Richmond Art Center Richmond Art Center

Taking Care of Yourself / Cuidando de ti mismo

Name five things you do to take care of yourself! This can include anything you do for your mental, physical or spiritual health. For example, running, watching your favorite movies with your family, praying, or dancing.

Nombra cinco cosas que haces para cuidarte.  Esto puede incluir cualquier cosa que hagas por tu salud mental, física o espiritual.  Por ejemplo, correr, ver tu película favorita con tu familia, orar o bailar.


Activity sheet by Vero d. Orozco @verodorozco

Stand In Solidarity With Leonard Peltier

“People can stand on the feet and have their photo taken, or they can sit next to them; it’s up to them. It’s an opportunity to show support, and also to experience a moment of communion.” – Rigo 23

Dear Friends,

We invite you to a special event in Richmond Art Center’s courtyard this Saturday to have your photograph taken with the feet from artist Rigo 23’s statue of Native American activist and political prisoner, Leonard Peltier.

Stand on the feet of the statue in support of Peltier, political prisoners, and all Indigenous peoples facing persecution.

Stand In Solidarity With Leonard Peltier
Saturday, April 24, 1pm-3pm
Richmond Art Center
2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond (enter via Barrett Ave)

Special guests Kathy Peltier, Leonard Peltier’s daughter, and Anne Begay – co-founder of American Indian Movement’s Denver chapter and Kathy’s mother – will be at the event to meet participants. Kathy and Anne will also have some of their handmade jewelry and beaded work available for purchase, as they prepare to go visit Leonard very soon.

Participants will be photographed by artist Río Yañez, and all photographs will become part of the project’s archive. A selection of Yañez’s photographs taken during the event will be exhibited with Rigo’s Leonard Peltier statue at Richmond Art Center later this year.

Hope to see you this Saturday!!

In community,
Richmond Art Center

Important Event Info:

  • Wear a mask and be prepared to practice social distancing
  • No appointments, folks will be photographed in the order they arrive. We apologize in advance if we don’t have time to photograph everyone!!
  • Enter Richmond Art Center via Barrett Avenue, we will direct you to the courtyard via the West Gallery.
  • Please note, the inside spaces of Richmond Art Center’s facility remain closed. No access to the galleries, studios or restrooms is available at this time.

About the Work: Rigo 23’s 12-foot-high likeness of Leonard Peltier, a Native activist incarcerated since 1977, is based on a small hand painted self-portrait that Peltier created in prison. Rigo 23 began work on this statue in 2016 and before it was first installed at American University, Rigo took its feet to sites of Native significance across the U.S., including Alcatraz Island, the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, and the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. He then invited supporters to stand and be photographed on the feet of Peltier in solidarity. Since 2016 the statue of Leonard Peltier has toured all over America (most recently to SFAI) and hundreds of photos of people with its feet have been taken. Later this year Rigo 23’s statue will be exhibited at Richmond Art Center accompanied by a selection of these photos.

About Rigo 23: Rigo 23 has exhibited his work internationally for over 30 years placing murals, paintings, sculptures, and tile work in public situations where viewers are encouraged to examine their relationship to their community, their role as unwitting advocates of public policy, and their place on a planet occupied by many other living things. His projects have included inter-communal collaborations with Native Tribes in North and South America; long-term partnerships with political prisoners; and alliances with underrepresented and disenfranchised individuals and communities. Rigo’s first solo exhibition Time and Time Again: A tribute to Geronimo Ji-Jaga Pratt was presented at Richmond Art Center in 1996.

Top Image: Photo by Marc Chiat

Press Release: 55th Annual WCCUSD Student Art Show

Online Exhibition: April 9 – June 4, 2021

Richmond, CA: Richmond Art Center, in partnership with the West Contra Costa Unified School District, presents the 55th Annual WCCUSD Student Art Show. For the first time, due to the covid pandemic, this show is presented as an online exhibition running April 9 through to June 4, 2021. 

View the exhibition at

The 55th Annual WCCUSD Student Art Show represents the wealth of student artistic talent in the district. It also demonstrates how teachers and students have adapted to, and taken inspiration from, the online classroom.

