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Celebrating the Journey | Make Art with José and Lauren | Hello Rebeca Garcia-Gonzalez | Classes Starting Soon | From Our Neighbors, For Our Neighbors
Celebrating the Journey
Reception for Art of the African Diaspora
Saturday, March 20, 2021, 3-4:30pm
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 in partnership with Rhythmix Cultural Works.
Featuring 130 artists, the online exhibition for Art of the African Diaspora 2021 is now open! Special events accompanying the exhibition will be happening throughout March, April and May. Visit richmondartcenter.org/exhibitions/aotad2021 to learn more.
Free online guided drawing session with Lauren Ari! With special guest Richmond Art Center’s executive director José Rivera!
Friday, March 5, 12:30-1:30pm
Join Richmond artist Lauren Ari this Friday, March 5 at 12:30pm for a free lunchtime session of guided drawing and relaxation. And meet Richmond Art Center’s new(ish) Executive Director José Rivera! All ages and levels of experience welcome. Simply bring plain white paper and a pen/pencil.
Interview with Teaching Artist Rebeca Garcia-Gonzalez
“For a long time I have been pondering how to convey the tremendous loss in the Latino community covid has caused.” – Rebeca Garcia-Gonzalez
Rebeca Garcia-Gonzalez is a painter and a muralist living in Richmond whose creative practice focuses on social justice issues. We interviewed Rebeca about some of her recent projects, which include a large-scale mural at Pulman Portal Park in Richmond.
Did you know Richmond Public Library has free craft kits for adults? In March they are giving away this cool coloring tote. Call the library 510-620-6561 to make an appointment to pick one up (while supplies last!).
Rebeca Garcia-Gonzalez is a painter and a muralist living in Richmond whose creative practice focuses on social justice issues. She is Puerto Rican and often paints traditional subjects seen from the lens of her Latina perspective.
Rebeca chatted with Ilene Conde, Studio Education Manager at RAC, on January 28, 2021.
Can you please start by telling us about your current mixed media series?
For a long time I have been pondering how to convey the tremendous loss in the Latino community covid has caused. I first started thinking about this while working on a mural about the essential workers of the Pullman neighborhood, located at Pulman Portal Park, on the corner of Carlson Boulevard and Ohio Avenue. We had enough funding to make it large enough that people riding by on Bart could see it. The mural shows neighbors leaving for work while it’s still dark. There is a progression from dark to light, with people in uniforms, people with children and Richmond businesses and neighborhood homes in the background. The topic came out of meetings with the Richmond youth, who also painted most of the mural. They really wanted to show reality – so not everyone in the mural is wearing a mask. Some of the neighbors posed.
As the mural was being finished people in the neighborhood stopped to ask questions. They liked how the mural showed resolute people. People who looked strong, not sad. Yet it showed the reality of who is bearing the brunt of this battle against COVID. Towards the end of the mural, in late September 2020, one woman said it was hard for her to look at because it reminded her of all the lives lost.
How did it feel to hear this about your work?
It stayed with me. I started thinking how do you help people reflect on what has been lost. That was a challenge that I posed to myself. And also a way for me to process my own feelings about the pandemic.
Every winter I do printmaking. This winter I’ve been working with a very large gel plate because I don’t have a proper press. The prints from this plate will be used for a series on the subject of the loss of Latinx lives. I want to paint portraits of Latinos who have been lost to COVID over the prints. Certain elements of the prints are independent of each other, and will be incorporated into the portraits as a way for the series to have a common thread.
I’m still working it out. But I think that’s what it’s going to be.
What has it been like for you as an artist during COVID?
I have a studio in north Richmond and I have converted a part of it it into a classroom. I have also spent more time than usual launching a new website, developing a larger social media presence and selling art online.
What has your experience been like teaching online?
Very positive! I am doing more demos and have made changes to my curriculum to make sure my students get quality feedback. My students can access all of my class materials online and they say this helps.
I appreciate the warmth of my students during this very isolating time. I have noticed that my students are now much more interested in each others’ work. I have also appreciated getting invited to see and give suggestions on their home painting setups. I have also given them “tours” of my studio!
What upcoming classes are teaching?
In March I will teach beginner drawing and acrylic painting classes.
Thank you Rebeca!
Registration for Rebeca’s classes is now open.
‘Fundamental Drawing’ runs for eight weeks on Wednesdays, 1pm-3pm, starting March 17. CLICK HERE for more info and to register.
‘Acrylic Techniques For Beginners’ runs for eight weeks on Tuesdays, 10am-12pm, starting March 16.CLICK HERE for more info and to register.
Free online guided drawing session with Lauren Ari!
With special guest Richmond Art Center’s executive director José Rivera!
Friday, March 5, 12:30-1:30pm
Join Richmond artist Lauren Ari this Friday, March 5 at 12:30pm for a free lunchtime session of guided drawing and relaxation. And meet Richmond Art Center’s new(ish) executive director José Rivera! All ages and levels of experience welcome. Simply bring plain white paper and a pen/pencil.
