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Cal Humanities: Focus on the Humanities Through an Interpretive Exhibition, “Emmy Lou Packard: Artist of Conscience”

Cal Humanities: Focus on the Humanities Through an Interpretive Exhibition, “Emmy Lou Packard: Artist of Conscience”

Published by Cal Humanities on September 29, 2022

Link: https://calhum.org/focus-on-the-humanities-through-an-interpretive-exhibition-emmy-lou-packard-artist-of-conscience/

Image Above: Diego Rivera & Emmy Lou Packard painting for the Golden Gate International Exposition, on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay, 1938-40. Photograph Gelatin silver print, vintage. Courtesy of Throckmorton Gallery and Richmond Art Center

Emmy Lou Packard: Artist of Conscience,” organized by the Richmond Art Center, was an interpretive exhibition – accompanied by a print publication and panel discussion event that was supported by a Humanities for All Quick Grant. The exhibition explored the legacy of artist and activist, Emmy Lou Packard (1914–1998), a remarkable, though over-looked, artist known for her paintings, prints and murals, as well as her social and political activism. We caught up with Amy Spencer, Project Director of “Emmy Lou Packard: Artist of Conscience,” who has shared Packard’s rich history with us, and has given us a look into the Richmond Art Center’s recent exhibit and programs exploring Packard’s life and work supported by a Humanities for All Quick Grant.

Emmy Lou Packard, Artichoke Picker, 1950s, Linocut. Courtesy of Donald Cairns and Richmond Art Center

Who was Emmy Lou Packard, and what was her impact as an artist and activist?

Emmy Lou Packard was a 20th century printmaker, painter, and activist whose work addressed issues of inequality—such as racial and gender discrimination, and low wages—that continue to confront us today.

Packard is perhaps best known for her relationship to the great muralist and painter, Diego Rivera. Born in Southern California in 1914, Packard lived briefly in Mexico as a child, where her mother convinced Rivera to give 12-year-old Packard art lessons. Later, when she was a young adult, Rivera invited Packard to be his chief assistant when he came to America to create the Pan American Unity fresco in San Francisco in 1940. Packard is depicted as a central figure in the mural—the artist in the red sweater standing at an easel.

Packard’s friendship with Rivera, as well as his wife Frida Kahlo, helped shape her political and artistic vision, yet it is her printmaking that made her a household name in the Bay Area during the 1950s and 1960s. Packard felt strongly that all people should be able to acquire beautiful art, and creating prints in multiples was the best way she could make her artwork accessible. Her prints promoted the dignity of labor, celebrated the beauty of the natural environment, and progressive principles such as peace, diversity and the joy of children. Packard’s most famous work, Peace is a Human Right (1949), was used in posters and billboards protesting nuclear weapons and the Vietnam war.

With support from California Humanities, Richmond Art Center presented the exhibition Emmy Lou Packard: Artist of Conscience (June 22 – August 20, 2022), the largest survey of Packard’s work ever put together. Curated by Robbin Légère Henderson and Rick Tejada-Flores, the exhibition included over 70 artworks, sketches, objects, and ephemera organized around key periods of Packard’s life and work. It was a critical and popular success: over 3,500 visitors attended the exhibition and related public programs at Richmond Art Center this summer.

An illustrated print of three children, a sunflower, and a bird.
Emmy Lou Packard, Peace is a Human Right, 1949, Linocut. Courtesy of Ian Thompson and Muna Coobtee and Richmond Art Center
A group of people are in a museum gallery looking at works of art hangin on the walls.
Emmy Lou Packard Exhibition at Richmond Art Center. Photo by Richmond Art Center

What were some of the stories about Packard’s life and her art that were explored in your project’s public programming?


Public events presented with Emmy Lou Packard: Artist of Conscience offered the opportunity for audiences to dig deeper into Emmy Lou Packard’s artistry and influence.

Towards the end of her life Packard was admired by many young artists in San Francisco whom she mentored. Among these artists were Jesus “Chuy” Campusano, Luis Cortázar, and Michael Rios who called themselves “Los Tres.” Susan Cervantes, founder of Precita Eyes Muralists Association, was also a devoted mentee and friend, as were members of Las Mujeres Muralistas who painted the murals on the San Francisco Women’s Building.

For the exhibition the curators were able to borrow Packard’s original press, tools, and linoleum blocks from Precita Eyes. For a special public program master printer Art Hazelwood gave a demonstration of the press in action. With permission from Packard’s family, Hazelwood demonstrated Packard’s unique color-blocking technique using the linoleum block for Someone Has to Suffer, Madam (1950s). This work depicts a businessman with a pig’s head with war contracts in his back pocket. The pig-man has his arm around the shoulders of a grief-stricken woman. This is one of Packard’s more overtly political works, which comments on the human cost of stock market greed especially during war times.

