Richmond Art Center Richmond Art Center

This Land Is Me

This exhibition highlights the work of three artists – Saif Senussi Azzuz, Kim Champion, and Emily Van Engel – who use abstraction to express ideas related to land care. Employing approaches that range from personal to cultural to imagined, selected works here show how abstraction can be a powerful tool for exploring how we can situate ourselves within the land; a vital first step towards restoring and protecting it.


Saif Senussi Azzuz

Saif Senussi Azzuz is a Libyan-Yurok artist whose paintings explore the interconnected and dynamic practices of Indigenous land management. Created using acrylic, dye and enamel on canvas, his bold large-scale works use an abstracted visual language to show care of ancestral lands as a process that is characterized by constant change and activity (a stark contrast to the idea of an unchanging ‘pristine wilderness’). The titles for his pieces are conversational and often include Yurok language, further highlighting traditional and contemporary culture side-by-side, and asserting Yurok people’s deep, ongoing commitment to land stewardship.

Kim Champion

Bay Area artist Kim Champion’s series My Father’s Garden is a visual tribute to the connection she shares with her father and the importance of her family’s land. Drawing the flora she remembers from her father’s extensive Mississippi garden, Champion uses abstraction to blend different plants into one organic form. The connection between different elements in these beautiful drawings become a metaphor for a family’s bond with each other and with their land. In a similar way, Champion’s Quiet drawings are meditations on nature that use line and shape to nurture a deeper connection with the landscape.

Emily Van Engel

In her new series of paintings, Emily Van Engel searches for a future without crisis through assigning positive meaning to colors – lavender is peaceful and represents health, mauve is collaborative and represents democracy, and so on. While her past representational landscape work has literally exposed environmental exploitation through the use of the medium of pollution, in this new work Van Engel is more compassionate and visionary. The colors are uplifting and the fluid forms, including a repeated web pattern, represent the weaving together of disparate elements to create a structure that Van Engel describes as “what it feels like to support each other to create a society and environment in balance.”

Click here for a grounding activity created by Emily Van Engel

Read Emily Van Engel’s Artist Statement


Saif Senussi Azzuz: Artist’s Bio, @like_a_safe

Kim Champion:,

Emily Van Engel:, @emilyvanengel



This Land Is Me is presented as part of the national series Extraction: Art on the Edge of the Abyss.






#RichmondSpeaks: Mural Art As Resistance


Mural Art As Resistance

Online Artists’ Talk: Thursday, August 5, 7-8pm PST CLICK HERE TO RSVP or join using this link:

Online Exhibition: July 5 – August 6, 2021

Join us online on Thursday, August 5 at 7pm as photographer Robin D. López (Shots from Richmond) will speak with three artists about their recent mural projects in Richmond: Deontá Allen, Rebeca Garcia-González, and David Solnit.

Presented here in conjunction with the talk are photos and video by Lopez documenting the artists’ work.

(You will receive an email 30 minutes before the event starts with a link.)


Deontá Allen is a Richmond-based artist who paints on canvas and apparel, and creates large-scale public murals. He is self-taught and his abstract style incorporates a signature color palette with iconic imagery from popular culture. In June of 2020, Allen in collaboration with Richmond Revolution and the community painted “Black Lives Matter” in large yellow letters on the street in downtown Richmond. Allen works for the East Bay Regional Park District and as part of the organization’s Diversity Committee which organized a successful petition calling for EBRPD to commemorate Juneteenth., @dallenart

Rebeca Garcia-González is a Richmond painter who grew up in a suburb of San Juan, Puerto Rico. After earning a BFA at the University of Puerto Rico with a focus on printmaking, she came to San Francisco in 1985 to pursue a graduate degree at the San Francisco Art Institute, but studied graphic design and education instead. Working within the public school system helped me develop an awareness of various US social movements, among them, immigrant rights, marriage equality, and racial justice. In 2016, after working as program manager in a couple of non-profits she became a full-time working artist and since then has been involved in public art., @rebecathepainter