Steve Mainini, a teacher at John F. Kennedy High School, says of the show, “They say ‘distance makes the heart grow fonder’, but in this case ‘distance has made the Arts grow stronger’, which is apparent in this year’s WCCUSD district art show. I am so impressed by all of the student work and the dedication by our WCCUSD visual art teachers.”

Presenting over 200 works in media ranging from drawing, painting, collage, photography and sculpture, the WCCUSD Student Art Show exemplifies teachers and students moving forward with virtual learning; finding ways for innovative arts curriculum and artistic expression.

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

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

Artistic Merit Award Winners: Yamna Ahmadi (Pinole Valley High School), Monica Jimenez (John F. Kennedy High School), Jonathan (Richmond High School), Nhi (De Anza High School), Jeremy Lara (Pinole Valley High School), Isabella Sesante Aurigui (Fred T. Korematsu Middle School), Jasmine Agapito (Hercules High School), Karyna Kolley (De Anza High School), Aaeh Chao (John F. Kennedy High School), Bertha (Pinole Valley High School), Monte (Pinole Valley High School)

About WCCUSD: West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) was established in 1965. It covers the cities of El Cerrito, Richmond, San Pablo, Pinole, and Hercules and the unincorporated areas of Bayview-Montalvin Manor, East Richmond Heights, El Sobrante, Kensington, North Richmond, and Tara Hills.

About Richmond Art Center: Richmond Art Center has been sharing art and creating with community since 1936. Our programs encompass classes, exhibitions and events at our facility, as well as off-site activities that bring free, high-quality art making experiences to WCCUSD schools, community centers, and Richmond Public Library.

For more information and images contact:
Amy Spencer, Exhibitions Director
Richmond Art Center, 2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804

# # #

“These classes will open up students’ understanding and perspective on what street art is.”

Interview with artist Luis Pinto

Luis Pinto is an interdisciplinary artist who received his Master of Fine Arts degree from California College of the Arts in 2015. His work ranges from digital art to fine art working in mediums such as sound, film, digital media, performance, painting, sculpture, and works on paper. Pinto, who has worked as a freelance graphic designer for the past 14 years, has also been creating murals in the Bay Area since 2012. 

Luis Pinto spoke with Ilene Conde, Richmond Art Center’s Studio Education Manager, on April 2, 2021

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

Can we start by you telling us a little bit about yourself and how you got into street art?

My name is Luis Pinto, I was born in Lima, Peru, and emigrated to the united states when I was 5. I got into street art in my teenage years, 13 to be exact. Before this time I was really into drawing cartoons, comics, and monsters. Street art really helped me develop my understanding of geometry, balance, color, and shape in relation to drawing and creating compositions.

It’s been a big, challenging year. How has COVID impacted your art making?

Since the COVID pandemic, my art practice had moved into creating more digital works (illustrations) and focusing more on my graphic design career. During this time I think I only created 5-6 analog works in the form of painting.

This Spring Session you are teaching a series of Street Art classes for Richmond Art Center. Can you tell us a little bit about these classes and what students can learn in them.

Students taking the Street Art courses 101 and 102 will get a general understanding of how to turn two-dimensional one-line text into more complex letterforms that you may see in sign painting, logos, and other decorative letter styles. They will also gain a basic understanding of color, shape, composition, and form. These courses are for those who’d like to take their understanding of street art to the next level, or just gain some basic letter drawing techniques which you can apply to your art projects. These classes will also open up students’ understanding and perspective on what street art is and how it’s utilized in public art.

One of the classes you are teaching is called The Art of Tagging. A lot of people don’t understand or appreciate tagging. Can you share a little bit to help folks understand it as an art form?

Tagging is the act of writing your name on whatever media through whatever medium. It was a phrase coined by the media based on the original idea of a tag, which was initially someone’s nickname. Tagging has a lot of negative connotations behind it, mostly related to gang violence and the destruction of property. Outside of the criminal element associated with tagging. Tagging itself is a form of calligraphic art, which has been accepted to some degree in the art world. Places that have a deep understanding of calligraphic arts such as Chinese culture and Arabic culture have more appreciation for the styles that have evolved from tagging’s origins. Since its modern inception in the United States during the 1970s tagging has evolved to have very different regional styles, which, up until the mid-2000s were very defined.

