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Three Artists in the Studio

Every year Richmond Art Center awards three artists with a Spotlight Award to have their work featured in our galleries. These artists in 2020 are Laura Kamian McDermott, Steven Morales and Leslie Plato Smith. While the exhibition of their work is currently on hold due to COVID-19, presented here are three videos that offer an opportunity to meet our Spotlight Artists virtually, see them at work in their studios during shelter-in-place and learn a little about their creative processes.

Jagged Skylines of Car Keys

Laura Kamian McDermott is a textile artist who uses labor-intensive techniques to make work that insists on the value of creative labor in an era that shows little respect for such a pursuit. Inherent in her work is the belief in the power of the handmade to address social ills, support mental and community health, and bring out some of humanity’s more positive traits. Through her woven, knitted, and embroidered techniques – meticulously studied and executed – she produces high-quality textiles. McDermott studied Painting at Reed College and Textiles at San Francisco State University. She was born in Oakland and currently resides in Richmond. www.lrkmcd.com instagram.com/laurakamianmcdermott

Separation 2020

Separation 2020 is the title of the work Steven Morales has been developing since shelter-in-place started. Morales’ says of this time of quarantine, “What permanent changes will evolve from this long, temporary period of separation is what we will be experiencing for years to come. Will this year mark the beginning of a new and profound way of living or will we go back to the way things were before?” Richmond-based Morales is a practicing architect whose creative interests also include photography and collage. Many of his collage works incorporate construction materials such as joint compound, wood and sheetrock along with paper and occasionally house paint. www.studiosmdesign.com

Black, White and Pink

Educated at UC Santa Barbara, Tulane, and UC Berkeley, Leslie Plato Smith spent much of her career as Associate Vice-Chancellor of Governmental Relations for City College of San Francisco. Highlights from her career include receiving a national award for bringing together 60 different art departments to create 125 life size statues to visually show how budget cuts negatively impact students and to fight for public education, and exhibiting at the European Cultural Centre’s Venice Biennale exhibition. Plato Smith’s grandfather was born on the Choctaw Reservation and her orphaned grandmother was born to immigrant parents from Denmark and Sweden. Migration, immigration and resettlement are key themes that resonate through Oakland-based Plato Smith’s creative practice and professional work. leslieplatosmith.com

 

ABOUT THE ONLINE PROJECT SPACE

RAC’s new initiative – the Online Project Space – was created in response to the multitude of ideas and new forms of creative expression we see artists tackling as they shelter-in-place due to COVID-19. The Online Project Space will highlight new artist projects that represent how artists are adapting, responding and imagining during this period of self-isolation.

Over and Under (wish you could be here)

AN EXHIBITION INTERUPTED

“This exhibition is informed by the interchange of ideas and material, the crisscrossing of bodies and objects, and the weaving of histories and personal narratives. Over 200 artists submitted artwork for consideration; 16 were ultimately selected whose work resonated with these ideas. Much like warp and weft threads interlace to form a visible pattern through the weaving process, each work hints at deeper implications sitting just beneath the surface.” – Kevin B. Chen, Juror

In mid-March 2020, staff at Richmond Art Center had just hung the last artwork for the exhibition Over and Under when COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders caused the abrupt closure of the galleries. Tools were quickly put away, lights adjusted and everyone went home. For the past eight weeks this exhibition has had an unperceived existence. Given the evolving schedule for hosting visitors to Richmond Art Center, we have decided to present Over and Under as an online project. We dearly hope audiences will eventually encounter the remarkable artwork in Over and Under in person. However, until then this web space serves to turn an exhibition, that for two months has existed only as a thought experiment, into a known quantity.

SLIDESHOW

GALLERY

ARTISTS AND ARTWORKS

Pilar Agüero-EsparzaRic Ambrose, Tamera Avery, Megan Broughton, Tyrell Collins, Roya Ebtehaj, Sheila Ghidini, Annette Goodfriend, Xandra Ibarra, Lisa Jetonne, Henrik Kam, Maureen Langenbach, Ifra Mahmood, Katie McCann, Sarah Player Morrison, Susan Zimmerman

Click here to view the artwork list

ABOUT THE ONLINE PROJECT SPACE

RAC’s new initiative – the Online Project Space – has been created in response to the multitude of ideas and new forms of creative expression we see artists tackling as they shelter-in-place due to the COVID-19 crisis. The Online Project Space will highlight new artist projects that represent how artists are adapting, responding and imagining during this period of self-isolation.