Robin D. López is a Richmond freelance photographer, who aims to produce visuals that represent the voices and cultures of our communities. Other work also specializes in nature/wildlife and urban ecology. López has been actively engaged in the Richmond/San Pablo community throughout the past decade, having been a lifelong resident dedicated towards empowering and inspiring the next generation of change agents. López is currently working on his doctoral degree at the University of California, Berkeley in Environmental Science, Policy, & Management, and has been a researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab since 2012., @shotsfromrichmond

David Solnit is an East Bay Area artist and arts organizer who uses the arts to help win positive change and to protect our people and planet. He collaborates with communities and movements using: giant puppetry, street-pavement murals, guerrilla projections, 300 foot banners, theater pageants, occupying a McDonalds roof to support striking workers, and painting a giant modified-with-skull Chevron logo directly in front of Chevron’s refinery gate. He collaborates with fast food workers, Indigenous water protectors, public school teachers unions, health care workers, climate justice groups, and farmworkers. Art Builds for Climate Justice and a Better World (Facebook Group)


Video by Shots from Richmond. Music by Mark Anthony Nawman and Shots from Richmond.


This series of four online monthly zoom talks highlights the work of Richmond artists and their peers. Recognizing that the Covid-19 pandemic has severely limited opportunities for artists to present their work, RAC LIVE utilizes virtual platforms to show how artists are showing up, naming this moment and moving forward. 


This Artists’ Talk and Online Exhibition are part of RAC LIVE, a project supported by a 2021 Neighborhood Public Art Mini-Grant from the Richmond Arts and Culture Commission.

California Girls 2

In 1971, I organized an exhibition called California Girls at Richmond Art Center in Richmond, California. At the time I was curator there, but shortly after the opening of that show on February 11, I was forced to resign.

This year is the 50th anniversary of California Girls and I am organizing California Girls 2. Because of the coronavirus pandemic it is an online exhibition. The original title was suggested by Janet Webb, an LA artist in the exhibition. It is based on the song by the Beach Boys from the 1960s. The original exhibition included women from Los Angeles and San Francisco. California Girls 2 includes women only from the Bay Area.

There are a dozen women in this show. Two sculptors, three photographers, and seven painters. They are all older than 50. The original California Girls were all under 50, mostly in their twenties and did not include any photographers. In 1971 photography was not recognized as art as much as it is today and was not exhibited in the same exhibitions as painting and sculpture.

The women in this show are important artists.

              – Tom Marioni

CLICK HERE to read a new interview with Tom Marioni by Shaelyn Hanes.


End in Sight


End in Sight

Three Artists’ Bittersweet Journey Through a Pandemic

Online Artists’ Talk: Thursday, June 24, 7-8pm PST CLICK HERE TO RSVP

Online Exhibition: June 2 – July 8, 2021

Three artists – Elishes Cavness, Tiffany Conway and Marva – will discuss their journey through the Covid-19 pandemic in a special online artists talk on Thursday, June 24, 7pm to 8pm. These three Richmond artists have studios very close to each other, and over the past eighteen months have developed a special bond. As Cavness says, “We are a unique three. We’ve supported each other. We’ve been in contact. We created a community of three.”

Presented here in conjunction with the artists’ talk is an online exhibition that represents the artists’ journey through the pandemic from beginning to middle to end in sight. Cavness, Conway and Marva will use the lens of this artwork to discuss their experiences as both creatives and caregivers during the artists’ talk.

(You will receive an email 30 minutes before the event starts with a link.)



Elishes Cavness: Elishes became emersed in the craft of telling stories and exploring African heritage through art. Through this exploration, he searches for his ancestors’ origins while highlighting the adornments of each tribe he reflects in his paintings.  This lead to his first solo exhibition, Adornment, at Contra Costa College Gallery.  Elishes has had several shows and now curates the Bridge Gallery, where he emphasizes that all voices and points of view are essential to the advancement of art, not just the mainstream.