One person is taking a photograph of a group of people in a museum gallery.
Curator Rick Tejada-Flores takes a photo of Emmy Lou Packard’s family visiting the exhibition. Photo by Bill Johnston, Jr.

Richmond Art Center also collaborated with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s exhibition Diego Rivera’s America for special events promoting the two shows, enhancing audiences for both exhibitions through performances by The Great Tortilla Conspiracy at each venue. The Great Tortilla Conspiracy created irreverent edible artwork (screen printed on tortillas) inspired by Emmy Lou Packard.

Step inside of the Richmond Art Center on the last day of the exhibition via this short Instagram video Video courtesy Richmond Art Center

Press Release: Día de los Muertos, Fall Family Day

Día de los Muertos

Fall Family Day 2022

Saturday, October 15,12pm-3pm  |  Free

Richmond Art Center
2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804
richmondartcenter.org/familyday2022

Richmond, CA: Fall Family Day at Richmond Art Center (RAC) will be a special celebration of Día de los Muertos on Saturday, October 15, 12pm-3pm. Kids of all ages and their grown-ups are invited to RAC’s courtyard to celebrate Day of the Dead with art-making, music, and miniature low riders. Admission is free.

Artist Daniel Camacho is leading the festivities with a community ofrenda and paper mache skull workshop. Daniel’s work is currently on view at RAC in the exhibition De Fantasías y Realidades (September 14 – November 17, 2022). 

Other activities at Fall Family Day will include a Día de los Muertos presentation by Ernesto Olmos; live printing and coloring with local art collective Liberación Gráfica; community chalk mural with Rebeca García-González; art demonstrations; marigold giveaway; search and find; and local art vendors.

For the ofrenda, Daniel Camacho invites community members to contribute items that honor their loves ones. Daniel says, “Through an ofrenda we commemorate and remember the life and death of our loved ones. It is a celebration that allows us to carry them in our hearts and welcome them back to the world of the living for one night.” Daniel invites the community to contribute a photograph of their loved ones and an object that represents something they loved, for example their favorite drink or snack, or a toy. Items can be bought to Richmond Art Center any time during gallery hours. The altar will be on display in the West Gallery from October 15 through to the end of Día de los Muertos on November 3.

In the calaverita workshop participants will learn to make paper mache skulls for a Día de los Muertos altar. This two day workshop – on Saturday, October 8, 12pm-2pm and Saturday, October 15, 12pm-2pm – is for participants ages six and older (although kids younger than ten should bring an adult to help). Register on RAC’s website to attend both workshops and make a calaverita from scratch. Alternatively, folks are invited to drop into the second session on October 15 at Fall Family Day to decorate a pre-made skull.

Richmond Art Center is located at 2540 Barrett Avenue in Richmond.

Covid-19 Prevention: Mask wearing is required in the galleries and indoor public spaces. Masks may be removed while in the courtyard. 

Top image: Artwork by Daniel Camacho

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

For more information contact: Amy Spencer, amy@nullrichmondartcenter.org

 

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Press Release: ¡Estamos Celebrando! Latinx Heritage Month at Richmond Art Center

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 16, 2022

¡Estamos Celebrando! 
Latinx Heritage Month at Richmond Art Center

Richmond Art Center
2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804
Gallery Hours: Wed-Sat 10am-4pm
Exhibitions and events are all free

Richmond, CA: Richmond Art Center is proud to celebrate Latinx Heritage Month with activities planned to highlight and explore the creative accomplishments of the Bay Area’s Latino community. ‘National Hispanic Heritage Month’ takes place September 15 to October 15 every year and is a time to recognize the histories, cultures and contributions of Hispanic/Latino/Latinx people living in the U.S..

In Richmond Art Center’s galleries are two exhibitions highlighting Latinx art. Daniel Camacho’s De Fantasías y Realidades presents murals, paper mache sculptures and paintings that fuse elements of Mexican popular culture with the social and political experiences of Camacho’s community. And From the Pueblo, For the Pueblo is an exhibition by print collective Liberación Gráfica and their friends. Liberación Gráfica is a Richmond-based screen print collective whose art practice is rooted in the Chicanx art tradition of revolutionary print workshops. Their work speaks directly to the struggles and resilience of the people of Richmond.

And don’t miss on Saturday, October 15, 12-3pm we are celebrating Día de los Muertos. This special event for families will feature calaveras, art making, live printing and more!

“Latinos contribute so much to the rich diversity of the Bay Area, especially in Richmond,” says José Rivera, Executive Director. “I encourage you to visit Richmond Art Center and also find your own way to celebrate and explore Hispanic Heritage Month.”



