Richmond Art Center Richmond Art Center

Holiday Arts Festival

62nd Annual Holiday Arts Festival

Sunday, December 8, 10am-4pm | Free Admission

Richmond Art Center, 2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond, CA

  • Unique, Handmade Gifts by Local Arts & Crafts Vendors
  • Ceramics Studio Sale
  • Free Art Activities
  • Community Partner Pop-Ups
  • Raffle
  • Food and Drinks

Be a vendor! Local artists, artisans, crafters and makers are invited to apply to be vendors at the Holiday Arts Festival. This shop-local event is a great way to expose your work to an audience of 1,000+ who appreciate hand-crafted gifts. There is no application fee and first-time vendors to the Festival are encouraged to apply.

Join the HAF vendor mailing list to be notified when applications for the 2024 festival open.

Richmond Confidential: ‘The View From Here’ art exhibit offers prisoners’ perspective of the world

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Richmond Confidential

‘The View From Here’ art exhibit offers prisoners’ perspective of the world

Choekyi Lhamo on July 6, 2024

Eduardo Ramirez, a Philadelphia-based mural artist, was incarcerated for 27 years in a Pennsylvania prison for a crime he did not commit. Since he was exonerated in November, Ramirez has found solace in making and teaching art in his community. 

“When a person creates, there’s a sense of pride in the act of creating, regardless of what the final product looks like,” he said.

His art is on display through Aug. 17 at the Richmond Art Center in an exhibition called “The View From Here.” The exhibition features 24 incarcerated artists from the San Quentin Rehabilitation Center and Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution Phoenix. It came together through letters exchanged between men at the two prisons about creating art and communicating their thoughts into something tangible. It is being presented by the San Quentin Prison Arts Project in collaboration with Mural Arts Philadelphia and also was on display in Philadelphia in March. 

“They were creators,” Ramirez said of the people he worked with during his time in prison. “They were much larger than the worst mistake they ever made in their lives.” 

The golden gate bridge under an orange sky and over an orange sea, as seekn from the San Quentin.

What: “The View From Here” art exhibition

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday until Aug. 17

Where: Richmond Art Center, 2540 Barrett Ave.

Cost: Free

Some of their letters are also on display at the exhibition, representing those who are unable to visit their own showcase. One letter reads, “I am in a beautiful art program here at San Quentin, I am in all the art classes hahaha. Remember that you have entered the realm of ‘timelessness’ with the art you’ve done.” 

Carol Newborg, program manager at the San Quentin Arts Project, emphasized the artists’ absence in the exhibition space, saying the system imposes “cruelly long sentences” despite its contention of rehabilitation. 

The collaborators wanted to make the artists’ presence felt, which includes their letters as well as songs that hold personal meaning for them. 

“As you walk around and look at the art, you can hear the music that was selected by the artists,” said Amy Spencer, community engagement director at the Richmond Art Center. “You are seeing their work but you’re also hearing something that they helped shape as well.”  

Ramirez is one of the few artists who is out of prison and the only one who will be able to attend the exhibition. He chose the track ‘Cha Cha Cha’ by MC Lyte released in the late ‘80s to go with his painting titled “Radiohead.”

The artists came up with the exhibit’s title, wanting to convey what prisoners think of the outside world and what the public thinks of prisons. 

“A lot of people in society have their preconceived notions of what prison life is like. And that’s because they’ve never been to prison,” Ramirez said. “The reality is that a person’s life is multifaceted and multilayered, and ‘The View From Here’ gets at that.”

The exhibition creates a space for dialogue between the public and the incarcerated. Richmond Art Center is also organizing a panel discussion on July 13 with Ramirez and artist Mwasi Fuvi, whose work is not part of the exhibition, alongside facilitators of the two prison art projects, Newborg and Phoebe Bachman. It will be followed by a mural painting workshop with Ramirez, where the community is welcome to help complete a mural designed by artists from the Pennsylvania prison.

The event and exhibit are free to attend.

(Photos: “Fishing from a Hole in a Wall” by Keith Andrews; “Bridge to Freedom” by Jeffrey A. Isom, photographer Peter Merts. Courtesy of Richmond Art Center)

Press Release: Exploring the Impact of Art in Prisons – Panel Discussion and Community Paint Day

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

The View from Here: Panel Discussion and Paint Day

Saturday, July 13, 11 am |  FREE
Richmond Art Center, 2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804

Richmond, CA: Learn about the impact of art in prisons from formerly incarcerated artists at a special discussion and paint day at Richmond Art Center. This event will feature artists Mwasi Fuvi and Eddie Ramirez, who will be joined by prison art program facilitators Carol Newborg of the William James Association’s San Quentin Prison Arts Project and Phoebe Bachman from Mural Arts Philadelphia at SCI Phoenix.

