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Gratitude and News

It Was a Rollercoaster End to 2022

  • We are so grateful to our community! Despite the devastating loss of three major donors last year, we’re happy to announce that we reached our End-of-Year Appeal fundraising goal and raised over $80,000. Thank you to everyone who contributed!
  • On December 23, Rigo 23’s statue of Leonard Peltier—that was previously exhibited at Richmond Art Center—was stolen from a U-haul in Oakland. Thanks to alert community members – extra special thanks to Darby (pictured above) – most of the statue was recovered a few days later

Onwards 2023!

Meet Teaching Artist Anna Kingsley

Meet Teaching Artist Anna Kingsley

Anna Kingsley is an artist from Oakland, California. Since 2011 she has owned and operated Brick Factory Designs, a letterpress studio and bindery, and has happily produced customs designs for even happier clients. We spoke with Anna about her work, as well as the classes and workshops she’ll be teaching at Richmond Art Center this winter.

Can you please introduce yourself to our community?

Hello! I’m Anna and I’ve been teaching adults and children for over fifteen years. I started as a teacher for students with intense learning and behavioral challenges and later moved into teaching art. During the school year I teach origami at five different schools in the East Bay. I also run a small letterpress and bindery and print custom posters, announcements, broadsides, and more. I have three young adult children. Our family is very queer / trans. 

What has your artistic journey been like?

Art is a meditative process for me. I have ADD and repetitive motions help me focus.

I have always been a dabbler and creator. As a child I drew, painted, made my own books, and built magical sculptures. As an adult I do the same but with more skill and experience. I studied Photography and US History for my BA. 

What projects are you currently working on?

At present I am gathering print samples to photograph. This year has been busy and I haven’t had a moment to document my projects. I am also slowly working on cataloging the pigments I produced last summer. Some via chemical reaction (laked pigment) and some purely soil and mineral based sampled from local trails.

What do you like about teaching?

To be honest, a huge flex of mine is being able to help three students out at the same time with three separate issues while five other kids are scrambling for my attention. I love almost everything about the act of teaching. The community: spending time together with a common goal. Teaching is humbling. In order to teach , you also must remember what it is like to be a student. Those moments where you reach a learner who continually refused to believe they could complete a complicated project. Keeping my brain in shape when I have to change tactics mid lesson for half the class because my original way was not working for them. Teaching has zero down time. You are always ‘on’, and while this exhausts me sometimes, I apparently enjoy the sprint.

From my understanding, you have taught at Richmond Art Center before. What is it about RAC that keeps you coming back?

I love the staff at the RAC. They haul a** to get things done. The studio spaces work nicely with my classes and the age diversity of the student population is great.

Can you tell us about your class offerings this winter quarter?

So, I’m teaching two multi-session classes and three one day workshops. All printing and book binding. The workshops are fast paced and go less in depth because more of the prep will be done for you beforehand. The bonus is that you get to take home a beautiful and functional book after just three hours.  My intro to books and printing is a much more leisurely paced program. Beyond the specifics of ‘what’ and ‘how’, we will also have a chance to discuss the ‘why’ of certain techniques. This is really important for artists because we all have our own ways of getting to the same solution. Having a deeper understanding of factors such as  paper grain, ink additives, and  thread tension will allow a student to make better choices in future projects. 

Is there anything else you would like to share? About your classes, yourself as a teacher, or as an artist?

Come take a class with me. I’m good at what I do and I love seeing the creative light turn on inside someone who has not had time to prioritize art in their lives. Also, I’ve been told I’m hella funny. 

Anna Kingsleys website is She is also on Instagram @brickfactorydesigns.

Anna’s Workshops:

Coptic Sewn Book

No Glue Watercolor Sketchbook

Mixed Media Sketchbook

Anna’s Classes:

Explorations with Relief Printing


Press Release: Announcing Winter Exhibitions at Richmond Art Center

January 5, 2022


Winter Exhibitions at Richmond Art Center

January 18 – March 18, 2023
Richmond Art Center
2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804
Gallery Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 10am-4pm
Exhibitions and events are all free and open to the public

Richmond, CA: Richmond Art Center will present three new exhibitions this winter: Art of the African DiasporaConnected Always, and The Remembrance Project.

Art of the African Diaspora 2023
Main Gallery
Exhibition Dates: January 18 – March 18, 2023
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 21, 2pm-4pm

The longest running event of its kind in the Bay Area, Art of the African Diaspora, in partnership with Richmond Art Center, supports artists of African descent in the Bay Area through representation, professional development, and building a creative community.