Tiffany Conway: Raised in the Bay Area, Tiffany Conway grew her creativity from life experiences. The textures found in Conway’s pieces represent the skin and the scars of life coupling color as language. Even though her work displays the beauty of others, what lies behind that initial layer are parts of her personal story of evolution. Her mission is to heal women through her paintings by displaying them as seen, heard, soft and resilient. In 2020 Conway won an Artistic Achievement Award for her work in Art of the African Diaspora. She had her first solo exhibitions at Bridge ArtSpace and Shoh Gallery in 2021.,

Marva: Marva is a ceramic artist who creates figurative sculptures based on African history and culture. She says of her work, “With African features there are so many ways to show them. They are so expressive and those of African descent I hope can relate to the clay sculptures by seeing themselves or others in them. The hair is always combed in ways to show the texture of it, the lips and nose are full and very sensual. The skin coloring rich with the colors of the earth.” Marva also works as a curator, and recently has organized exhibitions at CoBiz Richmond, Bridge ArtSpace. She is on the steering committee that organizes the annual event Art of the African Diaspora.


This series of four online monthly zoom talks highlights the work of Richmond artists and their peers. Recognizing that the Covid-19 pandemic has severely limited opportunities for artists to present their work, RAC LIVE utilizes virtual platforms to show how artists are showing up, naming this moment and moving forward. 


This Artists’ Talk and Online Exhibition are part of RAC LIVE, a project supported by a 2021 Neighborhood Public Art Mini-Grant from the Richmond Arts and Culture Commission.

Top image: Tiffany Conway, Zany Zoom, 2021



Flora, Family Ghosts + Resilient Correspondence


Flora, Family Ghosts + Resilient Correspondence

Three artists discuss the threads and themes of their work

Online Artists’ Talk: Thursday, June 10, 7-8pm PST CLICK HERE TO RSVP

Online Exhibition: Monday, May 10 – Friday, June 11, 2021

Join us for a special event on Thursday, June 10, 7pm to 8pm bringing together three artists – Shari Arai DeBoer, Manon Wada, Irene Wibawa – to discuss intersecting themes within their creative practice. While working in different media, scale and modes for investigation, the artists’ work is interconnected through their consideration of family stories, nature and resilience during these challenging times.

DeBoer, Wada and Wibawa met as members of Asian American Women Artists Association (AAWAA). Irene Wibawa and Shari Arai DeBoer live in the East Bay, while Manon Wada resides in New York. This Artists’ Talk represents an opportunity for communion through an exchange of ideas and reflection on past and current works after a year of social distancing.

Note: Due to an unexpected occurrence this Artists’ Talk is now happening on Thursday, June 10, 7-8pm (it was previously scheduled for 5/27)

(You will receive an email 30 minutes before the event starts with a link.)

Presented here in conjunction with the Artists’ Talk is an online exhibition of recent and past works by the artists.



Shari Arai DeBoer is a visual artist. Born and raised in the East Bay she now lives in El Sobrante, on Chochenyo Ohlone lands. In her work she examines wonders of the natural world, the minutiae of everyday life and stories inspired by her Japanese American family history.

Manon Wada is an artist and poet currently based in Brooklyn/Canarsie Munsee Lenape territory and lived in San Francisco/Muwekma Ohlone Ramaytush territory for many years. Her art practice primarily takes form as sculptural installations and collaboratively in socially engaged projects.,,

Irene Wibawa is a multidisciplinary artist in visual and performance art, and a plant and insect enthusiast. She is ethnic Chinese, born in Indonesia, has lived in the US since 1983, and currently resides in Richmond on Chochenyo Ohlone territory, with her cat Pebbles.


