Richmond Art Center
Richmond Art Center

Party Richmond… Thanks and see you next year!

Members, students, teachers, artists, and donors – all enjoyed the second annual Party Richmond celebration of art and art lovers on Saturday, April 13! (See our Facebook album for pictures from the event!)

Each year Richmond Art Center honors three organizations and individuals who have contributed generously to the long-term wellbeing of RAC. This year those three included the Dean and Margaret Lesher Foundation, Betty Ann and Ray Barnett, and Hilda Robinson. We are honored to count these three as friends and supporters of RAC over many years.

After the awards ceremony, the crowd gathered for our live auction featuring art works by Peter Voulkos, Claire Falkenstein, Ed Penniman, Jos Sances, Rudolph Serra, Fred Alvarado, Stephen Bruce, and Randy Strong. In addition, unique opportunities to go salmon fishing on the Feather River, fly over the Bay Area in a private plane, travel to Santa Fe, enjoy a champagne party at RAC, and or take personal painting class, complete with wine and hors d’oeuvres with Ric Ambrose, were auctioned off to the highest bidder.

The evening included entertainment by dancer Maggie Powers, magician David Hirata, and jazz guitarist Hideo Date. Los Moles of El Cerrito provided a broad sampling of their moles, with decadent desserts donated by Maria’s Gourmet Bakery in El Sobrante.

Many thanks to our sponsors Jacobs & Company, LLC, Mechanics Bank, Ellengale Toki and Owen Oakley, Susan and Stephen Chamberlin, Patricia Guthrie, and James Wheeler and Joyce Shon. And many, many thanks to the spectacular John Ziesenhenne, world famous auctioneer.

This year was our most successful auction ever! We raised more money than last year to support our scholarship program for youth and adults. Thanks for all of your help and for participating in this annual event. See you next year!!

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Images clockwise from top left: Jos Sance’s Or, the Whale; Marguerite Browne and Maggie Powers; guests participating in the live auction; and artist Hilda Robinson (center) with Karen Jeffrey Anthony and Denise Jeffrey

Sweet Lynn Motel, graphite on paper

Richard Ambrose
Sweet Lynn Motel
2015
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.

Claire Falkenstein Print

Claire Falkenstein  (1908-1997) graduated from UC Berkeley in 1930, took master classes at Mills where she studied with Alexander Archipenko and met Moholy-Nagy. She taught for UC Berkeley Extension and Mills College and then at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute) where she taught alongside Clifford Still and Richard Diebenkorn.

Producing some of the earliest non-objective abstract American sculptures, Falkenstein used non-traditional materials such as logs, stovepipe wire, and lead bars. She called her works “structures” and applied this term to her paintings and prints as well. The fine print donated by the Falkenstein Foundation is a vibrant juxtaposition of expansive brushstrokes flying across the paper and an aggregation of mark-making alluding to an amassing form.

Silkscreen, 18 x 24, c. 1970

Donor: Claire Falkenstein Foundation
Value: $500

Airplane Ride for Two

Tour the Bay Area from the vantage point of a bird! Or a plane! Enjoy your own, personal pilot and private plane, a 1977 Cessna Cardinal RG for a flight above San Francisco Bay and environs. Two people will meet the pilot at the Hayward Municipal Airport (with FAA controlled tower) and embark upon a one-hour aviation experience, including 30-40 minutes airborne above the Bay. Date to be mutually determined and dependent on weather.

Donor: Danny Aarons
Value: $300

Fall Steelhead Fishing on the Feather River for Two

The Feather River is a beautiful river full of birds, otters, and beavers. Salmon can also be observed in their mating runs. Join a seasoned fly fisherman for a day trip of fishing. Fly rods or spinning equipment with beads and flies, and indicators will be provided for two.

October and November are best months. Lunch included. Two hours away from Richmond Art Center to Oroville. 

Donor: Stephen Nomura
Value: $500

Wanxin Zhang: Head of Dragon Warrior

Wanxin Zhang was born and educated in China. He graduated from the prestigious LuXun Academy of Fine Art in Sculpture in 1985. In 1992, after Zhang established his art career as a sculptor in China, he relocated to San Francisco with his family and received his Master in Fine Arts from the Academy of Art University. Zhang had been on the faculty of the Academy of Art University, Department of Art Practice at University of California, Berkeley and California College of The Art in Oakland. Zhang currently is an adjunct faculty at San Francisco Art Institute.

