Richmond Art Center Richmond Art Center

An update on the (gradual) reopening of Richmond Art Center

Dear RAC Community,

It’s happening! The gradual process of reopening Richmond Art Center will begin this summer. While the bulk of our classes and events remain online for now, plans are in place for a series of small on-site activities starting in July that will pilot our ability to open safely to the general public in early fall.

I know many students would love to return to our studios now, but please be patient. Our first in-person activities will focus on small groups run in partnership with community organizations and existing cohorts. Our facility has been closed for over fifteen months. It will take time for us to hire staff, reconnect with teachers, and rebuild our capacity for a suite of studio classes, exhibitions and events.

The great news is, with dedicated funding from an anonymous donor, we are able to use this transition time to makeover some of our public spaces and galleries. RAC is going sparkle!

So until we can see each other at RAC in the fall, I hope you will continue to engage in our classes, artist talks and events online this summer.


José R. Rivera
Executive Director

Family Ghosts | With Love… Issue 20

Three Artists Talk | Two Artists Talk | We’re Hiring!

Flora, Family Ghosts + Resilient Correspondence

Three artists discuss the threads and themes of their work

Online Artists’ Talk: Thursday, May 27, 7-8pm PST

Join us for a special event bringing together three artists – Shari Arai DeBoer, Manon Wada, Irene Wibawa – to discuss intersecting themes within their creative practice. While working in different media, scale and modes for investigation, the artists’ work is interconnected through their consideration of family stories, nature and resilience during these challenging times.

Image: Details of work by (l-r) Irene Wibawa, Shari Arai DeBoer, and Manon Wada

Learn more and RSVP…

Two Artists Talk

ART – A Life Long Commitment

A conversation between Raymond Holbert and VirgiNia Jourdan

Online Artists’ Talk: Saturday, May 15, 3pm-4:30pm PST

Raymond Holbert is a prolific artist, professor of art and design, and fascinating person. Holbert’s street photography focuses on a range of subjects; from a fascination with medicine, science and leisure, to current public dilemmas. For this online special event, that is part of Art of the African Diaspora 2021, Holbert will speak about his work with artist VirgiNia Jourdan.

Learn more and RSVP…

We’re Hiring!

Curator (part-time)

Richmond Art Center is looking for a Curator! This part-time position will be responsible for a number of exhibitions as we plan to reopen our facility in the summer. Position open until filled.

Image: Nicole Mueller’s site specific installation, Thresholds, at Richmond Art Center, 2019. Photo by Bill Johnston Jr.

View the job description…

Top and bottom banners feature artwork by Rebeca Garcia-Gonzalez.

Have something to share? Please email us at

We’re Hiring: Curator (part-time)

Job Title: Curator
: Richmond Art Center, 2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804
: $33.65 per hour
Job Type:
Part-Time, 12-Month Contract
: This position is 20 hours per week. Many of the position’s duties can be conducted offsite. The schedule is flexible, but the Curator must be able to be onsite for exhibition installations, and attend opening receptions and program events that often happen on weekends and weekday evenings. 
Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

About Richmond Art Center: For over 80 years, Richmond Art Center has served residents of Richmond and surrounding communities through studio arts education programs, exhibitions, off-site classes, and special initiatives for community-wide impact. Richmond Art Center’s mission is to be a catalyst in Richmond for learning and living through art. Our organizational values – relevance, equity and creativity – guide our programming. 

About the Exhibition Program: The goals of our exhibition program are to introduce new artists, artwork and perspectives on art; engage Richmond audiences; enhance the visibility of underrepresented groups/artists; and serve as a catalyst for community interaction. Before the covid pandemic, we presented 12-16 exhibitions and attracted over 15,000 visitors to our four gallery spaces annually. Our exhibitions featured the work of predominantly Bay Area artists at different stages in their careers – established, early career, students and youth. Notable annual community exhibitions include Art of the African Diaspora/The Art of Living Black (since 1997, an annual exhibition of work by artists of African descent), and the WCCUSD Art Show (since 1965, an annual exhibition of over 500 student works from 12 local middle and high schools).