Most tagging styles are very similar to cursive writing, in the sense that they are supposed to flow, from one letter to the next. Other tagging styles are more similar to Old English Illuminated letters, where the letters are rigid and do not flow from one letter to the next. A lot of street artists become sign painters or graphic designers because there are a ton of similarities in the art form. Some famous street artists known for their tagging styles in contemporary art are RetnaJose ParlaStephen PowersChaz Bjorquez, and Barry Mcgee.

It can be difficult for most people that don’t have a deep understanding of art to appreciate things such as street art. I compare this kind of thinking to people who can only appreciate realism as opposed to abstract painting.

As you say, it’s all about understanding and perspective. Thank you, Luis!

Follow Luis Pinto on Instagram @luispinto17

Street Art 101
Wednesdays, 4:00pm – 5:30pm PDT
Apr 21, – May 12, 2021
Online Youth Class (Ages 12-24)
More info…

The Art of Tagging
Tuesdays, 4:00pm – 5:30pm PDT
Apr 20 – Apr 27, 2021
Online Youth Class (Ages 12-24)
More info…

Street Art History
Tuesdays, 4:00pm – 5:30pm PDT
May 4, 2021 – May 18, 2021
Adult Lecture Series (Ages 16+)
More info…

Street Art 102
Info coming soon…!

Art of the African Diaspora – 2021 Reception

Over 80 people gathered on Saturday, March 20, 2021, 3-4:30pm, for the online reception celebrating Art of the African Diaspora. 

The event was hosted by artist Patricia Patterson, and featured live artist talks, vintage video interviews, and tributes to the folk – past, present and future – who make Art of the African Diaspora possible.

Classes, classes, we’ve got spring session online art classes | With Love… Issue 16

Sign up to receive this e-newsletter delivered to your inbox HERE.


Spring Session 2021 | AOTAD Special Events | Spotlight On… | Classes Starting Soon | Join Our Board

Spring Session 2021

Registration for Spring Classes NOW OPEN

Browse class listing online and check out new workshops including Mexican Tin Art, Hand-building Functional Forms in Porcelain, and The Art of Tagging.

And don’t forget, we have scholarships too!! Apply now.

Image: Design by Chandna Agarwal, @chandna_agarwal 

Browse class listings…

Art of the African Diaspora Special Events

Art In the Time of Pandemic

Saturday, March 27, 2021, 3pm – 4:30pm

This online conversation will explore how artists have coped during the pandemic. How and where did they show their work? How were they creative? How did the pandemic affect their mental well being? These are just a few of the topics that will be discussed.

Participating Artists: Raymond Haywood, Laticia Holley, Gene Dominique, Ashara Ekundayo, Akili Simba, Wanda Sabir, Idris Hassan

Image: Artwork by Akili Simba

RSVP to attend the Panel Discussion

Special Reception for Art of the African Diaspora

Saturday, March 20, 2021, 3:00pm-4:30pm THIS SATURDAY!

Join us for a special online event celebrating the artists – past, present and future – who make Art of the African Diaspora possible. This event is presented on zoom in partnership with Rhythmix Cultural Works.

Image: Artwork by Fan Lee Warren

RSVP to attend the Reception…

Spotlight On…

Meet Teaching Artist Colleen Garland

Colleen spoke with Marisa Burman, Richmond Art Center’s Ceramics Manager, about all things clay. “It’s been a lot of making and not keeping this past year,” she says.

Colleen is teaching two online classes at RAC for the Spring Session: Handbuilding: Women in Contemporary Ceramics and Sketchbooking.

Image: Colleen teaching handbuilding via Zoom 

Read the interview…

Classes Starting Soon

Character Design for Picture Books

Explore contemporary picture book illustrator’s characters, while learning how to create characters of your own using the basic elements of design (color, shape, line, etc).

Adult Class (Ages 16+)

Fridays, 4-6pm

Mar 26 – May 14

More info…

Watercolor Basics

Learn fundamental techniques, methods and concepts of watercolor painting. 

Adult Class (14+)

Fridays, 10am-12pm

Apr 2 – Apr 23

More info…

Don’t Blink Ink

The characteristics of ink as a medium is unforgiving as it is exciting! Drawing and painting techniques with waterproof India ink will be explored with dip pens and brushes.

