships with 20 local satellite sites. The artists shown here range from ages 5 to 85. For many, this was their first structured arts learning experience. This exhibition showcases work made in a variety of media; printmaking, sculpture, animation, 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!

Richmond Art Center Awarded California Arts Council “Arts Education: Extension” Grant

State funds support Richmond Art Center’s Art in the Community arts education programming

[Richmond, CA] – The California Arts Council announced its plans to award $13,500 to the Richmond Art Center as part of its Arts Education: Extension program.

As a segment of the California Arts Council Arts Education grant opportunities, Extension grants support arts education programs for PreK-12 students that operate after school and during the summer, on school sites, in artistic venues, and in community settings. The intention of the program is to offer young people sequential, hands-on training in artistic disciplines, including dance, literary arts, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts.

The funding from the California Arts Council will support Art in the Community’s after school artist residencies in West Contra Costa County Unified School District (WCCUSD) elementary schools. The 20 week residencies will take place over the course of the 2018-2019 school year, in partnership with the district’s office of expanded learning.

The Richmond Art Center is one of 169 grantees chosen for the Arts Education: Extension program. The award was featured as part of a larger announcementfrom the California Arts Council.

“The Arts Education Extension program capitalizes on the potential to create arts learning opportunities for California’s young people whenever and wherever possible,” said Nashormeh Lindo, California Arts Council Chair. “Projects like the Richmond Art Center’s Art in the Community program allow for the positive impacts of arts engagement to continue undeterred.”

To view a complete listing of all Arts Education Extension grantees, visit

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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.

About the California Arts Council: The mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the arts and creativity. The Council is committed to building public will and resources for the arts; fostering accessible arts initiatives that reflect contributions from all of California’s diverse populations; serving as a thought leader and champion for the arts; and providing effective and relevant programs and services.

Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Nashormeh Lindo, Vice Chair Larry Baza, Phoebe Beasley, Christopher Coppola, Juan Devis, Kathleen Gallegos, Jaime Galli, Donn K. Harris, Louise McGuinness, Steven Oliver, and Rosalind Wyman. Learn more at


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

Contact for more information:

Julie Sparenberg
Communications Director

New Documentary “The Artist in Society: Talking with Hershell West” Free Screening

Hershell West, local arts icon, is very active in the art scene of the East Bay. He was a member and later president of the board of ProArts in Oakland and the Richmond Art Center in Richmond. He served on both the Oakland Arts Commission and the Richmond Arts and Cultural Commission, for both of which he also served a term as president. He helped organize an annual exhibition, TAOLB (The Art of Living Black), one of the largest of its kind in the nation.
The new documentary “The Artist in Society: Talking with Hershell West” is screening is on Saturday, June 16 at 4:00pm in the Richmond Public Library’s Community Room. It is free and open to the public.
Read more about the film and local filmmaker Eve A Ma:

Call for Entries “What Knot?” Now Open

Presented by the Richmond Art Center in partnership with the Northern California Surface Design AssociationWhat Knot? will feature contemporary art by Californian artists working with fiber and textile construction techniques, and offering new twists on traditional processes, materials and concepts. The exhibition will be juried by Camille Ann Brewer, Curator of Contemporary Art at The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, D.C.

Learn more about this call for artists here.

An Interview with Phil Linhares: Small Works Juror

by Amy Spencer, Exhibition Director

Unlike many exhibitions juried online, the scale of the work for Small Works actually translated very well to a computer screen. Where you thinking about this as you viewed the works?

The submissions came off pretty well. Years ago I dealt with juried shows where the actual artwork was brought in. It was a real hassle. For the centennial of the San Francisco Art Institute Annual we had 16,000 artworks brought in to be juried. So for the Small Works exhibition, being that the works are a small scale, it was especially effective to see them online.

The way I jury a show is I look at everything first to understand the range. Then after looking at the whole field I go back a few times to start making selections. For Small Works we ended up with nearly 60 pieces. If we had more room in the gallery I could easily have selected more.

Some of the artists in the exhibition always work on a small scale. While others work in varying sizes and simply selected a small work to enter. What did you observe about how different artists approach scale?

Some of the works entered in Small Works looked like small works but others you could blow up to six feet and they would still work very well. In some regards art needs to justify its size. Most of the submitted artwork I did not recognize who the artist was by simply looking at the piece.

What do you think artists can learn from participating in juried exhibitions?