Position overview: Richmond Art Center is looking for a part-time Curator to be responsible for a number of exhibitions, and correlating public programs, as we plan to reopen our facility in the summer. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Support Richmond Art Center’s commitment to producing exhibitions that reflect our values and our community. 
  • Curate at least 2 exhibitions, as well as coordinate the production of 3-4 more working with guest curators and/or community groups. Note: 75% of our 2021-2022 exhibition calendar is scheduled, so the Curator needs to be open to managing exhibitions that are already on the roster. But there is some space for developing new projects from start to finish.
  • Develop, plan and run public events that support the exhibitions, including (but not limited to) talks, tours, performances, and workshops. 
  • Support all areas of exhibition planning in conjunction with the Executive Director and Exhibitions Director, including loan paperwork and contracts, installation (pitching in when appropriate), budgets, and assessment/evaluation.
  • Build relationships with local artists, community organizations, and Richmond Art Center’s students to support and grow the reputation of Richmond Art Center.
  • Seek resources and sponsors for projects, and assist in providing content for grant applications.
  • Assist design promotional material, give creative input, and edit images

Skills and Qualifications

  • Four years work experience in a relevant field, or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Prefer experience focused on contemporary art, local artists, non-profit arts, and/or community organizing.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, and friendly demeanor with an ability to collaborate with artists, guest curators, partners, and staff. Must be comfortable with public speaking.
  • Proficiency with Google Docs, administrative softwares, and social media platforms.
  • Experience with art handling and installation.
  • Spanish language proficiency is a plus, but not required.

To apply: Interested candidates should send a cover letter, their resume, and (optional) writing samples (such as a press release, curatorial text, website content, promotional material, etc):

Richmond Art Center is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. 

Top image: Nicole Mueller’s site specific installation, Thresholds, at Richmond Art Center, 2019. Photo by Bill Johnston Jr.

If you don’t know who Raymond Holbert is… | With Love… Issue 19

AOTAD Artist Talk | WCCUSD Student Art | It’s Nearly May Already! | Classes Starting Soon | Call for Poets
Artist Talk

ART – A Life Long Commitment

A conversation with Raymond Holbert

Saturday, May 15, 3pm-4:30pm PST

Raymond Holbert is a prolific artist, professor of art and design, and fascinating person. Holbert’s street photography focuses on a range of subjects; from a fascination with medicine, science and leisure, to current public dilemmas. For this online special event, that is part of Art of the African Diaspora 2021, Holbert will speak about his work with artist VirgiNia Jourdan.

Image: Artist Marva Reed having an impromptu conversation with Raymond Holbert at RAC in early 2020

RSVP to receive the zoom link to attend…

WCCUSD Student Art

Announcing the Artistic Merit Awards

We celebrate all the amazing artwork in the 55th Annual WCCUSD Student Art Show, and are excited to announce the students who have received Artistic Merit Awards: Jasmine Agapito, Hercules High; Yamna Ahmadi, Pinole Valley High; Aaeh Chao, John F. Kennedy High; Monica Jimenez, John F. Kennedy High; Karyna Kolley, De Anza High; Jeremy Lara, Pinole Valley High; Bertha, Pinole Valley High; Monte, Pinole Valley High; Nhi, De Anza High; Jonathan, Richmond High; Isabella Sesante Aurigui, Fred T. Korematsu Middle School

Congratulations on your creative achievements this past year!

View the exhibition…

It’s Nearly May Already!

Taking Care of Yourself Activity Sheet

With the moon nearly a third of the way through its orbit of 2021, we think its as good a moment as any to take some time for reflection and intention around self-care. Please enjoy this bilingual activity sheet by Vero d. Orozco @verodorozco

Download the activity sheet…

Who will be Richmond’s next Poet Laureate?

Deadline to Apply: Monday, May 3, 5pm

The City of Richmond’s Arts and Culture Commission (RACC) is seeking a new Poet Laureate! In recognizing that poetry should be accessible to people from all walks of life, the Richmond Poet Laureate promotes the appreciation and dissemination of poetry in Richmond and acts as a spokesperson for the growing number of poets and writers in Richmond.

Learn more…

Top and bottom banners feature tin art by Rachel-Anne Palacios

Have something to share? Please email us at

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

Murals as a call for social justice | With Love… Issue 18


My Zoom Classroom | Spotlight on… Luis Pinto | AOTAD Artists’ Talk | Classes Starting Soon

My Zoom Classroom

55th Annual WCCUSD Student Art Show

For the first time in 2021 the West Contra Costa Unified School District Student Art Show is presented as an online exhibition. See how teachers and students found ways for innovative arts curriculum and artistic expression in the zoom classroom.