All Ages Class (12+)

Saturdays, 9-10am

Apr 3 – Apr 17

More info…

Street Art 101

In Street Art 101, students will learn how to tag, create bubble letters, and draw characters. We will also be covering a brief intro to the history of street art.

Teen Class

Wednesdays, 4-5:30pm

Apr 7 – Apr 28

More info…

Figure Drawing from Photos

In Street Art 101, students will learn how to tag, create bubble letters, and draw characters. We will also be covering a brief intro to the history of street art.

Adult Class (16+)

Wednesdays, 6-8pm

Apr 7 – Apr 28

More info…

Join Our Board

Richmond Art Center is looking for new Board members!

If you are passionate about art and the community then joining our Board is a great way to support our work.

Learn more…

Have something to share? Please email us at

“When someone really loves ceramics, they just absolutely give themselves to it.”

Interview with Richmond artist Colleen Garland

Colleen Garland grew up in Richmond and works as a potter and ceramics teacher in the Bay Area. She learned wheel throwing in community college, taking classes at Diablo Valley College and Contra Costa College. Now she rents a studio where she works in clay, and since the covid pandemic she has been making art and teaching ceramics online. 

Colleen spoke with Marisa Burman, Richmond Art Center’s Ceramics Manager, on February 9, 2021

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

What are your favorite things about clay and working with ceramics? Why have you chosen this as your primary medium?

I absolutely love clay. I love what clay looks like when it’s fired. I love throwing on the wheel. I love having a purpose. I love serving a purpose. 

Coming from a working class background, I think art can be hard to justify as a career. Art is a choice, but you can’t argue with making functional work. And I think that’s something that attracted me to it. 

Clay is messy, it’s physical, and there’s infinite variety in what you can do and whatever you do, you can make it absolutely personal. 

So, what has it been like for you making art during a pandemic? 

I make a lot of wheel thrown work, mostly to fire with Mary Law at her studio in Berkeley. But we had to cancel most of our firings this year because of covid.

So my practice has been a little halted in a way, because I’m not finishing work, but it’s also really opened up what I can make because I’m not limiting myself as much. I’m wheel throwing a lot. Also I’m spending a lot more time on decorating. It’s been a lot of making and not keeping this past year.

Do you consider Mary Law your mentor? She’s a great potter who has been doing ceramics in Berkeley for decades. 

This is funny, because I know she’ll read this. I took classes with Mary a lot at Contra Costa College. And I started working with her when I was still a student. I then started doing her website and Facebook and in trade I fire with her.  She has taught me about clay, but also so much about life. I would say she’s my friend and my mentor. I have learned a lot from her about how one can live as a potter, about ways of doing this sustainably in terms of taking care of yourself, taking care of your body, and taking care of your finances, so that this can be a viable option.

That makes me feel warm.

She’s very, very important to me. 

So you are teaching ceramics online. What has that been like?

At first, in the first few months of the pandemic, when I saw university professors having to instantly switch to teaching, and hearing about how incredibly difficult it was initially, I thought no ceramics class should be online. That’s a ridiculous thing to do. But in time I was offered the opportunity to teach online with Richmond Art Center. I thought it was going to be really hard and it turned out to be really fun. The online classes give me much more room to be creative. I’m able to offer a lot more visual information. Like images of other artists’ work and more historical context. So it’s been a really great experience because I’ve learned how to teach in a new way. 

I would keep teaching online, I think even after we go back to in-person, which feels crazy, but it’s been fun. 

Colleen’s Studio

What are you teaching this session for Richmond Art Center?

I will be teaching ‘Handbuilding: Women in Contemporary Ceramics’ again. Each week we learn from a different woman working in clay in the 20th or 21st century through photos and video, and then we settle on a form to try to recreate. Or students branch out on their own and use inspiration from the artists to make something different. I see that students in this class are excited about learning from other artists. They feel like they are kind of participating in the global ceramics community through engaging with other people’s works, cultures and histories. 