In 2023 the exhibition at Richmond Art Center will showcase work by over 120 artists of African descent. Featured artists are Derrick BellCynthia Brannvall, and Pryce Jones.

Pick up a copy of the Art of the African Diaspora print catalog at Richmond Art Center for information about open studios and satellite exhibitions accompanying the main event at RAC. 

Exhibition Link:

Top image: Cynthia Brannvall, Fulfillment, 2021

Connected Always
South Gallery
Exhibition Dates: January 20 – March 11, 2023
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 21, 2pm-4pm
Ancestor Wheel Workshop / Artist Talk: Saturday, February 18, 12pm-2pm

Connected Always is an exhibition by Amanda Ayala, who presents a series of new works that explore the extensive generational connections we have with our ancestors. As part of her ongoing Ancestor Wheel project, Ayala’s work adopts circular patterns to visualize the magnitude of seven generations.  

Amanda Ayala is an interdisciplinary Xicana Indigenous visual artist and maker who centers people targeted by oppression and acknowledges their brilliance. Based in Santa Rosa, Amanda leads and facilitates workshops that combine artist liberation and social justice for people of all ages. Ayala will lead a workshop at Richmond Art Center on Saturday, February 18, 12pm-2pm. This workshop is free, open to all and no RSVP is necessary.

Exhibition Link:

Image: Amanda Ayala, Ancestor Wheel, 2020

The Remembrance Project
Community Gallery
Exhibition Dates: January 18 – March 18, 2023
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 21, 2pm-4pm
Remembrance Project Workshop: Saturday, January 28, 2pm-4pm
Book Talk With Sara Trail: Saturday, March 4, 1pm-2:30pm

The Social Justice Sewing Academy presents The Remembrance Project, a cloth memorial of activist art banners commemorating the many people who have lost their lives to systems of inequity and racist structures. These banners have been created collectively by volunteers across the country to help educate and inform communities about the human impact of systemic violence. 

Accompanying the exhibition are two special events for the community to express solidarity in the fight for social justice and remembrance of those lost to violence, as well as learn about the work of the Social Justice Sewing Academy. A hands-on workshop that merges craft, art and activism will be held on Saturday, January 28, 2pm-4pm. A talk and book signing with Sara Trail, founder of the Social Justice Sewing Academy and co-author of Stitching Stolen Lives, will be held on Saturday, March 4, 1pm-2:30pm. Both the workshop and talk are free, open all too ages, and no RSVP is necessary to attend. 

Exhibition link:

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.
For more information contact:
Amy Spencer,



Hyperallergic: Statue of Native Activist Mysteriously Lost (and Found) in Oakland


Artist Rigo 23’s sculpture of Leonard Peltier was eventually found with its arm missing and racist graffiti scrawled on a U-Haul truck in which it was being transported.

by Matt Stromberg

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Artist Rigo 23’s statue of incarcerated Native American activist Leonard Peltier has traveled across the county, stood watch alongside the water protectors at Standing Rock, and survived bomb threats. But it almost met its demise in the back of a U-Haul truck in Oakland last month.

The 12-foot-high statue was the centerpiece of Rigo 23’s 2021 exhibition Time and Again at the Richmond Art Center, whose curator, Roberto Martinez, volunteered to drive the artwork down from the Bay Area to the artist’s Burbank studio. He packed the disassembled redwood, metal, and clay sculpture into a U-Haul on Thursday, December 22, and parked it outside his home in East Oakland, with the intention of delivering it the next day.

“He wakes up and there’s nothing there,” Rigo 23 told Hyperallergic. “He calls and says, ‘I have news and it’s not good.’” Martinez began driving all over town frantically looking for the U-Haul, while police and even a private investigator aided in the search. Rigo has never put a price on the work, but estimates its worth at $100,000.

Tom Poor Bear standing on the feet of the Peltier statue in front of his trailer at Wounded Knee, winter of 2016 (photo courtesy Marc Hors)

Rigo 23 (born Ricardo Gouveia) made this sculpture in 2016, after an initial design made of clay, based on a self-portrait that Peltier made in prison in a pose reminiscent of Rodin’s “The Thinker.” In December 2016, the statue traveled to Washington, DC, where it was installed on the campus of American University. On its cross-country journey to DC, it stopped at Standing Rock, the Pine Ridge Reservation, Alcatraz, and other sites, where individuals stood on its momentous feet, acts of solidarity documented in photos. Soon after it was installed, however, the university received a bomb threat and a letter from FBI Agents Association requesting its removal, which the school acquiesced to.

