Richmond Art Center
Richmond Art Center

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Enjoy the Art Center’s New Website!

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of the new website — just in time for our Fall session which includes the return of Richard Diebenkorn with an exhibition of his works on paper and a series of public programs which will provide a background on the historic role that the Art Center played in the rise of the Bay Area Figurative movement.

Our new site has been completely redesigned in an effort to make it easier for you to learn about our exhibitions and free events and more easily search our classes and programs.

Here are a few features that we think you’ll enjoy:

Take a look around and let us know what you think.

Volunteer Profile: Teresa Philips

Teresa Philips
Administration, Exhibitions and Front Desk Assistant Volunteer
Volunteered over 600 hours since 2010!

What is your favorite thing about volunteering at the Richmond Art Center?
“The opportunity to be around so many positive people!”

Teresa Philips is a familiar and welcoming face at the Richmond Art Center, having volunteered over 600 hours over the past four years working both at the front desk, and in the exhibitions office helping to organize the Center’s archives.

Born and raised in San Francisco, Teresa moved to the East Bay in 1995 and now lives in Richmond Annex. In addition to her role at the Richmond Art Center, she studies business computing at East Bay Works, and also plays tennis. She began volunteering at the Richmond Art Center at the suggestion of a friend. “I was looking for a way to occupy my spare time,” says Teresa, “and my friend told me to check out the Richmond Art Center. I’m really glad I did. There is just a very positive energy here.”

Art Center Wins “Best Community Art Center”

We are honored to have won Best Community Arts Center in the East Bay Express’ Best of the East Bay 2014. And we are amongst great company — congrats to our friends at Point Richmond Music Festival for winning Best Outdoor Music Series.

We’re thrilled that our exhibitions, on-site programs and traveling programs are being recognized with such a great award. As more people learn about and experience our work, we count ourselves lucky to have such passionate and creative instructors, dedicated volunteers and such engaged students and generous donors. Not to mention the talented artists whose work we have had the opportunity to showcase in our galleries. It takes a community of people to make the Richmond Art Center such a creative hub. THANK YOU community!

Ruth Braunstein Collection Helps Mold Clay’s Reputation

Today’s 96 Hours features the opening of our new exhibition Ruth Braunstein: Focus on Clay. We are excited to have these ceramics objects in our galleries and are thrilled that Ruth will be joining us for the opening on Saturday.

Even before Ruth Braunstein opened her first art gallery in Tiburon in 1961, she was collecting pieces that made her happy and was drawn to works in clay.

A new exhibit of Braunstein’s private collection of ceramics that opens Saturday at the Richmond Art Center pays tribute to her advocacy of clay as a fine-art medium. Many of the pieces – by well-known artists including Peter Voulkos, Richard Shaw and Robert Arneson – have never been shown before.

“I love the exhibit on several different levels,” said Richmond Art Center curator and exhibitions director Anthony Torres. “It’s paying homage to Ruth’s life and work, but the collection is also a form of portraiture. It tells a great deal about who she is, and shows how she worked hard to democratize art.”

He added, “It’s diverse and beautiful, and there’s a whole myriad of objects.”

Read the full story: Ruth Braunstein Collection Helps Mold Clay’s Reputation, SF Chronicle, June 12, 2014.

Meet Angelica, Our Youth Class Assistant Volunteer

Angelica Aleman
Youth Class Assistant Volunteer in the Education Department

What is your favorite thing about volunteering at the Richmond Art Center?

Angelica has been volunteering with children’s activities since 2013. As a high school senior and artist who doodles constantly, she has a knack for working with children in a creative setting. Her own practice of art extends from doodling to ceramics to watercolor to making objects out of paper mache. She cites Alister Dippner as a favorite artist, and admired the work in the exhibition Victor Cartagena: Sites/Sights of Intervention which was on view in spring 2014, and likes it because it’s “intense.”

The Breakfast Group: Exhibition at Richmond Art Center Toasts Bay Area Institution

We love having the artists of the Breakfast Group here each Saturday along with people from the community who join in for coffee, conversation and a presentation by one of the featured artists. We were thrilled to read this write up about the Breakfast Group in Art Critical, which is based out of New York. Apparently, the Breakfast Group is making waves on the other coast too!

Tattoos of Memory

Sarah Burke from the East Bay Express reviews Victor Cartagena’s installations in this week’s East Bay Express.

