Richmond Art Center Richmond Art Center

Emmy Lou Packard: Artist of Conscience

Emmy Lou Packard: Artist of Conscience
Exhibition: June 22 – August 20, 2022
Public Programs
Opening Reception: Saturday, June 18, 2pm-4pm
How Emmy Lou Packard Made Her Prints (demonstration): Saturday, July 16, 12pm-2pm
Rebel Art: Emmy Lou Packard’s Legacy (panel discussion): Friday, July 29, 6pm-7:30pm
Film screening of Rivera In America: Thursday, August 11, 6:30pm-8:30pm
Closing Reception with The Great Tortilla Conspiracy: Saturday, August 20, 12pm-2pm
All events are free and open to the public. No RSVP needed.
Gallery Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 10am-4pm
Location: Richmond Art Center, 2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804
Artist of Conscience explores the life and work of Emmy Lou Packard (1914-1998), a remarkable artist known for her paintings, prints and murals, as well as her activism. Packard’s linoleum prints celebrated ordinary people — their work, their history and their environment. Her art was not overtly political, but expressed her progressive values. One of her signature images, Peace is a Human Right, shows three children, Asian, Black and White, seated around a sunflower. The message is framed in human terms — children are not political; they are just children.
Through artworks, photos and ephemera, the exhibition at Richmond Art Center will be organized around key periods of Packard’s life. Packard was mentored by Diego Rivera and became his principal assistant on the mural he painted on Treasure Island for the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1940 (currently on view at SFMOMA). During WWII Packard worked at Kaiser shipyard’s newspaper, Fore ‘n’ Aft, in Richmond. Later in life, Packard mentored a generation of mostly female and Chicana artists in the Bay Area. She also led the movement to save the Mendocino headlands from development.
This exhibition is curated by Robbin Légère Henderson and Rick Tejada-Flores.
Emmy Lou Packard: Artist of Conscience was made possible with support from The Jay DeFeo Foundation. Vital support was also provided by California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Top image: Emmy Lou Packard, Artichoke Picker, circa 1955, 17″ x 22″

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


Contact and Visitor Info
Gallery Hours: Wed-Sat 10am-4pm