Panel Discussion: Mwasi Fuvi (Bay Area), Eddie Ramirez (Philadelphia), Phoebe Bachman (Philadelphia), and Carol Newborg (Bay Area) will share their insights as program alumni and facilitators of art programs in prisons, exploring the role of art, the day-to-day of prison art initiatives, and the genesis of their bi-coastal collaboration.

Live Mural Painting: Following the discussion, Eddie Ramirez will demonstrate his mural painting technique, showcasing a design created by artists at SCI Phoenix. Community members are invited to participate in completing the mural (Richmond Art Center will be open until 4pm for painting).

This event is part of the ongoing exhibition, The View from Here, one of KQED Art’s “Not-To-Miss Visual Art” shows of the summer. At Richmond Art Center through August 17, the exhibition features artwork by incarcerated artists from San Quentin and SCI Phoenix, as well as letters exchanged between these artists, highlighting a year-long creative exchange between the two prison art programs. 

Event Details:

  • Date: Saturday, July 13, 2024
  • Time: 11am start (the mural painting will begin at approximately noon)
  • Location: Richmond Art Center, 2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804
  • Admission: Free and open to the public. No RSVP is required.

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.

About William James Association’s San Quentin Prison Arts Project: The William James Association promotes work service in the arts, environment, education, and community development. Our work has been primarily centered around transformative arts experiences in nontraditional settings, serving men and women in and after prison and high-risk youth. Acting on the conviction that the fine arts enrich, heal, and unite communities, the William James Association has brought exceptional artists into prisons throughout California and other states since 1977.

About Mural Arts Philadelphia: Mural Arts Philadelphia is the nation’s largest public art program, dedicated to the belief that art ignites change. Now celebrating its 40th anniversary with the theme Roots & Reimagination, Mural Arts has united artists and communities through a collaborative and equitable process, creating over 4,300 artworks that have transformed public spaces and individual lives. Mural Arts aims to empower people, stimulate dialogue, and build bridges to mutual understanding through projects that attract artists from Philadelphia and around the world and programs that focus on youth education, restorative justice, mental health and wellness, and public arts preservation. Popular mural tours offer a firsthand glimpse into the inspiring stories behind Mural Arts’ iconic and unparalleled collection, earning Philadelphia worldwide recognition as the “Mural Capital of the World.” For more information, call 215.685.0750 or visit

Top Image: Keith Andrews, Fishing from a Hole in a Wall, 2023, Acrylic on parachute cloth. Philadelphia Mural Arts at SCI Phoenix

For more information and images contact:
Amy Spencer,


Free Summer Classes for Youth: Zines and Filmmaking

Make Art with Us this Summer!

Free Art Classes for Teens and Young Adults

About the Program: The Youth Artist Xchange is a series of free summer intensive classes. The program gives middle and high school students, as well as young adults (up to 24 years), in-depth, hands-on arts learning experiences in our studios led by professional artists.

How to Join:

  • Prospective students are invited to complete a short online application to let us know their arts interests and class preferences.
  • Available classes are listed below (click the LEARN MORE button to see the class schedules)


Dreams of Liberated Futures: A Zine & Printmaking Series

An intensive six-week summer class (with 12 sessions) for 8-12 youth (ages 14-24) that combines hands-on visual arts learning with storytelling. Taught by artist Shani Ealey, the class is rooted in traditional African Indigenous wisdom to provide inspiration for students to explore visual storytelling through zinemaking.

Schedule: July-August

Deadline to Apply: Tuesday, July 2, 2024


Digital Narrative: Short Stories for Film

Learn the art of storytelling through filmmaking! Participants will explore the language of creating visual narratives using professional filmmaking processes. From storyboarding and directing to shooting and editing, students will gain hands-on experience in crafting their own short movies. All materials and tools are included. This class is a youth space for ages 13 to 17. 

Schedule: July-August

Deadline to Apply: Tuesday, July 2, 2024


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.

Current Members are invited to vote to elect new Board Members at our Annual Members Meeting

Current Members are invited to vote to elect new Board Members at our Annual Members Meeting

At the Annual Members’ Meeting meeting there will be a ballot to elect new members to the Board of Directors. There will also be a vote to make amendments to Richmond Art Center’s By-Laws. All current Richmond Art Center members are invited to vote. The meeting will happen at Richmond Art Center on Saturday, June 29, 2024 starting at 12pm.


Richmond Art Center’s Nominating Committee and Board of Directors have nominated each of the following seven people for a three-year term on Richmond Art Center’s Board of Directors, beginning July 1, 2024. Biographical information is available HERE. You may vote for up to seven candidates.

  • Amy Feitelberg
  • Amy Zheng
  • Cristina Saavedra
  • Dawn Gonzalez
  • Sandra Kozma-Kennedy
  • Tia Foss


At the meeting there will also be a vote to make amendments to Richmond Art Center’s By-Laws. The proposed amendments are HERE.

