Richmond Art Center Richmond Art Center

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.


Chinese Hoax, 2020, Video, 6 mins 35 secs



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.


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


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.

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


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