From the Pueblo, For the Pueblo
Main Gallery
Exhibition Dates: September 14 – November 17, 2022

Opening Reception: Saturday, September 17, 12pm-2pm

Liberación Gráfica is a screen print collective whose practice is rooted in the Chicanx art tradition of revolutionary community print workshops. As artists-in-residence at Richmond Art Center, Liberación Gráfica worked alongside youth and community members to create prints that uplift local voices, and raise awareness of the struggles and resilience of the people of Richmond. These works have been printed live and distributed at events in Richmond including Low Rider Cruise Nights, Juneteenth Festival at Nicholl Park, the United Farm Workers march, and La Pulga Flea Market.

From the Pueblo, For the Pueblo is the culminating exhibition from Liberación Gráfica’s residency. Staying true to the concept that there is no liberation without community, Liberación Gráfica has also invited artists in the community to join them in presenting work that opens up conversations around ideas of liberation. 



De Fantasías y Realidades
Community Gallery
Exhibition Dates: September 14 – November 17, 2022
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 17, 12pm-2pm
Calaverita Paper Mache Workshop led by Daniel Camacho: Saturday, October 8 & 15, 12pm-2pm


Daniel Camacho fuses elements of Mexican popular culture with the social and political experiences of his community, blending them together in images that blur lines between reality and fantasy. In particular, Camacho paints the immigrant experience, our political struggles, and the culture that holds us together. These realities are often illustrated through expressive faces with eyes that command a strong gaze towards our shared struggles. 
 
De Fantasías y Realidades brings together a selection of large-scale portable murals, paper mache sculptures and paintings that Daniel Camacho created over the last 25 years.



Día de los Muertos, Fall Family Day
Courtyard
Event Date: Saturday, October 15, 12pm-3pm


Fall Family Day on Saturday, October 15, 12pm-3pm will be a special celebration of Día de los Muertos. Kids of all ages and their grown-ups are invited to join us in the courtyard for art-making, dancing, music and more. 

This free family event will feature a calaverita paper mache workshop led by artist Daniel Camacho, community altar, art making activities, live printing, art market and music.

Top image: Daniel Camacho, Mexico te Ilevo adentro, 2004



About Richmond Art Center
 
Richmond Art Center has been sharing art and creating with the community since 1936. Our programs encompass classes, exhibitions and events at our facility in downtown Richmond, as well as off-site activities that bring free, high-quality art making experiences to WCCUSD schools and community partners. richmondartcenter.org
 
For more information contact:
Amy Spencer, amy@nullrichmondartcenter.org

 

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Hispanic LA: Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA) – tejiendo solidaridad

Hispanic LA: Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA) – tejiendo solidaridad

Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA): tejiendo solidaridad

Por Adriana Briff

09/10/2022

Ser mujer y migrante latina es enfrentarse a la soledad y a los desafíos económicos, sociales y emocionales diarios. Muchas veces nos gana el desánimo frente a los hostigamientos y la discriminación.

Sin embargo hay espacios de encuentro y solidaridad desde donde enfrentar los días y construir la esperanza. Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA) es ese espacio de encuentro y solidaridad. Un entramado de hermandad como las prendas que nuestras abuelas fueron tejiendo en las noches de invierno de nuestras infancias y hoy nos amparan del frío de la vida.

El pasado mes, Mujeres Unidas y Activas, del área de la bahía de San Francisco, organizaron junto con NAKA Dance Theater y el Centro Arte de Richmond, un taller de creación manual para reflexionar sobre las distintas temáticas que atraviesa el colectivo femenino migrante.

Las miembras de MUA impartieron el taller usando diversos materiales como telas, hilos y papel para reflexionar sobre tres conceptos: corazón, comunidad y frontera. Tres ideas emblemáticas que atraviesan la vida de toda mujer migrante.

Un taller para sanar

Leticia, la miembra encargada de coordinar el taller junto con Luciana, otra colaboradora, inició la jornada con una invitación: redefinir las palabras «comunidad», «corazón» y «frontera» desde los propios anhelos, los propios sueños y las propias convicciones.

“Vamos a adueñarnos de la palabra elegida. Una frontera puede ser para nosotros, algo muy diferente que lo que se nos ha impuesto como un lugar de exclusión.”

Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA)

En un círculo de sillas, sobre el patio del Centro de Arte de Richmond, las mujeres se abocaron a la tarea, hermanadas por esta convocatoria. Un espacio seguro donde se sienten contenidas.

Alicia eligió trabajar desde su propio concepto de frontera. Han pasado más de 29 años y todavía se le corta la voz al verbalizar esta palabra. Su relato está aún impregnado de la arena áspera de la experiencia dura del desierto que tuvo que cruzar y que la alejó de su casa para siempre.

Nunca más pudo volver a su México natal.

Quienes hemos emigrado desde el privilegio del pasaporte, el avión y la valija, no podemos imaginar el dolor que queda en el cuerpo y en el corazón de estas mujeres que han atravesado la frontera arriesgando sus vidas.

Historias de dolor que no cuentan, pero que traen en la voz que se desgaja cuando la memoria revive la travesía. El dolor de haber dejado sus casas, sus familias, sus objetos, sus olores.

