No matter when, there came a time when everyone at Richmond Art Center sensed a new optimism on the corner of Barrett Avenue and 25th Street. Under the watchful gaze of Guillermo the Golden Trout, we had survived the pandemic! But victory had come with a steep price: the galleries had been closed for two years, in-person classes canceled, and many staff members laid off as financial resources dwindled.
Our optimism was fueled from many directions: the arrival of a new executive director who led the charge to increase the flow of funds into RAC, including two PPP grants from the federal government. Also, special Angels among our friends and supporters made significant donations that enabled us to renovate the interiors of galleries and classrooms. New staff members were added slowly as budgets permitted, and program offerings expanded.
But our spirits were darkened when we lost 23% of our income in July when we learned that two major funders would no longer be contributing to our annual budget. With this devastating news, the Board of Directors estimated that it will take a further eighteen months to complete the full recovery of RAC operations, staffing and programming.
Our goal of returning Richmond Art Center to full operational capacity by the end of 2023 is focused on these tasks:
Education: Expanding our current capacity to deliver once again a full roster of classes both at the Center and through our community outreach programs.
Infrastructure: Maintaining our efforts to execute necessary upgrades in the physical plant and utilities of the Center. Next May, we will celebrate the 25th birthday of RAC’s iconic sculpture Guillermo the Golden Trout by honoring its creator Andrée Singer Thompson and restoring the artwork.
Programming: Returning to the practice of medium- and longer-term planning in support of our mission; and to continue increasing diversity and bilingualism in our outreach and programming.
WE ARE THE RICHMOND ART CENTER!
We teach art! We create art! We show art! We work in service to Richmond and the East Bay!
PLEASE HELP US COMPLETE THE RENAISSANCE AT RICHMOND ART CENTER. YOUR DONATION WILL HELP TO RESTORE RAC AS A JEWEL IN THE HEART OF THE CITY OF RICHMOND’S CIVIC CENTER.
Artist Hector Munoz-Guzman Teaches New Class for Youth
We spoke with teaching artist Hector Munoz-Guzman about his artistic development, current projects, and the class he will be teaching at Richmond Art Center this semester.
As a new teaching artist at Richmond Art Center can you please introduce yourself to our community.
My name is Hector Munoz-Guzman. I am a painter and mixed media artist, and I’m from South Berkeley.
What has your artistic journey been like?
In high school I studied digital media at The Youth Institute in downtown Berkeley. This program introduced me to a lot of different media: drawing, collage, digital art. I also took IB Studio Art with Kimberley D’Adamo. This is where I really started to think seriously about what art I create and who it is for. The work I created in IB Studio Art got me accepted into Parsons School of Design. I later transferred to RISD [Rhode Island School of Design] where I started focusing on large scale paintings. I continued to make mixed media work as well.
I was raised by a single mom who was an immigrant from Mexico. So art didn’t seem like a possibility for a career. But I developed a tag – Gold Rust – that’s about finding the beauty from the limitations you have. I take this into my art practice; being resourceful with materials, making something out of my experiences.
Recently I was awarded a Civic Arts Grant from the City of Berkeley. With this award I’m creating a 7 foot by 24 foot mural depicting me and my family growing up in South Berkeley. I want to honor my family and the place that I grew up.
What other projects are you working on?
My work will be in a number of exhibitions over the next year. I recently did a studio visit with a curator from MACLA [Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana] in San Jose who is going to include three of my paintings in a show there that will open in December. I’m also going to be exhibiting my work in galleries in San Francisco and Los Angeles in 2023.
In the past I have exhibited at Fall River MoCa in Massachusetts and Bureau Gallery in New York.
What do you like about teaching?
I feel like teachers can be extremely impactful on their students. I’m still in contact with my teachers. They gave me a safe space to feel creative. And I was then granted the opportunity to study at renowned art schools. So I just want to use what I’ve learned and give it back to my community.
It’s a class for youth between the ages of twelve and seventeen. The emphasis of the class is using mixed media for personal expression. I will support students with skill development using different media – crayons, pencils, collage, paint – and help them find media they feel comfortable with. But the main focus of the class will be encouraging students to explore and develop their own narratives, characters and subjects. Students will develop a body of work that is connected to where they come from; that tells their stories and expresses the ideas that are important to them.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about the class?
I just want to offer a space for students to feel they are making work that is important to them. That they are making work for themselves first.