East Bay Express: Home Is Where the Art Is

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East Bay Express

Home Is Where the Art Is

Exploring ‘home’ at Richmond Art Center

By Janis Hashe

Jun 4, 2024

The concept of “home” is baked into human DNA. “There’s no place like home,” says Dorothy as she clicks her heels to return to Kansas. But, wrote seminal American writer Thomas Wolfe, “You Can’t Go Home Again.”

Home can be a safe, comforting place—but for some, it’s a place of anger and insecurity, and for others, “the homeless,” it doesn’t exist at all.

All these ideas of home and more are explored in the exhibition at the Richmond Art Center through June 15. “Home Show” features the work of six RAC teaching artists—Eli Africa, Ned Axthelm, Colleen Garland, Julia LaChica, Travis Meinolf and Kristin Satzman—who work in many media, from printmaking to ceramics, to jewelry to video.

RAC Community Engagement Director Amy Spencer both envisioned the idea for “Home Show” and curated it. She did so with two goals, she said: To curate a theme that people have in common, and to highlight the work of the teaching artists at RAC. “Everyone was happy to participate. It’s always exciting to find a way to work differently with them,” she said.

Spencer noted that the pandemic elicited mixed feelings about home for many. While home was a safe space and a retreat from a frightening unknown, it also felt confining and isolating. “You can see that in [one of] Ned Axthem’s paintings, created during the pandemic,” she said. “It’s hyper-focused on this space … comfortable but confined.”

Julia LaChica’s pieces in “Home Show” address home as both a place to be venerated and as an ideal that isn’t realized for many. Her/their Home Altar (Ode to Monica) celebrates her/their Japanese/Filipino ancestry, with items collected over 20 years from those places, and also including an old clock assembly with a note honoring a housing activist friend who died.

LaChica, an Oakland resident, has been a teaching artist at RAC for a year, instructing classes in both screen and block printing. She/they has watched and spoken with gallery visitors while they look at Home Altar. “Someone said, ‘Standing in front of this is very calming,’” she/they said.

But LaChica’s three works in the exhibition deal with her/their own experiences as a child of divorce, moving from one home to another. Court Ordered depicts a family portrait layered over a court-ordered custody document. LaChica and her/their siblings were, for some time, bounced between her/their mother’s and father’s apartments, with neither feeling like a true home.

In another work, Home, some of the effects of this are seen. LaChica’s mother did not speak English well, and felt she had to leave her three young children home alone as she went out to work. LaChica’s five-year-old brother accidentally set the apartment on fire. At that point, “Child Protective Services stepped in, and we moved into public housing in [San Francisco’s] Chinatown,” she/they said.

Yet the third piece, Permanent Resident, is an homage to her/their mother, using her old Japanese passport, and reimagining her/their 4-foot-11-inch-tall mother as a samurai with a sword. Under “occupation” on the passport,  LaChica wrote: “Badass hell-raiser.” Under “visual identification marks,” she/they inserted: “Back straight,” “Youthfully beautiful” and “Singing Japanese love songs.”

LaChica is inspired by the theme of home, and plans to continue creating a “broader exhibit [focusing on] the displacement of people. This project will affirm that all people deserve a place to rest. I want people to think about that,” she/they said.

Displacement is also addressed in Eli Africa’s animated video, The Story of Frai, a tribute to immigrant workers deciding to leave their home in the Philippines to make a better life for their children.

Richmond resident Colleen Garland has taught ceramics at RAC since 2019. With more than 10 pieces in “Home Show,” she considers her contributions to be, in part, a tribute to her own ceramics teacher at Contra Costa College, Mary Law. “I continue to fire with her,” she said.

The show’s theme literally hit home for Garland. “I make pots to be used,” she said. But some of her work in the show is sculptural, including a “chipmunk house,” complete with log and mushrooms, created at the request of a friend, and dioramas of interior scenes. In Soda Kiln (Pot House), “I replicated the inside of Mary Law’s kiln. It’s a home for pots,” she said.

One project she attempted to make specifically for “Home Show” proved unsuccessful. “We had a month’s turnaround to prepare for the show, and I tried to make a self-portrait,” she said. But she didn’t let the clay dry long enough—and it exploded in the kiln. She’s philosophical about it, noting that working with clay, glaze and heat is always full of variables, which is one of the reasons the work that survives and is beautiful should be valued.

Garland would like visitors to “Home Show” to feel “that each artist has brought in a piece of [their own] home.” She also urges viewers to imagine how pieces interact with each other, like her pots being used in Travis Meinolf’s Small Shelter.

“Look really closely [at the art],” she said. “How was it made? Travis’ woven house took hours of work.”