Muchas de ellas enfrentan todos los días la dura disyuntiva de criar como propios, niños de otros; habiendo tenido que dejar sus propios hijos por la necesidad imperiosa de generar dinero para sustentarlos.

Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA)

Es un alto precio no poder volver a ver a los suyos, no poder volver para velar a sus muertos y viviendo sin solución en esta ilegalidad que las pone en las  márgenes del lugar que habitan.

Lee también:  Crisis argentina y las maniobras bajo la tempestad

“Perdimos nuestro tierra y acá no pertenecemos”, dice una participante mientras expone su trabajo. Ella ha elegido diseñar un corazón partido.

La construcción de una nueva familia

Para estas mujeres, MUA es esa familia, ese hogar, ese lugar de escucha, donde pueden confiar sus dolores y sus penas sabiendo que serán entendidas y cuidadas. Un lugar a salvo de la discriminación y el miedo constante que da «ser ilegal».

Doña Julita tiene más de 70 años y vive desde hace tiempo en el barrio La Misión, en San Francisco. Esa tarde esperó en una esquina que una colaboradora de MUA pasara a buscarla en su auto para llevarla a Richmond. En agradecimiento, le tejió un almohadón en crochet. Julita es viuda y ha dejado en Guatemala a sus hijos y a sus nietos. “Acá me he quedado”, dice.

“No manejo porque el costo del gas se ha vuelto imposible y las multas de parqueo también son altísimas. Si recibimos una multa, ni vale haber salido a trabajar. Así que yo ando en (el tren) Bart y me he memorizado todos los recorridos”.

Con una sonrisa cuenta la buena suerte de haber encontrado un autobús gratis que la lleva desde la estación de subterráneo hasta el centro de la ciudad de Walnut Creek donde trabaja. “De allí camino hasta la casa donde voy a limpiar dos veces por semana. Todo está muy caro, ahora”, remarca Julita que emigró a California en 1986.

Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA)

Las mayoría de las mujeres, son trabajadoras del hogar. El sábado es ese día feriado, ese día personal para estar con sus compañeras.

Van presentando sus trabajos, explican sus dibujos y diseños. Muchas de ellas recrean en sus dibujos, los nopales y los nogales, las plantas de esos jardines que dejaron atrás. Ellas vinieron a plantar, con su esfuerzo, semillas de esperanza en esta tierra que no las reconoce como ciudadanas legales pese al tiempo que llevan habitando aquí.

En MUA encuentran un terreno que las contiene, las convoca para reconocerse, para reafirmarse en sus identidades y para dejar de ser invisibles.

La historia de MUA

Desde su inicio en 1989, MUA ha mantenido la doble misión de fortalecer a las mujeres migrantes latinas y ejercer el activismo en defensa de los derechos migrantes y la justicia social.

Desde un trabajo comprometido y constante, ha permitido que ciento de mujeres salgan de la violencia doméstica y se conviertan en líderes de la comunidad que apoyan y defienden los derechos de los migrantes y las luchas sociales por una mayor justicia.

En 1993 MUA ganó el derecho de protecciones para las mujeres inmigrantes sobrevivientes, que está incluido en la Ley Federal de Violencia contra la Mujer (VAWA). Se movilizó contra la Proposición antiinmigrante 187 y también se manifiestó contra las devastadoras propuestas nacionales de reformas de bienestar e inmigración. Luchó con éxito contra los intentos de Pete Wilson de eliminar el derecho de las mujeres inmigrantes a la atención prenatal y cuidado y lanzó la campaña “Caring Hands”, en 1994, para construir la seguridad económica de las mujeres inmigrantes.

Lee también:  Aborto: sigue el ataque contra la mujer

En 1998 MUA logró el sueño de abrir su segunda oficina en Oakland, California. Allí organiza capacitaciones, con padres líderes de la Asociación Progresista China, que buscan mejorar los derechos de los inmigrantes en el distrito escolar de San Francisco. A su vez, a través del Fondo de Prevención a la Violencia Familiar, comenzó a ofrecer servicios de asistencia técnica.

Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA)

En 2004, MUA comenzó a liderar otro esfuerzo promoviendo la Declaración de los Derechos de las Trabajadoras del Hogar de California, ley que finalmente se aprobó en 2016.

Desde entonces, MUA confrontó la creciente amenaza de deportaciones trabajando para fortalecer la ley santuario local y estatal, incluida la aprobación de AB 54 (la Ley de VALORES de California) y AB 32 (fin de los contratos privados de detención de inmigrantes en California).

MUA también es cofundador de SFILEN (Red de Educación Legal para Inmigrantes en San Francisco) y de su homóloga ACILEP ( Asociación de Educación Legal para Inmigrantes del Condado de Alameda), trabajando para fortalecer las políticas de santuario locales.