Under Shelter: Jos Sances

UNDER SHELTER: JOS SANCES

“Nothing could be worse than a return to normality.” Arundhati Roy, The Pandemic is a Portal, April 3, 2020

Jos Sances’ recent work created during shelter-in-place shows the intersection of the COVID-19 outbreak with his ongoing investigation into the environmental crisis. Presented here in RAC’s online project space is a video based on three new scratchboard drawings. The work explores the coronavirus pandemic as a new type of American crisis illustrated through the clash of values that have preceded these maybe not-so-unprecedented times.

VIDEO

Chinese Hoax, 2020, Video, 6 mins 35 secs

IMAGE GALLERY

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Jos Sances is a Berkeley-based printmaker, muralist and community collaborator. He creates narrative-based works that address his political concerns, reflect on the natural world, and examine the human condition. Sances attended Montserrat School of Visual Art in Beverly, Massachusetts before moving to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1976. He founded Alliance Graphics, a successful, union screenprint shop in 1989, and co-founded Mission Grafica at the Mission Cultural Center in 1980. In 2010 and 2016 the Library of Congress acquired 490 prints from Sances which represented a broad overview of his printmaking. Sances has painted eleven murals at the Oakland Coliseum, completed a screen printed tile mural at the Sixteenth Street BART station in San Francisco, and recently a 1600 sq.ft. tile mural at the Shadelands Sports Complex in Walnut Creek. He has had solo exhibitions at the Alternative Museum, New York City; the D. King Gallery, Berkeley; and the Fetterly Gallery at the Vallejo Art Center. Sances is proudly a founding and lifelong member of the Great Tortilla Conspiracy. His life-size scratchboard drawing of a sperm whale was featured in RAC’s exhibition Here is the Sea in 2019. Sances is represented by Vessel Gallery.

Website: www.josart.net

Some Recent Press: East Bay Express, Jos Sances’ Great White Whale

ABOUT THE ONLINE PROJECT SPACE

RAC’s new initiative – the Online Project Space – has been created in response to the multitude of ideas and new forms of creative expression we see artists tackling as they shelter-in-place due to the COVID-19 crisis. The Online Project Space will highlight new artist projects that represent how artists are adapting, responding and imagining during this period of self-isolation.

The Future is Fluid

The Future is Fluid

Non-Binary Portraits by Chloe Aftel

The Future is Fluid is an exhibition of Richmond-based photographer Chloe Aftel’s ongoing series of genderqueer portraits. Since 2012, Aftel has been taking portraits of transgender people, each set in a meaningful place, to give visibility to the non-binary community, while also creating space for audiences to reflect on their own gender identity and evolving sense of individuality. Aftel says, “I began this series of work because I believe we are not binary and that we need to understand ourselves as more nuanced individuals whose humanity does not fit neatly into one box or another.”

The Future is Fluid will ask the question: How does the bodily art of ‘becoming’ affect everyone? Through diverse and multi-generational portraits of non-binary people taken in private and public spaces across America, the exhibition honors expansive and intersectional forms of gender identity.

About the Artist: With a strong focus on narrative photography and an MFA from the University of Southern California in film production, Chloe Aftel specializes in still and motion storytelling. She has shown her work in the Month of Photography Los Angeles, Annenberg Space for Photography, and Big L.A. Portrait Gallery in Grand Park. Awards she has received include Critical Mass 2016, Lens Culture Portrait Award, PDN’s 30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch, and Fuji Student Photographer of the Year. Aftel’s work is in the collections of the Oakland Museum of California and Detroit Institute of Arts.

