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Works from Private Collections and the Estate of Joan Brown Featured This Fall at the Richmond Art Center

Works from Private Collections and the Estate of Joan Brown Featured This Fall at the Richmond Art Center

A new exhibition, Joan Brown: In Living Color, reveals the intimate and personal of a supportive and influential teacher to a generation of artists.

RICHMOND, CA — July 20, 2017 — Joan Brown: In Living Color reveals the intimate and personal in the renderings of an artist who never stopped drawing. Any piece of paper could be taken to record the every day: a child, a cat, a dream, or a view of oneself. Many of these works come from the artist’s estate and have never been exhibited publicly. This is the first Bay Area exhibition that focuses on Brown’s works on paper in over 20 years.

On display in the Richmond Art Center’s South Gallery from September 12 – November 18, 2017, this exhibition of works on paper reflects Brown’s bold originality. Focused on her personal iconography, Brown pursued individual values and a commitment to humanism. Her work served to catalyze artists in the San Francisco Bay Area, and the impact of her work continues: for artists, educators, and collectors in the Bay Area and beyond. Her works have continued to inspire younger artists and enrich the lives of collectors today.

Says Director of Exhibitions Jan Wurm, “At a time when the art world was heavily focused on abstraction and formalism, Joan Brown was unique in the exploration of the personal, the domestic, and the human relationship to nature.” Wurm adds, “The core of Joan Brown‘s life and experiences became the subject of her art. Brown’s quest for a visual rendering of the experiences of an evolving life was a beacon particularly for women artists and became a model for generations of artists exploring identity and place.”

The Opening Reception for Joan Brown: In Living Color will take place on Saturday, September 9, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm and is free and open to the public. In conjunction with the exhibition, the Art Center is also publishing a fully illustrated catalogue, available for purchase.

Two events planned in to coincide with this exhibition include Picturing a Life, featuring a panel of artists, former students, and those who worked with Joan Brown on Saturday, September 23 at 2:00 pm, and Printing JoanBrown, a presentation by Don Farnsworth of Magnolia Editions, who will discuss the working process of Joan Brown on Saturday, October 21 at 2:00 pm.

For more information about the Fall exhibitions, programming, and events, please visit the Richmond Art Center’s website: All events and exhibitions are free and open to the public.

Joan BrownModel with Foot on Table, Acrylic, graphite, and ink on paper, 1973, Estate of Joan Brown courtesy Anglim Gilbert Gallery, San Francisco

Joan BrownHead of Jay DeFeo, Ink on paper, 1958, Estate of Joan Browncourtesy Anglim Gilbert Gallery, San Francisco

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


See You Next Year at Summer Camp!

These past four weeks of Summer Art Camp for kids has been a blast. We loved providing creative learning and making environments for children 5 to 14. Our thanks go out to all of the children, parents, staff, teaching artists and volunteers who made this year’s camp offerings our best yet.

Here’s a taste of summer from some of our fun classes. We look forward to welcoming your children back next summer!

We’re Hiring: Human Resources Manager

Position: Human Resources Manager
Part-time, non-exempt position
Flexible work schedule

Supervisor:  Executive Director

Overview/ Essential Duties:

The Human Resources Manager is responsible for the oversight of Human Resources administrative functions and takes the lead in fostering a work environment that supports all staff individually and as members of the Art Center team. The HR Manager helps promote high employee morale through fostering an environment of respect, teamwork, and professionalism.  


  • Promote an organizational culture that fosters cooperation, communication, teamwork and trust
  • Lead regular review of Art Center’s human resources policies, procedures and practices.
  • Oversee annual performance evaluation process and support professional development planning for all employees.
  • Develop and foster an environment to maximize employee growth and retention
  • Work with Operations Manager in employee recruitment process to interview stage in coordination with the supervisor for the posted position.
  • Work with Finance Director and Operations Manager in overseeing new employee orientations to ensure that new employees understand established policies and procedures.
  • Oversee sexual harassment prevention training.
  • Ensure all HR postings and notifications are in accordance with the law
  • Provide mediation and conflict resolution for Art Center employees; Partner with supervisors to resolve employee conflicts and situations in a timely and thorough manner


  • BA/BS degree with a minimum of 3-5 years of experience in responsible HR, in nonprofit organizations or equivalent education and experience
  • Strong background, and training in Human Resources management, including current knowledge labor law and HR protocol
  • Outstanding interpersonal communication and mediation skills within a cross-cultural and intergenerational environment
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Strong organizational skills, ability to coordinate and prioritize activities with attention to detail and independent follow through.
  • Intermediate to advanced Excel and Word skills.
  • Comfortable using the Google Suite (Docs, Sheets & File Share)

About the Richmond Art Center: 