Zhang’s sculptures represent a marriage between historical references and a contemporary cultural context; they carry messages of social and political commentary. His work is deeply influenced by the Bay Area figurative movement and artists such at Peter Voulkos and Stephen De Staebler. As a studio sculptor and educator, Zhang was the first place recipient of the Virginia A. Groot Foundation Grant in 2006 and the Joan Mitchell Grant in 2004. His sculptures have been shown in San Francisco,  Santa Fe, Miami, Seattle, Palm Desert and New York City. In 2007, his pieces were part of the 22nd UBC Sculpture Biennial in Japan; in 2008, his sculpture was selected by the Taipei Ceramics Biennial in Taiwan; and in 2013, he was part of the Da Tong’s 2nd International Sculpture Biennial in China. Zhang had his first solo art museum show at the University of Wyoming Art Museum in 2006, with solo museum exhibitions following at the Arizona State University Art Museum, Boise Art Museum in Idaho, Fresno Art Museum in California, The Alden B. Dow Museum of Science & Art in Michigan, Bellevue Arts Museum in Washington, and Holter Museum of Art in Montana. His works have been selected to be included in Confrontational Ceramics by Judith Schwartz, and can be found in major art magazines such as “Art News,” “Art in America,” “Sculpture,” and “American Ceramics.” Zhang has many public collections, and his private collectors are located both nationally and internationally. In 2012, the San Francisco Chronicle picked Zhang’s exhibition at the Richmond Art Center to be one of the Top 10 Exhibitions in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Wanxin Zhang
Head of Dragon Warrior, 2015, high-fired clay with glaze and decals
9″ x 6″ x 4″

Estimated Value: $1500
Donor: Wanxin Zhang

Face: Peter Voulkos Print

A West Coast potter and sculptor, Peter Voulkos (1924-2002) led in the development of pottery as an art form. With an MFA from California College of Arts and Crafts (1952), he taught at Black Mountain College (1953) where he was exposed to the avant-garde. In 1954, Voulkos moved to Los Angeles to become the chairman of a newly established ceramics department at the Los Angeles County Art Institute (later renamed the Otis Art Institute) and soon assembled a remarkable group of students: Paul Soldner, Jerry Rothman, Kenneth Price, John Mason, Henry Takemoto, and others. While influencing numerous students, and achieving international status, Mr. Voulkos was faculty at the University of California, Berkeley from 1959 to 1985. His work introduced the so-called Abstract Expressionist movement that turned the polite world of American ceramics upside down. Arguably the most influential potter of the 20th century and his work is in over 100 museum collections worldwide.

Executed in 1979, the expressionistic lithographs mimic Voulkos’ approach to manipulating his clay sculptures/vessels like forms that is spontaneous, unpredictable, and action-packed mark-making.

Peter Voulkos
Face, 1979, Lithograph, unframed, Edition 44/200
Size: 36 x 24 inches

Donor: Marna Clark
Value: $800

Head: Peter Voulkos Print

A West Coast potter and sculptor, Peter Voulkos (1924-2002) led in the development of pottery as an art form. With an MFA from California College of Arts and Crafts (1952), he taught at Black Mountain College (1953) where he was exposed to the avant-garde. In 1954, Voulkos moved to Los Angeles to become the chairman of a newly established ceramics department at the Los Angeles County Art Institute (later renamed the Otis Art Institute) and soon assembled a remarkable group of students: Paul Soldner, Jerry Rothman, Kenneth Price, John Mason, Henry Takemoto, and others. While influencing numerous students, and achieving international status, Mr. Voulkos was faculty at the University of California, Berkeley from 1959 to 1985. His work introduced the so-called Abstract Expressionist movement that turned the polite world of American ceramics upside down. Arguably the most influential potter of the 20th century and his work is in over 100 museum collections worldwide.

Executed in 1979, the expressionistic lithographs mimic Voulkos’ approach to manipulating his clay sculptures/vessels like forms that is spontaneous, unpredictable, and action-packed mark-making.

Head, 1979
Lithograph, unframed, Edition 44/200, signed
Size: 36 x 24 inches

Donor: Marna Clark
Value: $800

A Day of Sailing on the Bay

Enjoy a day of sailing on the Bay for four people on Sambolo, a 40 foot Sabre, starting at the Richmond Yacht Club in Point Richmond. The picturesque venture includes a lunch with wine and cheese.

Donated by: Ellengale Toki and Owen Oakley
Value: $500

Santa Fe Getaway, 3 Nights

Casita de los Arroyos is part of a classic Pueblo style adobe compound 23 minutes south of Santa Fe on the Turquoise Trail. It is located on 13 acres of contemplative high desert. A spacious living area includes a sleeping alcove with a comfortable queen sized bed and a queen sized sleeping couch. The kitchen is newly built with a gas stove, refrigerator, and microwave. There is a patio with gas grill. We are an ecofriendly facility, recycling, composting and line drying the towels and sheets. Sleeps four.

The  casita is 20 minutes from the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum  and an hour to Bandolier National Monument, and the Georgia O’Keefe Museum studio and home in Abiqui. Blackout dates around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Contribution of $325 for expenses towards Santa Fe trip is included.

Donated by: Stephen Nomura
Value: $1,000

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Richmond Art Center
2540 Barrett Avenue
Richmond, CA 94804-1600

 

510-620-6772
Gallery Hours: Wed-Sat 10am-4pm

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