Visit Hector Munoz-Guzman’s Instagram account @hectorfmunoz to see more of his work.
Mixed Media Illustration will run on Thursdays, 5pm-7pm starting on October 26 and running through to November 16. CLICK HERE to learn more about the class. (And don’t forget we have needs-based scholarships available!)
Due to rising operating costs and changes in funding, we are making the difficult choice to increase our class prices. This increase will be starting Winter Quarter 2023.
We understand this will have an impact for students. We want to assure you that we will continue to offer needs-based Art Boost scholarships for community members, and encourage you to explore our membership program for class discounts.
Make your own paint! This course covers working with different tools, binders and surfaces; how to extract color from mineral and botanical based materials; and how to engage observational and experimental methods.
RAC’s community ofrenda featuring beautiful artwork by Danial Camacho is up in our west gallery.
Daniel invites community members to contribute items that honor their loved ones. He says, “Through an ofrenda we commemorate and remember the life and death of our loved ones. It is a celebration that allows us to carry them in our hearts and welcome them back to the world of the living for one night.”
Daniel invites the community to contribute a photograph of their loved ones and an object that represents something they loved, for example their favorite drink or snack, or a toy.
Items can be bought to Richmond Art Center any time during gallery hours (Wed-Sat 10am-4pm). The altar will be on display from October 15 through to the end of Día de los Muertos on November 3.
Daniel Camacho’s work is also currently on view at RAC in the exhibition De Fantasías y Realidades (September 14 – November 17, 2022).
SPECIAL EVENT: Join us on Saturday, October 15,12pm-3pm for a special celebration of Día de los Muertos. CLICK HERE for more info.
Eva-Maria Spampinato is an interdisciplinary artist, researcher and historian investigating art and design through the modes of craft, alchemy and the natural world. We spoke with Eva-Maria about her creative practice and the upcoming class Artechnē: Art & Technology of Paints she will be teaching at Richmond Art Center.
Please introduce yourself. Where are you from and what is your background?
My name is Eva-Maria Spampinato and I am an artist, researcher and historian. So I actually call myself the Historical Artist. I grew up in Albany. I’m a first generation American, my mother is from Sweden and my father is from Argentina. These two strong cultures have fueled my craving for art, since I was a little girl, with the desire to connect with my heritage through travel and study.
Tell us about these studies.
I received an art history degree from UC Santa Cruz, and studied at The Florence Academy of Art in Gothenburg, Sweden. To blend my academic training with my art practice I then did my graduate studies at the Royal College of Art in London, in the History of Design program in a collaboration with the Victoria & Albert Museum. In this course, I specialized in historical artisanal epistemology. In other words, alchemy, art and materials.
Really, two decades of studying, traveling and life experiences represents how much I really wanted a traditional craft apprenticeship that didn’t exist when I was a little. So I pieced together different programs and made my own way.
Can you please talk a little bit more about what artisanal epistemology is?
It’s how a craftsperson learns through empirical values. They use observation and experience simultaneously, rather than theory, to develop a creative practice. This is what I teach my students; how they can use exploration and curiosity to learn their craft and open new pathways for creative outlets.
Yes, it’s about making paint through very hands-on and practical alchemy. I will not approach the class in a scientific way. I’m going to introduce experiences in order to open up one’s intuitive sensory knowledge. This is the traditional way, before the modern period.
In Artechnē (pronounced art-TECH-nay), students will start with a sourced material – like ochre from Oakland Hills, botanicals and even insects – to learn how color is extracted to create pigments. I will show how to engage with the tools. There’s going to be a lot of grinding, sieving, mulling, precipitation, washing, drying and more grinding! Then we’ll use different binders to create watercolor, egg tempera and pastels. Lastly, students will test the paint on different surfaces.
The emphasis of the class is on the craft: to learn how to listen to the materials as they are ground, to smell them, to sense their resistance and response. I will also include historical information alongside the hands-on learning, so students can appreciate the historical context for this craft.
Who is your class for? Do students need any art experience?
Artechnē is for anyone who is open to trying something new. No experience is necessary. It is especially great for people who want to learn to be comfortable with non-scientific processes or want to shift their perspective on materials and objects.
Artechnē is about opening our senses to new ways of thinking. I want to empower my students with curiosity so they can investigate anything and connect to nature’s offerings. So they can be comfortable finding their own processes. These lessons can be applied to many parts of our life. It’s playful!