Amy Spencer discussed yet another aspect of the show: That it’s a home for the multiple teaching artists featured in it, as well as for the many students from all over the East Bay who take classes with them. RAC offers classes for adults, kids, youth and families, including some bilingual offerings.

Art Boost! scholarships are available for some who cannot afford class fees. This summer, adult classes run the gamut from “Urban Nature Journaling” to “Japanese Brush Painting and Calligraphy.” A summer art camp for kids, and free summer art classes for youth, are also offered.

“The Richmond Art Center has been here for more than 80 years, but there are still people who haven’t discovered us yet,” Spencer said.

“We are doing special things here,” Garland added.

Upcoming: “Richmond Open Studios Preview,” an exhibition showcasing art by artists participating in Richmond Open Studios; July 3–Aug. 17.

Richmond Art Center, 2540 Barrett Ave., Richmond. Gallery hours: Wed-Sat, 10am to 4pm. 510.620.6772.

Top image: Created During The Pandemic, Ned Axthelm’s ‘Whelmed’ (2020, Oil On Panel), Conveys The ‘Comfortable Yet Confined’ Feeling Of Home During That Time. (Photo Courtesy Of Richmond Art Center)

Richmond Derivations – Call for contributions

Richmond Derivations – Call for contributions

Artist Quinn Keck is collecting words, stories, poems, and images for a project that will be part of the Right Here Right Now exhibition opening at Richmond Art Center in September 2024. Community members are invited to submit their memories and moments of Richmond to be included in a new artwork that will be part of the show. 

Press Release:  Announcing ‘The View from Here’ and ‘Richmond Open Studios Preview Exhibition’

Monday, June 3, 2024

Summer Exhibitions at Richmond Art Center

July 3 – August 17, 2024
Opening Reception: Saturday, June 29, 1pm-3pm

Richmond Art Center, 2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804
Gallery Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 10am-4pm
Exhibitions and events are all free and no rsvp is necessary

Richmond, CA: Artists living and working in Richmond, as well as incarcerated artists, will present their artwork at Richmond Art Center in two new exhibitions opening this summer

In the Main Gallery, San Quentin Prison Arts Project and Philadelphia Mural Arts present The View from Here, an exhibition featuring artwork by incarcerated artists from San Quentin Rehabilitation Center and Philadelphia’s State Correctional Institution Phoenix who participated in a creative exchange over the past year. The theme – The View from Here – emerged from the artists’ communications, exploring life inside prison and the realms where their minds wander beyond its gates.

A Panel Discussion and Paint Day featuring alumni and facilitators from both prison arts programs will be held on Saturday, July 13 starting at 11am. Following a panel discussion, former program participant Eddie Ramirez will showcase his mural painting technique – community members are invited to join in the process!

Also opening at Richmond Art Center this summer is the Richmond Open Studios Preview Exhibition. In its second year, this event will bring together nearly fifty artists in Richmond who are opening their studios to the public during the weekend of August 17-18. The Preview Exhibition offers visitors an advance showing of work by participating artists, allowing them to plan their self-guided tours throughout different Richmond neighborhoods in August. Richmond artists are also being hosted at ar.ti.fact Gallery, NIAD Art Center, and Richmond Art Center. Richmond Open Studios is an independent project of the Visual Artists of Richmond, an all-volunteer, fiscally-sponsored group based in Richmond.

An Opening Reception for both The View from Here and the Open Studios Preview Exhibition will be held on Saturday, June 29, from 1pm to 3pm. All are welcome to attend.

Richmond Art Center is located at 2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 10am to 4pm. Admission is free.

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.

Top image: Jeffrey A. Isom, Bridge to Freedom, 2023, Oil on canvas board, San Quentin

For more information and images contact:
Amy Spencer,



Important Parking Notification during RPAL’s Juneteenth Carnival

Important Parking Notification during RPAL’s Juneteenth Carnival

RPAL’s Juneteenth Carnival

Set-Up through Deinstall: Monday, June 9, 12am (midnight) – Monday, June 17, 5pm

Carnival: Friday, June 14, 5pm – Sunday, June 16, 11pm

Starting Sunday, June 9 at 12am (midnight) through Monday, June 17, 5pm the City parking lot opposite Richmond Art Center (on the 400 block of 25th Street between Barrett and Nevin Avenues) will be reserved for the Juneteenth Carnival being sponsored by the Richmond Police Activities League. As a result students and visitors to Richmond Art Center during this period may need to find alternative parking.


  • There are City parking lots adjacent to 1st Northern California Credit Union or across from Richmond Library
  • Residential street parking on the other side of Barrett Avenue from RAC might be the best option

For information about the Juneteenth Carnival Celebration call Richmond PAL at 510-621-1221 or visit their website at

Visit and Contact

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


Contact and Visitor Info
Gallery Hours: Wed-Sat 10am-4pm