A non-profit organization, the Richmond Art Center has provided 80 years of excellence in arts education and exhibitions for the East Bay region. The Art Center’s mission is to be a dynamic arts organization that empowers and transforms individuals and the community through creative exploration, experience and education. The largest Art Center in the East Bay, the 1951 vintage modern facility is part of Richmond’s Civic Center Plaza and receives partial funding from the City of Richmond. The Art Center offers one of the most extensive schedules of exhibitions and art instruction programs in the East Bay, presenting 14 to 16 exhibitions in four galleries and providing 50-60 art classes and workshops in six studios four times a year to 450-500 students each quarter, ages 5 and up of all skill levels. In addition, the Art Center reestablished its Art in the Community program in 2012, providing after school art experiences to schools and various community centers, engaging nearly 1700 underserved student age children. The Art Center has over 600 members, 100 volunteers, 11 full-time and four part-time staff. The Center has an operating budget of just over $1.3 million.  

To apply, please submit the following materials via email:
Resume and a cover letter introducing yourself, stating how your work experience qualifies you for this position, how this opportunity supports your career goals, and specifying experience you have had in a role that cultivates a positive and collaborative workplace culture. Also include the names and contact information for three professional references. Open until filled.

Send all materials to

Compensation & Benefits: 10-14 hours a week $32-$35 per hour
DOE, includes prorated vacation, sick, and holidays
The Richmond Art Center is an equal opportunity employer, values diversity and respects differences. 

Principals only. Recruiters please don’t contact this job poster.

Do NOT contact us with unsolicited services or offers

With gratitude, and welcome… departing and incoming Board members.

The Richmond Art Center is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. The Board, which is elected by our members, is responsible for the organization’s financial health and achievement of its mission. Board members serve a three-year term.

We’d like to offer our deepest thanks and recognition to four of our Board members, who have given so much to the Richmond Art Center during their tenure. We are greatly in the debt of gratitude to the following people, who have made important and lasting contributions to the Art Center, our community, and our staff:

Anna Blackman

Anna retired as the deputy superintendent of West Contra Costa Unified School District in 2000 after a long career in Richmond Unified and WCCUSD. She has since mentored and supervised student teachers and worked as a teaching performance assessor. Anna served on the board of the Richmond Art Center in the 1990s.

Matt D. Jacobson

Matt is the managing partner of Jacobs & Company, an investment management firm. He began working there in 1979 as an Associate and became a partner in 1987. Before joining Jacobs & Company, Matt was a reporter and feature writer for the Richmond Independent/Berkeley Daily Gazette newspapers. He earned a BA in urban economic geography from UC Berkeley. Matt lives in Richmond. His mother is a long-time supporter of the Richmond Art Center where Matt regularly visited in his youth.

Ellengale Toki Oakley

Ellengale grew up in a local family of artists with Leslie Ceramics as the family business. She and her brothers spent much of their childhood connected to the Art Center. Her mother served on the board. One of her brothers served as board president. Ellengale’s husband, Owen, is a Richmond Art Center student. Ellengale has volunteered as a court-appointed special advocate for foster children. She earned a PhD in early childhood math education and a BA and MA from UC Berkeley.

Susan Wittenberg

Susan has a long history of working to improve the education and well being of West Contra Costa County children. She was founding executive director of the West Contra Costa Public Education Fund (Ed Fund) for 25 years, founding member of the Building Blocks for Kids (BBK) Collaborative and served as an alternate commissioner on the Contra Costa County First 5 Commission. She has designed and managed programs and raised millions of dollars to provide services and meet the needs of children throughout the county.

And welcoming our newest Board members…

At the annual RAC members meeting on June 10, five new members were voted in to serve their first three-year term, effective July 1. We’d like to welcome Sarah Antonich, Phil Linhares, Karen McKeown, Steve Nomura, and Hertha Sweet Wong. You can read their bios here.

We Got the Grant!

We got the grant!

With support from the California Arts Council, the Richmond Art Center, through our Art in the Community program, will provide year-long visual art classes to six WCCUSD elementary school sites free of charge.

With this funding, 215 students in grades K-6 will use printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, animation, book arts, and textiles to solve problems, work together, and make meaning. Experienced practicing teaching artists will share the creative process, teach visual art skills, build community and nurture a love of learning.

Summer Fundraiser: Help Us Make Our Match!

“Thirty-three years ago, I was hired to teach the children’s Saturday classes at the Richmond Art Center because the current teacher was moving to Bali. I was very happy to get the job (but so wished I could visit Bali, too)!

After 33 years, here I am… teaching the children of many of my former students.
May the great Richmond Art Center go on forever.”

The Richmond Art Center is fortunate to have gifted, dedicated, and experienced teaching artists like Lisa DiPrima, who work with our youngest students who come through our Art in the Community and Studio Education programs each year.