Happy Hispanic Heritage Month! National Hispanic Heritage Month takes place September 15 to October 15 every year and is a time to recognize the histories, cultures and contributions of Hispanic/Latino/Latinx people living in the U.S.. During this month (and throughout the year) at Richmond Art Center we have activities planned to celebrate and explore the creative accomplishments of the Bay Area’s Latino community.
In the galleries are two exhibitions highlighting Latinx art. Daniel Camacho’s De Fantasías y Realidades presents murals, paper mache sculptures and paintings that fuse elements of Mexican popular culture with the social and political experiences of Camacho’s community. And From the Pueblo, For the Pueblo is an exhibition by print collective Liberación Gráfica and their friends. Liberación Gráfica is a Richmond-based screen print collective whose art practice is rooted in the Chicanx art tradition of revolutionary print workshops. Their work speaks directly to the struggles and resilience of the people of Richmond.
Calling all artists, artisans, crafters and makers! Be part of Richmond Art Center’s 60th Annual Holiday Arts Festival!
To apply to be a vendor at Richmond Art Center’s Holiday Arts Festival please review the information on this webpage and complete the application form below.
Deadline to Apply: Monday, October 10, 2022, 11:59pm
Richmond Art Center’s Holiday Arts Festival
Event Date: Sunday, December 4, 2022, 10am-5pm
The Holiday Arts Festival returns to Richmond Art Center! After running for the past two years as a virtual event due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the festival is back in-person to celebrate its ‘diamond jubilee’ 60th year in Richmond.
Each year the Holiday Arts Festival offers over 1,000 visitors a chance to buy unique gifts from local arts and crafts vendors, enjoy food and beverages, and participate in art-making activities for the whole family. The Festival’s gift sale runs from 10am to 5pm at Richmond Art Center, 2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond.
Call for Arts and Crafts Vendors! Richmond Art Center is now accepting applications from local artists, artisans, crafters and makers to sell their work at the Holiday Arts Festival. This shop-local event is a great way to expose your work to a creative audience that appreciates hand-crafted gifts. The deadline for vendors to apply is October 10. Applications are juried and selected vendors will be notified by October 21. There is no application fee and first-time vendors to the Festival are encouraged to participate.
Can’t attend the event in-person? The online Arts and Crafts Hub will be back! Hosted on Richmond Art Center’s website, the Hub is non-juried and serves as a gateway for artists to share their work during the Holidays. CLICK HERE to see a sample Artist Listing
Application Deadline (online application form below): Monday, October 10, 11:59pm Vendor Notification: Friday, October 21 Contracts and Vendor Fees Due: Monday, November 7 Vendor Set Up: Saturday, December 3, 10am to 5pm Holiday Arts Festival: Sunday, December 4, 10am to 5pm
*Covid-19 Safety: Note, this is an indoor event. We will do what we can to keep people safe. Covid-19 safety protocols will be announced closer to the event date. Please contact us if you have questions: email@example.com
Richmond Art Center provides: Vendor contract, table, chair/s, vendor sign (if needed), wall space (as requested/as available), electrical outlet (as requested/as available), time for set-up (12/3, 10am-5pm) and deinstall (12/4, 5pm-6:30pm), online vendor listing
Promotion: During the holiday season, Richmond Art Center will be promoting The Holiday Arts Festival via online and print advertising, social media, our e-newsletter, via community partnerships, and at community events. Vendors will also have the opportunity to promote their websites in our online Arts & Crafts Hub on Richmond Art Center’s website.
Jurying Process: Unfortunately we don’t have space to accept all vendors who apply for a table at the Holiday Arts Festival. As a result applications are juried by a panel made up of RAC staff. Things we look for when reviewing applications include: Artistic Quality; Sales Potential; Media Range Across Vendors; and Community Connection. Vendors who are not selected for a table at the Festival still have the opportunity to present their goods in our online Arts & Crafts Hub.
6 Foot Table Fee: $190 for RAC members; $200 for non-members*
4 Foot Half Table Fee: $110 for RAC members; $125 for non-members*
Online Listing in the Arts & Crafts Hub Only: $20 for RAC members; $25 for non-members*
*Vendors selected to participate at the in-person event automatically received a listing in the Arts & Crafts Hub.
These are flat fees. No sales commission is charged.