Los duros años de Trump

Las miembras de MUA lideraron decenas de protestas contra la separación de familias y, en 2018, lanzaron el proyecto Defensoras, para apoyar a las mujeres que buscan asilo y/o confrontan la posibilidad de ser deportadas.

En 2018, Juana Flores, codirectora y miembra fundadora de MUA, se convirtió en directora ejecutiva. Un hito en el liderazgo de los miembros. En el 2019, lanzó una nueva campaña para defender el derecho de asilo, que se concretó en 2021.

Defensoras tuvieron una participación activa al declarar en el nuevo Departamento de Justicia liderado por el fiscal Merrick Garland y ayudaron a revertir las políticas implementadas por Donald Trump que negaban el asilo a las sobrevivientes de violencia doméstica.

Los servicios y programas de capacitación de MUA continúan creciendo. Primero, a través de dos programas piloto en Fremont y Hayward y luego, en 2018, al consolidar esos programas en un sitio más permanente en Union City.

El personal de MUA desarrolla un plan de estudios para capacitar a las agencias principales en la prestación de servicios culturalmente sensibles para inmigrantes latinas sobrevivientes, a través de la Red de Violencia Doméstica Culturalmente Apropiada, y líderes de MUA viajan por todo el estado para brindar capacitación al personal de los refugios VD y a las agencias gubernamentales.

Lee también:  Crisis de seguridad alimentaria en Brasil

La pandemia y su gran impacto

Cientos de miembras perdieron sus empleos y muchas contrajeron COVID. MUA trabajó con sus redes de aliados para establecer la distribución de alimentos y dar ayuda efectiva a quienes la precisaran, a través del Fondo de Ayuda para Familiares Inmigrantes con COVID-19 de MUA. Se distribuyeron más de $800,000 a unas 650 familias inmigrantes.

MUA cambió todos sus programas para operar de forma remota.

A través de talleres regulares en Facebook, MUA ha dado entrenamiento y contención a cientos de familias aisladas durante la pandemia.

Una de las tareas primordiales de MUA es la de preparar a sus miembras para movilizar el voto latino y realizar actividades políticas a través de campañas de divulgación digital.

En el año 2021, MUA y otros integrantes de la Coalición de Trabajadoras del Hogar de California re-introdujeron el proyecto de ley de Salud y Seguridad para las Trabajadoras del Hogar, consiguiendo que esta vez el gobernador Newson lo firmara. Después que cientos de trabajadoras del hogar y cuidadoras de pacientes fueran expuestas a COVID en el trabajo, la ley es un paso adelante para que estas trabajadoras tengan el derecho a protecciones laborales básicas.

Mujeres Unidas y Activas(MUA)

En sus proyectos de arte, muchas de las mujeres en el taller eligen diseñar mariposas. La mariposa es el símbolo de MUA. Es la oruga que, lentamente, va despegando sus alas para volar. En MUA, las mujeres migrantes se saben respaldadas para generar herramientas concretas que las ayuden a defenderse de la injusticia racial, la violencia de género y la injusticia económica.
Habiendo luchado durante más de 30 años, Mujeres Unidas sabe que no retrocederá. Han construido una herramienta para hacer frente a la adversidad, desde la solidaridad.

Para más información, visite www.mujeresunidas.net o busque Mujeres Unidas y Activas en Facebook e Instagram.


Este artículo fue apoyado en su totalidad, o en parte, por fondos proporcionados por el Estado de California y administrados por la Biblioteca del Estado de California.

Latinx Heritage Month

Latinx Heritage Month

A Message from RAC’s Executive Director

Saludos RAC Community!

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month! National Hispanic Heritage Month takes place September 15 to October 15 every year and is a time to recognize the histories, cultures and contributions of Hispanic/Latino/Latinx people living in the U.S.. During this month (and throughout the year) at Richmond Art Center we have activities planned to celebrate and explore the creative accomplishments of the Bay Area’s Latino community.

In the galleries are two exhibitions highlighting Latinx art. Daniel Camacho’s De Fantasías y Realidades presents murals, paper mache sculptures and paintings that fuse elements of Mexican popular culture with the social and political experiences of Camacho’s community. And From the Pueblo, For the Pueblo is an exhibition by print collective Liberación Gráfica and their friends. Liberación Gráfica is a Richmond-based screen print collective whose art practice is rooted in the Chicanx art tradition of revolutionary print workshops. Their work speaks directly to the struggles and resilience of the people of Richmond.

And don’t miss it: on Saturday, October 15, 12-3pm we are celebrating Día de los Muertos at RAC. We’ll have calaveras, art making, live printing, and more!

Latinos contribute so much to the rich diversity of the Bay Area, especially in Richmond. I encourage you to visit RAC and also find your own way to celebrate and explore Hispanic Heritage Month.