Peltier is a Native American activist who was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences after being convicted of murdering two FBI agents in a 1975 shootout on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. He has always maintained his innocence, and a movement for clemency has been ongoing for decades, with one of the original prosecutors in the case asking for clemency in 2017.

Angela Davis on the feet of the Peltier statue at her home in Oakland, 2018 (photo courtesy David Petrelli)

After the truck theft, a few days passed with no leads. “It’s a living monument. The feet are charged with the energy of 1000 people,” Rigo said. “I was particularly distraught that the feet would be destroyed.” The following Tuesday, a woman named Darby identified the truck based on the license plate she had seen in a news story about the theft, and the police eventually found the car abandoned on East 22nd Street by Lake Merritt. Racist graffiti, including the n-word, was scrawled on the truck, and the sculpture’s left arm was missing, but it was otherwise intact.

Despite the controversy the statue has elicited in the past, and the significance of Peltier’s legacy, Rigo doesn’t think it was a targeted attack — instead, he said, it was probably someone’s “last-ditch effort” to stave off the worsening scourge of poverty in the Bay Area.

“At first we didn’t know how to interpret this theft, but as the days passed, it became clearer that in all likelihood this was just another U-Haul truck theft in the Bay Area,” he told Hyperallergic. “One more episode of societal breakdown in an area where teachers can not afford to live near the schools nor the students they are supposed to nurture and teach.”

He added that when it was eventually found, the truck contained a baby stroller and shopping cart, “icons of urban homelessness in the USA.”

A few days later, Rigo received a message from an Instagram user who sent a photo of a dog standing on the sculpture’s missing arm outside an RV encampment. Martinez and a police officer went to the site, and, with a long pole with a loop on the end used to restrain dogs, hooked the arm and dragged it over a makeshift fence.

The Leonard Peltier statue, a bit worse for wear, is now safe in Rigo’s studio. He plans to send it to South Dakota at the end of February for a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Wounded Knee Occupation of 1973.

Condition of the interior of the U-Haul truck when the sculpture was found (photo by Roberto Martinez)
Darby standing on the feet of the recovered Peltier statue, the morning after she ran after the U-Haul truck (photo by Roberto Martinez)

Top image: The Leonard Peltier Statue by Rigo 23 at the San Francisco Art Institute (2020) (photo by Alex Peterson)

Happy New Year from all of us at Richmond Art Center!

Wasn’t 2022 beautiful?

We’re looking forward to new adventures together in the New Year.

And if you can, please consider supporting our End-of-Year Appeal. Your donation – any amount – will support Richmond Art Center’s free gallery admission, exhibitions, education programs, and community outreach. 

Ways to Donate:

Other ways you can support Richmond Art Center:

Top images: 
1. Youth students in the print studio during the summer class Framing Identity
2. JB Broussard and Donna Gatson were artists in the Luminaries exhibition series celebrating 25 years of Art of the African Diaspora
3. The installation of Rebeca García-González’s new mural in the Community Gallery, We Found Joy In Art-Making / Encontramos La Felicidad Haciendo Arte
4. Students creating beads in the class Glass Beads and More! (Register now for this class starting again in January! Beginners welcome.)
5. Art Hazelwood demonstrates Emmy Lou Packard’s press in action for the exhibition Emmy Lou Packard: Artist of Conscience
6. Mictlanmanalli Ceremony led by Ernesto Olmos at Día de los Muertos, Fall Family Day
7. Mictlanmanalli Ceremony
8. Photo shoot at a Fencelines Community Workshop
9. A young visitor admires the mural Portals thru Powerful Prayers of Healing by Keena Azania Romano, Leslie Dime Lopez, Vanessa Agana Espinoza Solari, Yazmin Shi Shi Madriz and members of the community for the exhibition Collective Card is our Best Protection
10. Unveiling of Who Decides? S.P.O.T.S. The Game by youth participants in the summer mural program

12/31 Update on Stolen Leonard Peltier Statue

Rigo 23’s statue of Leonard Peltier was stolen from a U-haul in Oakland on 12/23.