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

Image: Michelle, Grade 10, By the Light of the Window, 2021

Explore the exhibition…

Spotlight on…

Meet Teaching Artist Luis Pinto

Luis Pinto spoke with Ilene Conde, RAC’s Studio Education Manager, about teaching a series of Street Art Classes this semester for youth. He says, “These classes will open up students’ understanding and perspective on what street art is.”

New Classes: Street Art 101, The Art of Tagging, Street Art History

Image: Public art by Luis Pinto

Read the interview…

Art of the African Diaspora

MURALS: A Call for Social Justice

Saturday, April 17, 3pm – 4:30pm PST

Last year was a challenging year: a pandemic began, riots broke out, businesses were looted and injustice continued to be done. In this online Artists’ Talk, presented as part of Art of the African Diaspora 2021 ( , you will hear from artists who were called to create social justice murals in the Bay Area during this time.

Participating Artists: Zoë Boston, Timothy Bluitt, Ashlei Reign, Malik Seneferu, Olubori Babaoye

RSVP to attend…


Junior Center Fire Relief Fund

On Sunday, March 28, a fire at the Junior Center of Art & Science ( in Oakland caused devastating loss. Fire, smoke and water damage means the building will not be safe for use for the foreseeable future.

Richmond Art Center calls on our community to support this vital non-profit! The Junior Center has provided a safe space for young people and families to play, create and explore in Oakland for over 65 years. Let’s help it continue!

Support the Junior Center’s Fire Relief Fund…

Have something to share? Please email us at

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…!

Take better photos on your mobile device! | With Love… Issue 17


Mobile Photography | Healing through African Diasporic Art | Watercolor Tricks | Did you see the Catalog? | Join Our Board | More Classes Starting Soon | We Love… Black Magic Cabaret!

Free Workshop: Mobile Photography

Capture & Edit Photos on a Mobile Device

Thursday, April 15, 7pm-8:30pm

Teaching Artist: Kumi Rauf Adult

Workshop (Ages 12+)

Bay Area photographer Kumi Rauf will teach you how to capture and edit amazing photos on your smartphone! Using free mobile apps you will learn the fundamentals of mobile photography, how to make amazing product photos, create artistic projects and more. Learn more and register…

Free Workshop: Healing through African Diasporic Art

African Diasporic Art and Healing

Saturday, April 24, 10am-11am

Teaching Artist: Idris Hassan

Adult Workshop (Ages 12+)

This workshop by Idris Hassan introduces participants to the importance of artistic expression as a healing tool in the African Diaspora. It includes a brief history of African-American and African Diasporic Art, as well as a dialogue touching on the healing aspects of artistic enrichment in cultural communities. Learn more and register…

Free Workshop: Watercolor Tricks

Watercolor Techniques Using Household Items

Saturday, May 1, 10am-11am

Teaching Artist: Virginia Jourdan

Adult Workshop (Ages 12+)

In this workshop by Virginia Jourdan students will experiment with mixing watercolor paint with household items to create unique textures and patterns. The texture and patterns created will become a background for a silhouette painting of a peanut plant. Learn more and register…

Did you see the Catalog?

Classes, workshops, lectures, outdoor events… what will you join?

Our Spring Class Catalog is now out! Register today for online classes starting weekly April through May. And don’t forget, we have scholarships too!! Apply now.

Image: Design by Chandna Agarwal, @chandna_agarwal

Browse the catalog…

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…

We Love…

Black Benatar’s Black Magic Cabaret

UtahPresents premieres Black Benatar’s Black Magic Cabaret online this Friday, April 2 at 6:30 PST / 7:30 MT. This theatrical production brings audiences on a journey through race and cultural allyship in the U.S. And Richmond Art Center’s CAC Administrator of Color Fellow Sarah Guerra is part of the team making this production happen!! Get your ticket to this virtual performance…

Have something to share? Please email us at

Visit and Contact

Richmond Art Center
2540 Barrett Avenue
Richmond, CA 94804

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Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Closed Sundays & Mondays & Major Holidays

Gallery admission is free.