Your commitment to supporting our ongoing efforts to bring art to thousands of people each year through our education programs is incredibly valued. Please help us end our fiscal year with a splash, by making a donation to the Art Center today.

From June 12 – 16, your contribution will be matched 1:1 up to $2,000 by an anonymous donor who shares your commitment to the Art Center. 

Mathieu Court Alley Play Street Dedication

On June 9, the Mathieu Court Alley Play Street Dedication project ribbon-cutting took place, honoring and celebrating the collaboration between the City of Richmond, Richmond Art Center’s Art in the Community program, The Trust for Public Land, Pogo Park and the Iron Triangle Neighborhood Council.

The Play Street, a 640-foot-long stretch of Mathieu Court Alley between Barrett and Ripley Avenues. was a grant recipient of Kaboom!, a nonprofit that works with communities to transform neighborhood spaces like laundromats, sidewalks or bus stops into “stimulating, creative outlets for play.” Richmond was one of 50 winners out of more than 1,000 applicants nationwide to win the grant, and Richmond Art Center was a proud partner in this community effort.

The local neighbors were a crucial part of helping to design the play street. We’re especially grateful to the students of Peres Elementary School, who were instrumental in creating the art and structures in the Play Street!

Meet Jeremy, our new Volunteer & Visitor Services Coordinator

Jeremy is an event organizer disguised as an art curator. He holds a BA in Communications from Seattle University and a Master of Art Curating from the University of Sydney, Australia. Jeremy’s docent training in Seattle led him to pursue a career planning art exhibitions and tours for audiences including seniors, adults and youth groups. In addition, his event planning experience obtained working as a caterer, concierge, and leasing agent gave him the ability to manage volunteer operations and develop collaborative fundraisers for arts-based non-profits. Jeremy’s favorite art activities include collaging and making artwork from found objects.

What do you find most inspiring about the Richmond Art Center?

What inspires me most about Richmond Art Center is its history as a WPA project. Taking into consideration the vast community of local artists and highlighting their successes (globally and locally) marks the city of Richmond as a significant destination for the development of Bay Area artists. I find it inspiring that we are not a blockbuster institution. RAC is a people’s gallery.

Tell us about the Volunteer Program. What are the most important things we should know about it?

The Volunteer Program at the Richmond Art Center is a great way to get involved! Volunteers can apply their hours to discounts on art classes or develop skills and build their resumes. Most importantly, volunteering is a way to meet other community members and donate your time to a great local cause. It’s an opportunity to give back to your Bay Area community!

What is your vision for the Volunteer Program?

Volunteers at the Richmond Art Center can now sign-up online! My vision for volunteerism at the Richmond Art Center is to make getting involved easier using the new platform. Another significant objective I have as the Volunteer Coordinator is to help volunteers discover something they’re good at while volunteering. I want to enhance the experience of volunteering because I believe people are more productive when they feel like they’re making a difference.

Who are your inspirations?

I’m really inspired by artist groups & collectives, one in particular is a group of sound artists called Postcommodity called ‘Do You Remember When? – 2012’. I was inspired by their work at the 18th Biennale of Sydney at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

What’s on your bucket list?

I don’t have an actual bucket list – I am slightly superstitious and I love writing lists so the thought of getting satisfaction of crossing everything off that list feels a bit scary. I’m not a major thrill-seeker. As for things I have already crossed off, David Bowie would be most significant.

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

Given the privilege to communicate with a legend (and the dead), I would say Keith Haring. Before Banksy, Haring reached many people without using technology to become well known.

What’s the best way for people to be in touch with you about volunteering, or to learn more?

The best way to reach me about volunteer opportunities at the Richmond Art Center is either by phone at 510.620.6778 or by email at Another way to browse current volunteer opportunities at the Richmond Art Center would be to visit:

Members’ Annual Meeting, Board Election, and Reception

Richmond Art Center Members’ Annual Meeting, Board Election, and Reception
Saturday, June 10, 2017, 3:00 to 4:45 pm

The Richmond Art Center’s annual members’ meeting 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 2017 – 2018 Art Center Board of Directors. During the reception, Ric Ambrose will lead a preview tour of the Annual Members’ Exhibition.

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

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


  • 3:00 – 4:00 pm: Members’ Reception and Voting
  • 4:00 pm: Annual meeting, Inez Brooks-Myers presiding
  • 4:15 pm: Ric Ambrose and staff
    • Accomplishments of the year 2016 – 2017
    • Plans for year 2017 – 2018
  • 4:45 pm: Announce results of vote
  • 5:00 – 7:00: Public Reception and Opening of the Summer Exhibitions

Visit and Contact

Richmond Art Center
2540 Barrett Avenue
Richmond, California 94804

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Tue – Sat, 10 am – 5 pm
Closed Sundays and Mondays & Major Holidays.

Gallery admission is free.