Image: Chloe Aftel, Rain, 2013

Right Here, Right Now, Richmond

Exhibition Dates: December 17, 2019 – March 6, 2020
Reception: Saturday, January 25, 2-5pm More info…
Artist Talk: Saturday, February 29, 3-5pm More info…

Right Here, Right Now, Richmond looks at the excellent and risk-taking new work being made in our city. Works in the exhibition include painting, fiber art, sculpture, mixed media, photography and digital art; and together represent the breadth and depth of creative practices and ideas Richmond artists are exploring.

The exhibition will be on view in the Richmond Art Center’s Community Gallery from December 7, 2019 through to March 6, 2020. An exhibition reception will be held on Saturday, January 25, 2-5pm.

Participating Artists: Amber Avalos, Jenny Balisle, Gay Boynton, Clive Brown, Christy Chan, Martha Chong, Tiffany Conway, Camilo DeCalisto Price, Adrian Delgado, Waldo Esteva, Frederick Franklin, Rebeca Garcia-Gonzalez, Colleen Haraden-Gorski, Em Kettner, Jacinto Mingura, Steven Morales, Richard Muro Salazar, Rich Quade, Marva Reed, Roz Ritter, Tahirah Robinson, Julio Rodriguez, Victoria Sawicki, Karen Seneferu, Malik Seneferu, Laurel Shear, Gladys Vasquez, Irene Wibawa, David Zarovny

This exhibition is presented in partnership with NIAD Art Center (551 23rd Street, Richmond). NIAD will present additional work by artists Laurel Shear and Irene Wibawa from Right Here, Right Now from December 7, 2019 through to January 23, 2020. NIAD’s reception will be on Saturday, December 14, 1-4pm.

 

Image: Julio Rodriguez, Seventeenth 1 (detail), 2019, Courtesy of the Artist

Art of the African Diaspora

ART OF THE AFRICAN DIASPORA

EVENT CALENDAR

EXHIBITION at the Richmond Art Center
January 14 – March 13, 2020

OPEN STUDIOS at venues throughout the Bay Area (details published in the Art of the African Diaspora Guide 2020)
Weekend 1: Saturday, February 29 and Sunday, March 1
Weekend 2: Saturday, March 7 and Sunday, March 8
Weekend 3: Saturday, March 14 and Sunday, March 15

SATELLITE EXHIBITIONS at venues throughout the Bay Area (details published in the Art of the African Diaspora Guide 2020)
Throughout January, February and March

SPECIAL EVENTS at the Richmond Art Center
Achievement Awardees’ Talk: Saturday, January 25, 12:30-2pm More info…
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 25, 2-5pm More info…
Revelation & Rebirth – The History & Practice of Collecting African-American Art: Saturday, February 8, 12:30-2pm More info and RSVP…
Closing Party: Friday, March 13, 3-5pm More info…

ABOUT ART OF THE AFRICAN DIASPORA

Art of the African Diaspora is the longest running event of its kind in the Bay Area. This year it brings together over 150 artists of African descent, showcasing their work at the Richmond Art Center, as well as in open studios and satellite exhibitions at thirty different venues across ten Bay Area cities.

This exhibition was founded as The Art of Living Black in 1997 by artists Jan Hart-Schuyers and Rae Louise Hayward after their realization that Black artists were not being represented by galleries in any significant way. 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. Tragically Hart-Schuyers passed away in 1998 and Hayward died in 2008.

This year the Steering Committee of artists that continues to produce the event announced its new name: Art of the African Diaspora. The Steering Committee remain dedicated to the vision of Hart-Schuyers and Hayward, but feel the time has come for the event to have a name that will allow it the autonomy to grow and reflect a new era.

