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Richmondside: Richmond Open Studios: Art ‘crocheted’ from cassette tape, black-light reactive pieces

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Richmond Open Studios: Art ‘crocheted’ from cassette tape, black-light reactive pieces

Nearly 50 artists participating in Richmond Art Center Open Studios; Preview Exhibition opens July 3.

By Janis Hashe

June 14, 2024, 7:19 a.m.

three-dimensional art of figure with curly hair and green and blue patterned top
“Bewildered Cleo” is by Richmond, CA., artist Sara Sunstein. Credit: Sara Sunstein

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Art viewed with a black-light flashlight and a creative take on crocheting are among works on display starting next week when the Richmond Art Center opens its preview of pieces by artists participating in the Visual Artists of Richmond Open Studios event this summer.

The Open Studios Preview Exhibition, July 3-Aug. 17, showcases work by 42 of the 48 participating Open Studios artists. Visitors can use the preview to decide which studios they’d like to tour during the official event, Aug. 17-18. An opening reception will be held at the Richmond Art Center from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday.

North and East resident Sadiqeh Agah’s gouache and watercolor paintings/mixed media, including pieces depicting food from local restaurants and coffee houses, will be featured at RAC during the preview and at NIAD Gallery during Open Studios.

An image of the artist's work "Raymond's Pizza"
North and East resident Sadiqeh Agah’s gouache and watercolor paintings/mixed media pieces are inspired by food from Richmond restaurants and coffee houses. “Raymond’s Pizza” will be featured at Richmond Art Center during the Open Studios preview and at NIAD Gallery during Open Studios. Courtesy of Sandiqeh Agah

 “We moved here in November 2020, and I’m delighted I’m still getting to know Richmond,” Agah said. “I feel so supported (as an artist) living here. It’s been very motivating.”

Sara Sunstein has worked in clay, collage, papier-mâché, and mixed media for decades. Some of her pieces, including “Bewildered Cleo,” will be on view Saturday Aug. 17 at RAC. The Richmond Annex resident also creates crocheted “tape boxes” from cassette tape. She credits RAC classes as a source of inspiration. 

“I haven’t shown in forever,” she said.

Visual Artists of Richmond Open Studios Preview/Exhibition

WHAT: See works by artists who will open their studios to the public later this summer.

WHEN: Opening reception is 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Richmond Art Center, 2540 Barrett Ave. Preview runs July 3-Aug. 17. Open studio tours are Aug. 17-18.

INFO: A map of Open Studio locations will be posted on the Richmond Art Center website and will be available at the opening reception.

Oil painter/sculptor/mixed-media artist Ozi Magaña moved to East Richmond Heights two-and-a-half years ago and will show one piece at RAC and open his home studio during the tour weekend. “From the Ashes” is one of his “black-light reactive” paintings, and the artist plans to supply a black-light flashlight, allowing viewers to experience it. He’s discovered an underground Richmond arts scene since moving to the city.

“There’s a warmth here…it’s like a mini-Bay Area in its diversity,” he said.

A piece of artwork depicting a human figure from the back against a leafy green shape atop a firely red background.
Credit: Courtesy Ozi Magaña


Janis Hashe, a journalist for 30 years, writes about the arts.

What I cover: I cover performing and fine arts and other community news for Richmondside.

My background: I have been a professional journalist for 30 years and a freelancer since 2020. My work has appeared in Sunset Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, the Atlantic Journal Constitution, The Tennessean, Monocle, and the East Bay Express and East Bay Magazine.


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