This series of four online monthly zoom talks highlights the work of Richmond artists and their peers. Recognizing that the Covid-19 pandemic has severely limited opportunities for artists to present their work, RAC LIVE utilizes virtual platforms to show how artists are showing up, naming this moment and moving forward. 


This Artists’ Talk and Online Exhibition are part of RAC LIVE, a project supported by a 2021 Neighborhood Public Art Mini-Grant from the Richmond Arts and Culture Commission.

Top image details (l-r): Irene Wibawa, Excavation 18, Reprinted images, fern, found wooden box, light; Shari Arai DeBoer, Camera at Manzanar, Watercolor; Manon Wada, inSITE, Carved earth, found candles





55th Annual WCCUSD Student Art Show

Every spring Richmond Art Center partners with the West Contra Costa Unified School District to present the annual WCCUSD Student Art Show. For the first time in 2021, due to the covid pandemic, this show is presented as an online exhibition. The 55th Annual WCCUSD Student Art Show show represents the wealth of student artistic talent in the district. It also demonstrates how over the past year teachers and students have moved forward creatively within the boundaries of an online art classroom; finding ways for innovative arts curriculum and artistic expression.

Participating Schools: De Anza High School, Fred T. Korematsu Middle School, Hercules High School, John F. Kennedy High School, Pinole Valley High School, Richmond High School



Top Image: Michelle Zhao, Grade 10, By the Light of the Window, 2021, Oil pastel. Hercules High School, Teacher: Schrampf

West Contra Costa Unified School District generously sponsors this annual student exhibition.


Art of the African Diaspora 2021

Home  |  Online Exhibition  |  Reception & Events  |  Satellite Exhibits  |  Workshops

Welcome to Art of the African Diaspora 2021!

Since 1997 Art of the African Diaspora, in partnership with Richmond Art Center, has supported artists of African descent in the Bay Area through representation, professional development, and building a creative community. In 2021 Art of the African Diaspora is a hybrid online/in-person event presented at,, and at venues throughout the Bay Area.*

Online Exhibition

February 11 – May 16, 2021

Over 130 artists are featured in this online exhibition; presenting their work, bios, artist statements and more! Explore the exhibition…

Special Reception and Guest Speaker Events

Reception: Saturday, March 20, 3pm

A special online artist reception and guest speaker series will be presented by the Art of the African Diaspora Steering Committee. See the event schedule and register…

Satellite Exhibitions and Artist Happenings

February – May 2021 *new events added weekly!*

In conjunction with the online exhibition, artists are hosting open studios, artists talks and satellite exhibitions throughout February, March, April and May 2021. These artist-curated events are both virtual and in-person happenings (covid-permitting). Learn what’s happening…

Free Workshop Series

April – May 2021

In the spirit of skill-sharing and building a creative community, this workshop series is taught by artists participating in Art of the African Diaspora and are presented free to the public. Join a workshop…