Hasta pronto,

José Rivera
Executive Director

Top image: Daniel Camacho, Mexico te Ilevo adentro, 2004

Artforum: Dewey Crumpler, Richmond Art Center

Artforum: Dewey Crumpler, Richmond Art Center

Link: https://www.artforum.com/print/reviews/202207/dewey-crumpler-88933

Pdf: https://richmondartcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Artforum-Dewey-Crumpler-Review.pdf

Dewey Crumpler has long been preoccupied with the ways in which objects can be sites of exploration for what it means to be African American. One day in the mid-1990s, while out on his daily walk, he was transfixed by a tower of colorful steel shipping containers stacked at the Port of Oakland in California. To him, the looming rectangular structures were mysterious and foreboding. He saw them as monumental metaphors of the geopolitical power that moved goods across space and time, possessing the history of commerce and oppression in their hidden cavernous interiors. Compelled by a fascination with this form and its shadow, he began to sketch and paint the crates daily. “Dewey Crumpler: Crossings,” his exhibition here, showcased 122 of these prophetic images, which he began making roughly twenty-five years before the collapse of the shipping industry brought on by the pandemic. Vibrant dreamscapes were weighted with the gravitas of their subject matter: mass migration, globalization, and the tangled yoke of capitalism within the Black diaspora.

When Crumpler started as a young artist in San Francisco in the 1960s, he couldn’t find any art in the museums that portrayed Black life. As a result, he sought inspiration from an eclectic array of sources, among them European art, coffee-table books on African American art and culture, the work of social-realist muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros (which he got to see in person during a trip to Mexico), and the improvisational sounds of jazz greats including John Coltrane and Miles Davis. By establishing a practice that focused on a specific object for an extended period, Crumpler was able to ground the panoply of influences he brought to each body of work.

The artist has said that he is drawn to an object because of its capacity to create a shadow, an element that is continuously affected by light and time—i.e., the thing and its shape-shifting companion serve as a jumping-off point. After a trip to Amsterdam in the early 1990s, he created a series of tulip paintings and dioramas that investigated the power of beauty, trade, Blackness, and genetic manipulation. A few years later, he used his son’s discarded hoodie as a subject for a number of cartoonish caricatures and videos, adapting it as a metaphor that delved into Black Futurism and cultural narratives of marginality. Like the tulips and hoodies, the container paintings are conduits for unraveling patterns of empires and capital.

In Crumpler’s renderings, each vessel is a locus of awe, wonder, and terror. Ranging in size from small sketches to large-scale paintings executed in saturated acrylic hues, the works depict wrecked cargo ships overflowing with the colorful bounty of plunder and trade. In a pen-and-ink sketch, Untitled (Crash), 2014, a cascade of crates topples, domino style, off a dock. In Collapse, 2017, more than forty containers sink into a raging turquoise sea. Shimmering gold leaf surrounds them, a nod to the practice (and utility) of employing glitz as a distraction from the darkness that is too often concealed within the politics of trade negotiations. Crumpler’s receptacles are vehicles that not only transport actual goods, but also represent the positive spread of art, culture, and religion wrought, ironically enough, by capitalism. In Untitled 2, 2018, marooned and shattered boxes pour forth their contents—including a phalanx of shell-pink tennis shoes washed up onto a poppy-red shore, calling to mind a herd of sea creatures, bloodied and dead. In Green Bananas, 2017, a beached cargo carrier offers up a giant spill of the titular fruits. Yet hidden among them is Duchamp’s Fountain, 1917. Crumpler has painted the urinal before; its rounded shape recalls the form of a hoodie. Yet here the placement of the porcelain toilet protruding from a pile of green banana skins represents both an homage to one of avant-garde art’s most legendary innovations—the readymade—and a comment on transcultural diffusion.

Similar to a container, a painting is a vehicle that delivers information as it forges new relationships—Crumpler’s “vessels” do this while encapsulating codependent histories of destruction and creation. In Bright Moments and Bitches Brewing in Space, both 2020, the stacked rectangles have been reduced to their most elementary forms: steel bands. Here, the artist’s grids look more like jail bars than like Mondrian’s pure abstract compositions, to which they also allude. Yet, in these more recent works, shadows dance in syncopated rhythms across the surface, reminding us that art, like commerce, has the power to alter the world.

— Gabrielle Selz

Image: Dewey Crumpler, Untitled 2, 2018, acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 60 × 74″.

60th Annual Holiday Arts Festival
12/4/22

60th Annual Holiday Arts Festival

Sunday, December 4, 2022, 10am-5pm

Richmond Art Center, 2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond

The Holiday Arts Festival returns to Richmond Art Center! After running for the past two years as a virtual event due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the festival is back in-person to celebrate its ‘diamond jubilee’ 60th year in Richmond.

Each year the Holiday Arts Festival offers over 1,000 visitors a chance to buy unique gifts from local arts and crafts vendors, enjoy food and beverages, and participate in art-making activities for the whole family. The Festival’s gift sale runs from 10am to 5pm at Richmond Art Center, 2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond.