2020 Artistic Achievement Awardees: KaliMa Amilak, Zoë Boston, and Abi Mustapha More info… 

2021 Artistic Achievement Awardees: Tiffany Conway, Val Kai, and Fan Lee Warren

Participating Artists (organized by first name): a. d. floyd, Abi Mustapha, Ajuan Mance, AkeemRaheem, Akili Simba, Alix J Malgorie, Andrea McCoy Harvey, Angela Douglas, Anna W. Edwards, AnttonioDesigns aka TheCounselor&Creator, Arthur Norcome, Ashlei Reign, Atiba Sylvia Thomas, Bertrell Smith, Bill A. Dallas, BJ VanBuren, Brianna Mills, Candi Farlice, Carla Golder, Cedric Brown, Celise, Chanell Stone, Charles Blackwell, Chuck Harlins, Claude Lockhart Clark, Damon Powell – Artist & Theologian, Dana King, Dawn Rudd, Derrick Bell, Diamela Cutino, Doitshā, Donna Gatson, Donna Meke’da Bradley, Double R, Douglas Doss, Dulama LeGrande, Elishes Cavness III, Elmarise Owens, Ester M. Armstrong, Evelyn Hicks, Fan Warren, Floyd Brown, Gary Collins, Gene Dominique, Genesse McGaugh, Grandma’s Hands, Gwendolyn Reed, H Lenn Keller, Halisi Noel-Johnson, Horace Washington, Idris Hassan, Irene Bee Kain, J.B. Broussard, Jabali Sawicki, Jae Me Bereal, James Knox, James Moore, Jasmine Young, Jazmyne Woffard-Jones, Jennifer A Lockette, Jennifer Inez Ward, Jessica Keener, Jim Dennis, Jimi Evins, Joseph Robinson, JPosh Aubry (Janina), Julee Richardson, Justice Renaissance, KaliMa Amilak, Karen Smith, Karin Turner – karinsArt, Karla Higgins, Kaya Fortune, Kelvin Curry, Kimberly V. Johnson, Kumi Rauf, Kwadwo Otempong, Latisha Baker, Lawrence Buford, Leon Kennedy, Lois Williams, Lorraine Bonner, Lottye Clayton, Louise Terry Eubanks, Maalak, Malik Seneferu, Marguerite Browne, Marif, Mark Sublett, Marsha Carter, Marva Reed, Melanin Buford, Mianta McKnight, Michael Johnson, Michelle Tompkins, Mildred Thompson, Mitchell Howard, Mychal, Nannette Y. Harris-Jones, Naomi Floyd, Nedra T. Williams, Olaitan Valerie, Orin Carpenter, Orlonda Uffre, Osaze Seneferu, Ozell Hudson Jr, Pam Jackson, Pat Patterson, Patricia Daigre McGee, Paula Vaughan, Pete Dent, Rais, Randolph Belle, Randy Babb, Raven Harper, Raymond L. Haywood, Renata Gray, Ron Calime, Ron Moultrie Saunders, Ronnie Sampson, Sean Papillion, Shanju, Shonna McDaniels, Stephanie Thames, Stephen Bruce, Steve Hurst, Susan McGuire, TheArthur Wright (SiGiDiArt), Thomas Robert Simpson, Thomas Tandy, Tiffany Conway (Project Get Free), Tomye, Toshia Christal, Travis “Trav Lyrics” Keeton, Val Kai, Valerie Brown-Troutt, Vaughn Filmore, Virginia Jourdan, Wanda Sabir, Will Johnson, WilParish, Xan Blood Walker, Yasmin Sayyed, Yolanda Holley, Yolanda ThaSun Patton, Zoë Boston, Zwanda Cook

Art of the African Diaspora is made possible with generous support from the Richmond Arts and Culture Commission’s Neighborhood Public Art (NPA) Mini-Grant Program; and California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

                      

Are you an artist participating in Art of the African Diaspora? Click here for information and important dates

Image: KaliMa Amilak, Regal Attendance, 2019. Courtesy of the Artist

Rich Reality

Rich Reality

Posters by Rich City Youth

This exhibition features work by young artists who participated in a five-week free printmaking class at the Richmond Art Center this summer. The class was run by youth, for youth, and with youth.

Our course introduced students to silkscreen/printmaking with a social justice emphasis. Students were introduced to the basic materials and techniques of silkscreen printing, while also being guided in choosing a theme that is related to community, culture, social justice, and/or a societal issue. Class participants learned to think critically about the world they live in, and actively work towards changing it through silkscreen printmaking. The overall goal of the class was to help inspire future generations of Richmond artists to be socially aware of who they are, and become positive contributors and advocates for their community. We emphasized peer-to-peer learning, so the artists will have the capacity to pass along the skills they obtained through the course.