I’m also teaching a drawing class, which is called ‘Sketchbooking’. It is a fun drawing class meant to make people feel comfortable with engaging with their sketchbooks. To help people not fear a blank page. It’s all about having fun and trying lots of things so that we can get into the habit of sketchbooking as a daily practice. ‘Sketchbooking’ is an intergenerational class. So anyone is welcome to take it from young children to adults, teenagers. Friends are welcome. Roommates are welcome. Grandparents and grandchildren. Any experience level. Everyone is absolutely welcome! 

I see art as a daily practice as a theme in your teaching, as well as your relationship to engaging with art.

I love using pottery. It totally changes the way I interact with the world. I love being surrounded by handmade things. I’ve been a very functional potter and I’m very interested in craft; the way things are made and the way things work. 

Just last night in class we learned from artist Marguerite Wildenhain, she ran an informal school in Guerneville, California, in the 1950s. Her philosophy was to teach young craftspeople to have integrity and to have dedication and to really care about what they’re doing. But also to have a reason for what they’re doing too. To engage philosophically with their work instead of just being technicians, who can technically produce something. She wouldn’t let students keep anything. Students would be throwing forms for two months and they would never fire anything! All the clay was reclaimed. She demanded absolute dedication. And if students weren’t absolutely dedicated, they just wouldn’t continue showing up because it was too hard.

It definitely takes dedication.

Wheel throwing is ridiculous. It’s crazy that we all love to do it! I’ve been working with clay for at least eight years and three years seriously. And I still get cracks in my handles which is so frustrating! But that’s just reality. Something Marguerite Wildenhain said was art is not cumulative. Every day you show up as a potter and you’re starting from scratch. And you just have to pull this desire out of yourself to create something. Then through repetition it becomes less challenging, but you’re still starting from nothing each day. Every single potter has to learn from the very, very beginning.

And that makes it really beautiful to teach because it’s like I’m on that journey with my students. When someone really loves ceramics, they just absolutely give themselves to it. And they work through the frustration and they work through the darkness of being in a learning environment. It’s very human. I think it’s so much more human than any other work that I could be doing. So it feels infinitely valuable. 

Agreed. I think that’s great. 

Follow Colleen Garland on Instagram @colleenandclay

Handbuilding: Women in Contemporary Ceramics
Adult Class
Mondays, 6:00pm – 8:00pm PDT
Apr 19, 2021 – Jun 14, 2021
More info…

All Ages Class (5+)
Sundays, 10:00am – 12:00am PDT
Apr 11, 2021 – Jun 6, 2021
More info…


Join our Board!

Richmond Art Center is poised to re-open! We have a new Executive Director, José Rivera, who is eager to lead the center forward.  Richmond Art Center’s board plays an important role in supporting and guiding the organization.  Different individual board members bring different experience, skills, knowledge and connections to their Board work.  

Read Richmond Art Center’s Mission, Vision and Values.

Who We Are Looking For

  • People who live and/or work in Richmond, who are community-minded and thoughtful about how Richmond Art Center could better serve the community in and around Richmond
  • An accountant/bookkeeper (CPA credential would be great but is not necessary)
  • A lawyer (for the general knowledge and issue-spotting ability lawyers tend to have)
  • People who can help us raise money for Richmond Art Center
  • Leaders with the potential to be board vice president and president in the future

What can you expect?

Board members attend board meetings (currently being held via Zoom), act as ambassadors at select evening and weekend events, give of their expertise and wisdom and make a personal financial contribution to the extent that they can.  A Board member’s term is three years, with a two-term limit. Service on the Board of Directors is unpaid.


Selection Process

Contact Donna Brorby at  A CV/resumé/brief bio would be appreciated but is not necessary.

Let’s Do Art for Lunch

Online guided drawing session with Lauren Ari!
With special guest Richmond Art Center’s executive director José Rivera!

On Friday, March 5, 12:30pm, artist Lauren Ari led an online session for drawing and relaxation. And her special guest was Richmond Art Center’s executive director José Rivera!

José started at Richmond Art Center at the end of summer 2020, but the covid pandemic has prevented folks from gathering in-person to meet him. So we hosted this event as a virtual meet and greet.

A small group of students and staff joined Lauren and José in Zoom, while a much larger group participated via a Youtube livestream.

Visit and Contact

Richmond Art Center
2540 Barrett Avenue
Richmond, CA 94804

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Closed Sundays & Mondays & Major Holidays

Gallery admission is free.

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