Covid-19 Safety: Note, this is an indoor event. We will do what we can to keep people safe. Covid-19 safety protocols will be announced closer to the event date.

Call for Arts and Crafts Vendors! Richmond Art Center is now accepting applications from local artists, artisans, crafters and makers to sell their work at the Holiday Arts Festival. This shop-local event is a great way to expose your work to a creative audience that appreciate hand-crafted gifts. The deadline for vendors to apply is October 10. Applications are juried and selected vendors will be notified by October 21. There is no application fee and first-time vendors to the Festival are encouraged to participate. CLICK HERE TO APPLY!

Holiday Arts Festival Vendor Application

Calling all artists, artisans, crafters and makers! Be part of Richmond Art Center’s 60th Annual Holiday Arts Festival!

To apply to be a vendor at Richmond Art Center’s Holiday Arts Festival please review the information on this webpage and complete the application form below.

Deadline to Apply: Monday, October 10, 2022, 11:59pm


Richmond Art Center’s Holiday Arts Festival

Event Date: Sunday, December 4, 2022, 10am-5pm

The Holiday Arts Festival returns to Richmond Art Center! After running for the past two years as a virtual event due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the festival is back in-person to celebrate its ‘diamond jubilee’ 60th year in Richmond.

Each year the Holiday Arts Festival offers over 1,000 visitors a chance to buy unique gifts from local arts and crafts vendors, enjoy food and beverages, and participate in art-making activities for the whole family. The Festival’s gift sale runs from 10am to 5pm at Richmond Art Center, 2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond.

Call for Arts and Crafts Vendors! Richmond Art Center is now accepting applications from local artists, artisans, crafters and makers to sell their work at the Holiday Arts Festival. This shop-local event is a great way to expose your work to a creative audience that appreciates hand-crafted gifts. The deadline for vendors to apply is October 10. Applications are juried and selected vendors will be notified by October 21. There is no application fee and first-time vendors to the Festival are encouraged to participate.

Can’t attend the event in-person? The online Arts and Crafts Hub will be back! Hosted on Richmond Art Center’s website, the Hub is non-juried and serves as a gateway for artists to share their work during the Holidays. CLICK HERE to see a sample Artist Listing

IMPORTANT DATES

Application Deadline (online application form below): Monday, October 10, 11:59pm
Vendor Notification: Friday, October 21
Contracts and Vendor Fees Due
: Monday, November 7
Vendor Set Up: Saturday, December 3, 10am to 5pm
Holiday Arts Festival: Sunday, December 4, 10am to 5pm

VENDOR INFORMATION

*Covid-19 Safety: Note, this is an indoor event. We will do what we can to keep people safe. Covid-19 safety protocols will be announced closer to the event date. Please contact us if you have questions: amy@nullrichmondartcenter.org

Richmond Art Center provides: Vendor contract, table, chair/s, vendor sign (if needed), wall space (as requested/as available), electrical outlet (as requested/as available), time for set-up (12/3, 10am-5pm) and deinstall (12/4, 5pm-6:30pm), online vendor listing

Promotion: During the holiday season, Richmond Art Center will be promoting The Holiday Arts Festival via online and print advertising, social media, our e-newsletter, via community partnerships, and at community events. Vendors will also have the opportunity to promote their websites in our online Arts & Crafts Hub on Richmond Art Center’s website.

Jurying Process: Unfortunately we don’t have space to accept all vendors who apply for a table at the Holiday Arts Festival. As a result applications are juried by a panel made up of RAC staff. Things we look for when reviewing applications include: Artistic Quality; Sales Potential; Media Range Across Vendors; and Community Connection. Vendors who are not selected for a table at the Festival still have the opportunity to present their goods in our online Arts & Crafts Hub.

FEES

6 Foot Table Fee: $190 for RAC members; $200 for non-members*

4 Foot Half Table Fee: $110 for RAC members; $125 for non-members*

Online Listing in the Arts & Crafts Hub Only: $20 for RAC members; $25 for non-members*

*Vendors selected to participate at the in-person event automatically received a listing in the Arts & Crafts Hub.

These are flat fees. No sales commission is charged.

Not a member? Become a member today!

APPLICATION (NO FEE TO APPLY!)