Victor Cartagena likens the act of remembering to that of crossing a bridge. In his artist’s talk at the Richmond Art Center, he described how he was forced to leave his home country of El Salvador in 1985 due to civil war, and sought refuge in California. Since being displaced, he has relied on this imagined bridge as recourse to a sense of identity and belonging. But it has been decades since he left his home, and much of what he wishes to return to no longer exists. Such tensions around identity and politics are the subject of the Bay Area artist’s installation Sites/Sights of Intervention, which is now on view at the Richmond Art Center.

The installation consists of various pieces that are meant to be experienced as a visual and spatial dialogue within which the viewer is centered. The gallery is dimly lit, and entering it is like wandering into Cartagena’s memory — a negative space of placelessness. “I heard the other day that memory is such a place that those who have memory leave the present …. and that makes me feel that I am not alone because being part of this group of immigrants, who live all over the world, we don’t belong anywhere,” said Cartagena. “We have our own territory, our own country — the immigrant country.”

Read the full review here.

Victor Cartagena’s Subtle Political Wake-up Call

Kenneth Baker’s review “Victor Cartagena’s subtle political wake-up call”  appeared in todays’ SF Chronicle.

The more topical political art gets, the sooner it starts to look dated. Victor Cartagena has averted this risk by not tying his “Sites/Sights of Intervention” at the Richmond Art Center too closely to events in his native El Salvador.

Works in his complex ensemble evoke the tragedy of Latin American elites’ corruption, civil war and American anticommunist imperialism, but not too specifically.

In this context, an ostensibly simple object such as “Ante-Ojos/Anti-Eyes” (2014) – a framed pair of crushed glasses – summons thoughts of violent reprisal, the punishment of conscientious witness and the blindness of media complicity.

The work even suggests itself as a distant, underprivileged relation of Jasper Johns’ satirical relief sculpture of lensless glasses, “The Critic Sees” (1961), in which mouths stand in for eyes, and as symbolic windows to a disfigured soul.

Read the full review: Victor Cartagena’s Subtle Political Wake-up Call, SF Chronicle, April 11, 2014

Upcycle: Kids Learn How to Turn Trash into Art in Richmond

This Saturday’s Upcycle event is featured in the SF Chronicle’s 96 Hours section. We sure hope to see you for an afternoon of making, upcycling and music!

Landfills will be a little emptier this weekend, thanks to a fun, kid-friendly program at the Richmond Art Center.

The program, the second annual Upcycle, is a maker festival where families can create, see and learn about the art of “upcycling,” creatively reusing materials otherwise headed for the garbage.

Over the course of the day, visitors will be able to sew bags and quilts from old pieces of clothing, weave small rugs from old T-shirts, use broken plates and tiles to create a colorful mosaic trash can, turn use bicycle inner tubes into jewelry, and experience the magic of fire and metal to fold-form 3-D objects. In many cases, participating families will be able to engage in these activities with the help of local artists, too, taking direction from creative minds who work with upcycled materials every day.

Read the full story:  Upcycle: Kids Learn How to Turn Trash into Art in Richmond, SF Chronicle 96 Hours · April 9, 2014

Art in the Community at Eight Locations This Spring

“We learned how to use metal the right way, how to form it, but in a safe way.”

That’s how a middle school student described what he learned in the Metal Arts class at our newest site, DeJean Middle School. Our traveling Art in the Community program continues to expand and we are now at eight unique sites.

This spring, we are set to bring a variety of art-making programs all across Richmond. Instructor Rachel Schaffran will teach two STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) classes at Lincoln Elementary and Helms Middle School.

Students at DeJean Middle School will paint a mural with artists Suzanne Czerny and Nichole Talbott and at Portola Middle School, teens will screen- print with teaching artist Monica Gyulai. Students at Grant Elementary will be making beautiful metal objects with Holly Carter.

At Nevin Community Center, students will learn ceramics from Kiki Rostad, and at Shields-Reid Community Center, they will create mosaic embellishments with instructor Daud Abdullah. At the Richmond Main Public Library kids will listen to works of children’s literature and make art with Irma Vega Bijou.

Constructing a city with recyclable materials at the Richmond Public Library main branch.

Constructing a city with recyclable materials at the Richmond Public Library main branch.

This amazing season will conclude with Jessica Regalado leading families through several art-making experiences at two Youth Enrichment Strategies (YES) camps.

If you are interested in bringing our Art in the Community programs to your group or school?

Learn more here or contact Rebeca García-González at or call 510.620.6772.

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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.

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