Deadline to Submit Artwork Information: March 9, 2021 Exhibition Dates: March 22 – June 4, 2021
Hello Teachers! Staff at Richmond Art Center are excited we can work together to present the 55th Annual WCCUSD Student Show as an online exhibition. Please use this form to submit all artwork information and images for the show. If you have any questions please contact email@example.com
Note that each artwork is assigned a number on the excel spreadsheet; upload artwork images with their corresponding numbers in this form
Upload 1 image for each artwork you are submitting (you will probably not use all the image upload sections)
ONCE YOU HAVE UPLOADED YOUR EXCEL SPREADSHEET AND ALL YOUR IMAGES REMEMBER TO SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS WEBPAGE AND CLICK ‘SUBMIT ARTWORK INFORMATION’ (OR WE WILL NOT GET THE INFORMATION YOU UPLOAD).
About: Thomas Robert Simpson, actor, director, producer, and writer, is the founder and artistic director of AfroSolo Arts Festival. Since 1991 he has concentrated on presenting Black art and culture through solo performances and the visual and literary arts.
This current visual arts practice focus on honoring Black women. “Project Laura Etta Simpson: In Glory of Black Women” is a photographic expose affirming their humanity. HIs goal is to photograph one thousand women as part of this project.
For the past twenty-four years Simpson has produced the award winning AfroSolo Arts Festival. He has also showcased celebrity artists such as award-winning actor Ruby Dee, comedian and political activist Dick Gregory, beloved teacher, poet and social activist June Jordan, sensational black gospel singer Emmit Powell, along with hundreds of local theatre, dance and visual artist.
Mr. Simpson won a coveted Bay Area Jefferson Award for Public Service in 2006. In 2009 he was awarded a Certificate of Honor from the San Francisco Board of Supervisor. Over the years has received awards from San Francisco AIDS Foundation’s Black Brothers Esteem Program, The Reggie Williams Achievement Award, the Oakland Supper Club to name a few.Since 2006 Mr. Simpson has also used AfroSolo’s Community Engagement program to focus on important issues in the black community, such as: health, justice and education.
Artist Statement for ‘Project Laura Etta Simpson: In Glory of Black Women’: Although humanity sprang from the loin of Black women, seldom have they been revered, respected, or rewarded for this gift. Thomas Robert Simpson’s ‘‘Project Laura Etta Simpson: In Glory of Black Women’, named in honor of his mother, is a photographic expose affirming the beauty, grace, humanity, charm, etc. of Black women. Thomas will photograph 1000 Black women, showcasing their diversity, erasing the disrespectful history placed on them and help invigorate the glory and honor our Sisters justly deserve.
About: Winthrop STEVEn HURST grew up in the projects on Chicago’s South Side. After high school, he had a short-lived career as a musician, playing the tenor and soprano saxophones and singing. Tired of living on the road and making very little money, he moved to New York at twenty-one, where he studied painting, illustration, graphic design and photography. His career as a graphic designer took him to Boston, back to New York, Cleveland and eventually, the Bay Area. He now resides in Point Richmond, creating time-telling art from found and repurposed items.
Steve’s mother influenced his becoming an artist. She would bring things home from work and say “I thought you could make something with this, honey”, triggering his inventive and creative instincts which have culminated into his creations today. Celebrity owners of his time-telling art include Magic Johnson (gift from the city of Richmond), Oprah Winfrey and Oprah’s dad (gifts). One of his clocks hangs in city hall in Shimada, Japan (gift from city of Richmond). Other local owners include Richmond Chamber of Commerce, former Richmond Mayor Rosemary Corbin, and a commissioned design which hangs in Mechanics Bank in Pittsburgh, CA. Three pieces were commissioned and purchased to hang in the Marin Health and Wellness Center in San Rafael, California.
Steve began his career as a visual artist in 1976. He’s had one man shows of his paintings and illustrations in Illinois, New York City, Boston, Cleveland and East Bay, California. Designing clocks began when he made two for himself in 1990. During the recession in New York in 1991, he made and sold clocks to survive, as there was no graphic design work and no one was paying money owed. The art has taken on new forms since then, but his signature style is still there, as are his signature pistachio shell hour markers on most of the designs. His new designs consist of earthy and celestial-themed creations that take on a spiritual nature. Steve states that the new themes are influenced by maturing into his sixties.
“My concerns and interests are different now and I can see it reflected in my art. It’s not my call, it’s my calling. I’m just the tool that manifests the creations.” – Steven
About: I use photography as a means to document the world around me. I make pictures that call attention to things that other people overlook. This exploration of the overlooked helps me engage more deeply with where I am in space and time. My goal is to make photographs that draw viewers into the now. A focus on details keeps us in the present, it stops us from fretting on the future or regretting the past. My photographs are like a physical meditation.
About: Ashlei Reign is a proud Oakland native and well traveled artist. With nineteen countries and counting and a former job as an Oakland police officer, Ashlei has seen a wide range of cultures and communities. Her highly saturated images have the ability to draw your attention and her level of detail in the eyes of her portraits teach you to look beyond differences and simply connect. Ashlei has had no formal art training but she continues to surround herself with other artists and mentors that contribute to her artistic journey.