Holiday Arts Festival Vendor Application 2022

  • GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Optional
  • Optional
  • Optional
  • Vendors selected to participate at the in-person event automatically received a listing in the Arts & Crafts Hub.
  • VENDOR APPLICATION

    Complete this section ONLY if you want to apply to be a vendor at the Holiday Arts Festival in-person at Richmond Art Center.
  • If you are applying for a half table, we will be matching artists once the jurying selection has been completed. We will do our best to accommodate wall requests.
  • Note: Vendors booking half tables will get one chair.
  • Table fees are discounted for members.
  • Please describe the items you make, and the materials and methods you use.
  • Please give us a three sentence bio about you and/or your business.
  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: jpg, png, Max. file size: 1 MB, Max. files: 3.
    • ONLINE ARTS & CRAFTS HUB LISTING

      Complete this section with information for your online listing on Richmond Art Center's website. Vendors selected for the in-person event automatically get listed online. You will have the opportunity to review your online listing before it is visible to the public. See a sample Artist Listing here.
    • Accepted file types: jpg, jpeg, png, Max. file size: 1 MB.
    • Accepted file types: jpg, jpeg, png, Max. file size: 1 MB.
    • Accepted file types: jpg, jpeg, png, Max. file size: 1 MB.
    • This text will be posted on our website. This is your space to share whatever you like about yourself and your work. Artist statement, holiday sale info, exhibition news, contact information etc.
    • This link will be posted on our website. Share your website, online store, social media, etc. Please include the entire URL here beginning with https:// or http://

    Figure ‘n Color comes to Richmond Art Center

    Figure ‘n Color comes to Richmond Art Center

    Richmond Art Center is excited to announce a new partnership with art model–led figurative drawing group Figure ‘n Color.

    Figure ‘n Color is an art model–led figurative drawing experience that highlights and celebrates the diverse Black body. Curated as a cultural learning event, Figure ‘n Color is a hub for models and artists, providing resources and instruction on how to accurately and ethically render Black artist models. The curators of Figure ‘n Color are Black fine art models alluris-michele and Titania Kumeh, with assistant curator Kristina Modeste.

    This fall the partnership will launch with a three-day workshop, Black Portraiture – Watercolor, taught by Mr B. This in-person and online workshop will cover how to look at and draw Black facial features, as well as painting techniques with watercolor to create beautiful dark skin tones. Workshop dates are Friday, September 30, 5pm-8pm PDT, Saturday, October 1, 11am-2pm PDT and Sunday, October 2, 11am-2pm PDT.

    Students of every ethnicity are encouraged to sign up for Figure ‘n Color workshops. Richmond Art Center will also has dedicated scholarships for Black community members interested in taking these workshops for free.

    Top image: Artwork by Sydney Sohen; model is Titania

    Richmond Standard: Richmond Art Center announces Fall exhibitions

    Richmond Standard: Richmond Art Center announces Fall exhibitions

    Link: https://richmondstandard.com/richmond/2022/08/24/richmond-art-center-announces-fall-exhibitions/

    By Mike Aldax

    Four new exhibitions — all free and open to the public — are coming this Fall to the Richmond Art Center at 2540 Barrett Ave. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

    The Main Gallery exhibition, set to run from Sept. 14 though Nov. 17, is called From the Pueblo, For the Pueblo, and is the culminating exhibition from Liberación Gráfica’s residency at the RAC.

    “Liberación Gráfica worked alongside youth and community members to create prints that uplift local voices, and raise awareness of the struggles and resilience of the people of Richmond,” RAC officials state. “These works have been printed live and distributed at events in Richmond including Low Rider Cruise Nights, Juneteenth Festival at Nicholl Park, the United Farm Workers march, and La Pulga Flea Market.”

    An opening reception for From the Pueblo, For the Pueblo is set to take place Saturday, Sept. 17, from noon to 2 p.m.

    In the South Gallery this Fall, also set to run from Sept. 14 though Nov. 17, will be New Visions, an assembling of emerging Black Bay Area artists Kim Champion, Tiffany Conway, Ashara Ekundayo and Bertrell Smith. Their works employ painting, photography, collage and vibrant color palettes “to engage viewers in the fullness and vibrancy of Black expression,” according to the RAC. Using different mediums and approaches, their art demonstrates the diversity of artworks coming from Black Bay Area arists.

    An opening reception for New Visions will take place Sept. 17 from noon to 2 p.m., while and Artist Talk will be held Saturday, Oct. 1, from noon to 2 p.m.

    The RAC’s West Gallery will feature Melanin: Color, Composition and Connection this Fall, from Sept. 28 to Nov. 17. The solo exibition will feature abstract paintings by Daniel White that “bring to the foreground geometric forms, lines and color that reveal the intricacies of melanin and its power of connection,” according to the RAC.

    “Through his abstracted compositions, White encourages us to challenge our perceptions and interpretations of color and in the process find connections that join us together beyond our degrees of melanin,” RAC officials said.

    An opening reception and Artist Walk will take place Saturday, Oct. 1, from noon to 2 p.m. 

    The Richmond Art Center has operated since 1936 and features classes, exhibitions and events at its downtown facility, along with off-site activities that bring free, high-quality art making experiences to WCCUSD schools and community partners. For more information, visit richmondartcenter.org.

    Visit and Contact

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

     

    510-620-6772
    Gallery Hours: Wed-Sat 10am-4pm