Juried shows give artists an opportunity to present their work in a public sphere. It gives them a line on their resume that could allow them to go beyond that venue. I think people have a lot of respect for the Richmond Art Center. It’s important for artists to show work with their peers, meet other artists, and look at new work for inspiration.

What do you learn from jurying exhibitions?

There’s always something unexpected. Something that stands out. Something I continue to think about long after the jurying is over. Looking at new art sustains me everyday.

Annual Board Election and Reception



SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2018, 3:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.

The Richmond Art Center’s Annual Members’ Board Election and Reception will be held at the Art Center beginning at 3:00 p.m. The purpose of the meeting is to hold the election for the fiscal year 2018-2019 Board of Directors.

Ballots will be available at the front desk during the reception; completed ballots must be submitted between 3:00 and 4:00 the front desk at the Art Center.  All members are eligible to vote in person. At least twenty (20) members must vote for the election to be valid.

The Board President, Inez Brooks-Myers, will conduct the meeting, starting at 4:00 p.m.  Executive Director, Ric Ambrose and staff will provide updates on the Art Center’s accomplishment of the past year, and plans for the next year. The meeting will be followed at 5:00 p.m. by the public opening reception for the Summer Exhibitions.


  • 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Members’ Reception and Voting
  • 4:00 p.m. Annual meeting, Inez Brooks-Myers presiding
  • 4:15 p.m. Ric Ambrose and staff
    • Accomplishments for year 2017-2018
    • Plans for the year 2018-2019
  • 4:45 p.m. Announcement of vote results
  • 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.  Public Reception and Opening of the Summer Exhibitions

Summer Art Camp for Kids Early Bird Discount Ends March 31!



Unleash your child’s creativity this summer! Art Camp at the RAC gives kids and teens an exciting immersion in visual art practice. Daily projects include drawing, painting, printmaking, textile arts and sculpture. Art Camp runs weekly, Monday to Friday, with a varied curriculum. Whole and half-days available, with extended hours for drop-off and pick up. Art Camp is geared to ages 5-13.

Use this coupon code (CAMP18) to sign up for an additional 10% Early Bird discount, good through March 31.

You can register online, or call our Front Desk at 510.620.6772 to sign up.

Sweet Lynn Motel, graphite on paper

Richard Ambrose
Sweet Lynn Motel
graphite on Arches paper
60 x 35 inches, unframed

Artist Statement

The complex patchwork of urban elements in my immediate surroundings holds tremendous fascination for me.  I am particularly struck by the ironies and paradoxes found in both the micro and macro world that surrounds us.  My panoramic drawings are a compilation of disparate images stitched together and interwoven much like reconstructing a memory or a recollected experience.

I have always been attracted to the black and white world due in part to my quirky memories of growing up in small industrial Pennsylvania town, constantly gazing out of my third floor bedroom window overlooking a colorless landscape of slate roof tops and coal-fired smoke punctuated by cathedral-like steel mills and bell towers.  This disengagement fueled my imagination and made seeing come to life. To me, a drawing is a more suggestive or evocative form of color. Actual color tends to cloud my perception, seeming to be too decorative.

Unlike traditional panoramic views captured from a fixed point and distance, I try to construct my world around the viewer and beyond their periphery, beckoning them to simultaneously partake in the grand scope of its spatial depth and inhabited insignificance.  My large – scale work is drawn from my journeys throughout the Bay Area, immersed in its exotic diversity of architecture, landscape, and the paradoxes of human interaction and disengagement. I am as compelled to it as I am to the urban memories of my youth.

The extended drawing format is derived in part from traditional Chinese landscape scrolls.  It provides me the ideal vehicle for the depiction of a multitude of disparate elements within a rhythmic spatial context.  The elongated format allows the viewer to experience the whole environment as well as its parts, moving through it visually as if he/she were actually travelling within its confines. The element of time is both actual and perceptual.  This movement establishes a visual paradox — while one might enjoy digesting the pictorial grandeur (macro) and opulent details (micro) in my work, there is an element of detachment, alienation or even entrapment.

Using the most basic tools – – graphite and an eraser – – allows me to recreate a colorless yet colorful world that suggests a timeless sense of my life experiences.

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Richmond Art Center
2540 Barrett Avenue
Richmond, California 94804

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Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Closed Sundays and Mondays & Major Holidays.

Gallery admission is free.