UPDATE 12/27 6PM: Most of the Leonard Peltier statue has been recovered. HOWEVER, THE STATUE’S LEFT ARM/HAND REMAINS MISSING. If anyone has information about its whereabouts please contact Oakland PD or leave tips on RAC’s voicemail: 510-620-6772

UPDATE 12/31 2PM: The missing hand has been found! Rigo 23 share’s the story on instagram HERE.

KTVU reporting on the theft:

Stitching Stolen Lives: Book Talk With Author and Founder of SJSA, Sara Trail

Stitching Stolen Lives: Book Talk With Author and Founder of SJSA, Sara Trail

Saturday, March 4, 1pm-2:30pm

Richmond Art Center, 2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond, CA


Join us for a talk and book signing with Sara Trail, founder of Social Justice Sewing Academy and co-author of Stitching Stolen Lives, a book that chronicles the work of SJSA and the Remembrance Project. With forewords by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr, the book includes personal stories of individuals and their families whose lives have been cut short due to social injustices.

This event is free, open to all and no rsvp is necessary.

Richmond Confidential: After city reduces funding, Richmond Art Center campaigns for donations to keep going

Sasha Schell on December 13, 2022


The Richmond Art Center has overcome much in recent years, including the closure forced on all during the pandemic and more recently, a significant loss in donations over the summer. 

As 2023 looms, Executive Director José Rivera says that despite bouncing back from the major revenue losses of 2020, the RAC is still in need of additional funding to return to its pre-pandemic level of operation.

When Rivera was appointed in 2020, the RAC was just over $110,000 in the red, causing him to cut staff by about half in his first six months. And though he was able to keep the organization in the black through 2021, the challenges kept coming.

In January, the center learned that it could no longer expect to receive about 23% of its annual funding past July, with three major donors either dropping out or cutting back. The loss was upwards of $300,000, with the city itself making up the largest portion at around $150,000.

Richmond Art Center
Richmond Art Center hosts the annual Holiday Arts Festival on Dec. 4. (Sasha Schell)

Citing a changed economic landscape, the city’s Department of Arts and Culture Manager Winifred Day explained the cuts as an attempt to fund all local art organizations equitably, without picking favorites. Though the city still provides around $55,000 to the RAC’s annual budget, it no longer matches donations that Rivera and his team raise. Day emphasized that the city encourages all organizations to fundraise to fill any gaps.

That is precisely what Rivera and his team have done since January, winning upwards of $150,000 in grants in a matter of months. But that comes with its own complications.

The problem of grant funding, explains Rivera, is that it is often program-specific and cannot be used for operational costs. And without money for more staff, the center is hard-pressed to make good use of new-found grant dollars through classes and other programs.

This “Catch-22” gets at the core of how the RAC raises a large portion of its operational budget, through registration fees for classes. From July 2020 through the end of June  2021, the RAC saw class fees drop nearly 75%, from almost $500,000 to barely $122,000. And though numbers are not yet publicly available for this past year, limited staff has meant a severely diminished schedule.

“So that’s why you see these appeals asking people to be generous, because what we really need is money to run the place,” Rivera said. “We certainly got enough money to run programs.”

Richmond Art Center
Daniel Camacho (wearing hat) leads a calaverita workshop for Dia de los Muertos at the Richmond Art Center in October. (Sasha Schell)

The center has been actively campaigning this fall, with a call for donations circulating in a newsletter last month. In it, board President Michael Dear cites another 18 months as the timeline for the center’s full recovery, given the funding and staffing shortages.

The center is on a good trend, with roughly $68,000 raised through November. That’s a promising start, considering the center has historically been able to raise three times that amount between November and January.

With the day-to-day running of the center returning to some semblance of normality, albeit a masked normality, Rivera remains highly optimistic and hopes to hire another staff member to run classes in January, especially during high demand times like evenings and weekends.

Currently, the center’s budget sits at $1.2 million. For Rivera, the goal is to get back to where the center was before the pandemic, on the way toward $2 million. That, however, will depend on demand for classes and generosity from the community.

Richmond Artists Meeting

Richmond Artists Meetings

Tuesday, February 28, 5:30pm-7:15pm

Richmond Art Center, 2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond, CA


A group of Richmond artists is meeting to discuss creating an online artist directory. If you are a visual artist living or working in Richmond and would like to attend this meeting, please RSVP at to help plan for food and enough chairs.

Richmond Art Center is proud to be a resource for hosting community meetings and events. Richmond Art Center is not the organizer of this event. Contact for more event information.

Visit and Contact

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


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