– Eddy Chacón, Marvin Parra, Francisco Rojas and Daniel Cervantes, Class Facilitators

Image: Victor Grigg, Problem Child, 2019

Ready and Waiting

Ready and Waiting
Selections by Marvella Muro, Director of Artistic Programs & Education, Self Help Graphics and Art

Ready and Waiting features Californian graphic art and illustration exploring shared issues relevant to local and global communities.

“The title of this exhibition is borrowed from a print in the show; a timely title describing an era where paralyzing powerlessness hovers over the nation.” – Marvella Muro

Artists: Vivien Arnold, Batul Bahrainwala and Gurleen Gill, Joel Berroteran, Carol Brent Levin, Jason Emanuel Britton, Donna Brown, Pat Calabro, Alicia Cardell, Hélène Paulette Côté, Miriam Fabbri, Barbara Foster, Robbin Henderson, Marilyn Hill, Juan Carlos Rodriguez Rivera and Esmeralda Velazco, James Kleckner, Gwen Manfrin, Ian McClerin, Loren Rehbock, Francisco Rojas, Tim Belonax and Jane Chen, Kim Vanderheiden, Karen Weil, Julia Wolinsky, TheArthur Wright

Juror’s Statement pdf

Image: Joel Berroteran, Temporary Fix, 2019, 3D digital art. Courtesy of the Artist

 

Pause, Gap, Omission

Pause, Gap, Omission: New work by Stephen Namara

Moving freely between still life, landscape and abstract drawing, Stephen Namara intuitively recognizes that abstraction and representation are not distinct categories. Pause, Gap, Omission juxtaposes Namara’s recent drawings in figurative and abstract styles, while also including pieces that encompass both sensibilities within one frame.

Working with pencil and dry powder pigments, Namara starts his works on the ground, kneeling over them to sketch and rub pigments into the fabric of the paper. This technique leaves vital traces of the world (studio dust, knee prints, smudges) that accentuate the works as physical objects. At the same time, the quality of layering the translucent pigments and the focus on fundamental elements (line, form, color) represent Namara’s exploration of non-material ideas such as vibration, energy and movement.

Pause, Gap, Omission explores the interplay between representation and abstraction, and the physical and the intangible, to show connections between these defined and unfolding spaces. As Namara explains, “I am trying to set up a dialogue between what is known and understandable, and what is not understood and incomprehensible.”

Pause, Gap, Omission is guest curated by Marguerite T. Browne.

Image: Stephen Namara, Untitled (peaches), 2019. Courtesy of the Artist

Thresholds

Thresholds: Nicole Mueller

Exhibition Dates: September 10 – November 22, 2019
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 7, 5-7pm
Artist Talk: Saturday, October 26, 2pm More info…

Through this exhibition called Thresholds, that includes a new body of paintings and site-specific installation, Nicole Mueller transforms the gallery into a shifting environment that addresses the transitional and intangible nature of spaces. Using cut layers of colored films, collage, and paint, Thresholds activates the natural light and windows of the Richmond Art Center’s West Gallery, combining the effects of stained glass with contemporary abstract painting.

About the Artist: Nicole Mueller uses painting to navigate spaces in flux and carve pathways through liminal states, in her large scale collages, murals, and installations fusing color and light. She earned her BFA in painting and illustration at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD. She has been an artist-in-residence at the Vermont Studio Center, Proyecto ‘ACE (Argentina), and Creative Paradox (Maryland). Her work has been exhibited in California, New York, and Maryland. She received early recognition from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts and Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation. After relocating to San Francisco in 2017, she became the recipient of the Mark M. Glickman and Lanette M. McClure Artist Award for emerging artists creating innovative work in California. She co-hosts a podcast that interviews artists about their professional practices called Beyond the Studio, which received an Alternative Exposure grant in 2017 from Southern Exposure.

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