Stay Connected

Participating Artists

a. d. floyd, Abi Mustapha, Ajuan Mance, Akeem Raheem, Akili Simba, Alfred J. White, Alix J Magloire, Andrea McCoy Harvey, Anna W. Edwards, Antt’Smalls aka AnttonioDesigns, Arthur Norcome, Ashara Ekundayo, Ashlei Reign, Asual Aswad, Atiba Sylvia Thomas, Beautiful Beads by Lan, Bertrell Smith, Bill A. Dallas, Brianna Mills, Carla Oden, Carla Golder, Carrie Lee McClish, Celise, Charles Curtis Blackwell, Chasya Thierry, Christian Vassell, Chuck Harlins, Claude Lockhart Clark, Damon Powell – Artist & Theologian, Darryl Thompson, De’Ana Brownfield, Deatra Colbert, Derrick Bell, Diamela, Doitshā Lexington, Dolores R Gray, Donna Gatson, Donna Meke’da Bradley, Dre’An Cox, Dulama, Elishes Cavness, Elmarise Owens, Escape Artist, Ester M. Armstrong, Fan Lee Warren, Floyd Brown, Freddie Crome Lambright III, Gene Dominique, Genesse McGaugh, Gregory Worsham, Hilda Robinson, iam4muze, Idris Hassan, Irene Bee Kain, J of Coeurs De Papier, J. B. Broussard, JaeMe Bereal, James Gayles, James Knox, Janay Futch, Janet Barnes, Jasmine, Jason Byrd, Jason Powell-Smith, Jennifer Inez Ward, Jessica Keener, Jimi Evins, Jonathan Taylor, Joseph Robinson, Julee Richardson, Julie Atkinson, KaliMa Amilak, Karen Smith – Metal Artist, karin turner – karinsArt, Keisha White, Kelvin Curry, Kimberley Champion, Kimberly Virginia Johnson, L Holley, Latisha Baker, LC, Leon Kennedy, Lorraine Bonner, Maalak, Malik Seneferu, Marguerite, Mark Sublett, MARVA, Mia Mya Dawson, Michelle Tompkins, Naomi Floyd, Olubori Babaoye, Ora Clay, Orin Carpenter, Orlonda Uffre, Osaze Seneferu, Pam Jackson, Patricia Patterson, Patricia Perry, Paula Vaughan, Raven Harper, Raymond L. Haywood, Renata Gray, Rodney Bell, Ron Calime, Shanju, Shantae Robinson, Shante’ Young, Shawna Kinard, Sienna Forde, Stephanie Thames, Stephen Bruce, Steve Hurst, Suzane Beaubrun, TaSin Sabir, The Art of Justice, TheArthur Wright, Thomas Robert Simpson, Tiffany Conway, Timothy B, Tomye, Val Kai, Valerie Brown-Troutt, Vaughn F. Filmore, VirgiNia Jourdan Fine Art, Wanda Sabir, Xan Blood Walker, Yasmin Sayyed, Yolanda Holley, Yolanda Patton ThaSun, Zoë Boston, and Zwanda




Art of the African Diaspora 2021 is generously sponsored by Elizabeth Kellas and George Tomberlin. 

Event partners include: Macy’s Union Square, NIAD Art Center, Rhythmix Cultural Works

Support Art of the African Diaspora: Contact the AOTAD Steering Committee for information about sponsorship opportunities or to learn how your organization can host a satellite exhibition: Stephen Bruce,


About Art of the African Diaspora

Art of the African Diaspora is the longest running event of its kind in the Bay Area. It originated from a salon for African American artists known as Colors of Black that was organized in 1990 by artist and professor Marie Johnson Calloway. In 1997 artists Jan Hart-Schuyers and Rae Louise Hayward founded The Art of Living Black at Richmond Art Center, and many of the artists from Colors of Black participated in the inaugural exhibition. Hart-Schuyers and Hayward developed The Art of Living Black to present the work of emerging and established African American artists, introduce them to new audiences, and build a creative community of artists and art lovers. Over the next twenty-five years Richmond Art Center’s commitment in presenting the exhibition ensured the increased visibility for African American artists in the Bay Area that Hart-Schuyers and Hayward wanted. Tragically Hart-Schuyers passed away in 1998 and Hayward died in 2008. However, their organizing efforts were carried on for many years by their husbands Henri Schuyers and Steven Hopkins, and Steven’s sister Melba Lazenby, who passed away in 2013. Since 2018, the event has been produced by a Steering Committee of artists dedicated to the vision of Hart-Schuyers and Hayward. In 2020 the event changed its name to Art of the African Diaspora to reflect a new era moving forward.

* No in person events will be held at Richmond Art Center. Individual artist events are subject to City and County health orders and compliance with the social distancing requirements.

Images: Artworks by (top) Val Kai; (above left) Fan Lee Warren, and  (above right) Tiffany Conway

For Artist Participation Information CLICK HERE


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