Inner Vision – Summer 2021 Youth Photography Class
Calling All Aspiring Photographers!Online Photography Class for High School Youth in Richmond!
About the Class: Richmond Art Center is working with esteemed artist Simone Bailey to offer an online summer photography intensive for high school students in Richmond. This online class offers students the opportunity to develop skills using a SLR camera and while learning to create impactful photography. Students will also learn to curate photographs when they select images for a public exhibition.
Eight students selected to participate in the class will receive:
DSLR Camera (Canon EOS Rebel T7)
Stipend of $350 for completing the class
Prints of work developed in class
Opportunity to exhibit photos in an exhibition at Richmond Art Center and/or in the community
Schedule: The online class will meet twice a week via zoom on Mondays and Wednesdays, 11am to 12:30pm. The class runs for five weeks from July 21 to August 25, 2021. The first day of class is Wednesday, July 21.
Eligibility / Selection process: All high school students in Richmond with an interest in photography (including 2021/22 rising high schoolers) are eligible to apply. Eight students will be selected for the class based on need and readiness to take the next step in developing their photography skills as demonstrated by their application.
How to apply: Complete the short application by the deadline Friday, July 1, 2021. Applications will be reviewed as they are received, so please apply as early as possible.
Selected students will be notified by Friday, July 9, 2021. Once students have confirmed their participation in the class Richmond Art Center will begin coordinating camera pick ups from RAC asap.
About the Instructor: Simone Bailey is an artist who utilizes photography, video, performance, sculpture, and site-specific installations in her artistic practice. Her work focuses on perception, process, ephemerality, desire, surrogate bodies, violence, and the impossible, all while maintaining an intimate proximity to blackness. Simone’s work has been exhibited at The Museum of the African Diaspora (San Francisco, CA), The Lab (San Francisco, CA), Southern Exposure (San Francisco, CA), Armory Center for the Arts (Pasadena, CA), and the Studio Museum in Harlem (New York, NY), among other venues. She received both an MFA in Fine Arts and an MA in Visual & Critical Studies from California College of the Arts. She also earned a BFA in Filmmaking from San Francisco Art Institute. Simone lives and works in San Francisco.
This program is funded by a grant from the California Arts Council
Top image: Richmond Art Center recently re-discovered a series of analog photographs taken by youth at RAC in the early 1970s. These photographs were created in an afterschool class taught by Richmond photographer Robert Benin. Participants in the class learned how to use cameras and process film, they then took the cameras home with them to photograph their friends and families. Nearly fifty years later, these photographs made by youth, for youth and with youth, provide an intimate glimpse into daily life for youth in Richmond in the 1970s.
S.P.O.T.S: Supporting Peoples Outlooks, Talents, and Speech
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2pm to 4 pm
The painting spot, the gathering spot, the spot light or epicenter of action.
Public art is a powerful tool for community building. This program will introduce young artists to the means to create vibrant community art works. A cohort of twelve young artists (ages 12-24) will learn about different models of community art projects, help to define how the program will local youth, and create a collaborative mural project. Students will learn basic color theory, composition, and painting methods.
Eligibility: This six week class is for youth ages 12-24 who live, work or study in Richmond.
Stipend: Each student will receive a $200 stipend for their work at the completion of the program.
Schedule: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2-4pm, July 6 – August 12
Instructor: Fred Alvarado
This class welcomes Spanish speakers and is an inclusive bilingual space. El Artista Maestro habla Español.
Join us Friday, June 25, 3:30-5pm for an afternoon showcase of Richmond arts!
In collaboration between Richmond organizations NIAD, East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, Richmond Art Center, and RYSE, we bring you “Out of the Mouths of Beings”, hosted by Richmond’s own Youth Poet Laureate, Sheila McKinney!
This special online event will feature spoken word, dance, music, visual arts, and movement; building community, love, and togetherness in the virtual space.
Kick off the summer right and enjoy the abundance of creativity Richmond has to offer!
Richmond, CA: Richmond Art Center has been approved for a $30,000 Grants for Arts Projects award to support the inaugural Richmond Artist Residency (RAR) for emerging artists. The 2021-2022 RAR artists will be local collective Liberación Gráfica, a group of young printmakers whose work explores community, culture and social justice through the lens of growing up in Richmond.
Richmond Art Center’s project is among the more than 1,100 projects across America totaling nearly $27 million that were selected during this second round of Grants for Arts Projects fiscal year 2021 funding. This is Richmond Art Center’s first NEA grant since 2003.
“This grant comes at an important time for Richmond Art Center,” says José R. Rivera, Richmond Art Center’s Executive Director. “As we plan to reopen our facility later this summer, after over a year of being closed due to the pandemic, this NEA grant will help us develop new and responsive ways to partner with artists in Richmond.”
“As the country and the arts sector begin to imagine returning to a post-pandemic world, the National Endowment for the Arts is proud to announce funding that will help arts organizations such as Richmond Art Center reengage fully with partners and audiences,” said NEA Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “Although the arts have sustained many during the pandemic, the chance to gather with one another and share arts experiences is its own necessity and pleasure.”
About Liberación Gráfica: Liberación Gráfica is a collective of young printmakers from Richmond whose members create work to uplift social justice, the Richmond community, and young voices. As educators the collective has developed a curriculum that helps young people engage in printmaking through exploring historical political posters and creating their own posters on topics they feel connected to. The collective has held multiple live screen printing workshops around the community at events, high schools, and local organizations like RYSE, Urban Tilth, APEN and Richmond Art Center.
About Richmond Art Center: For over 80 years, Richmond Art Center has served the residents of Richmond and surrounding communities through studio arts education programs, 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. 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. richmondartcenter.org
ISSUE 23 Rewriting the Rules | ED Update | Live Online Soon! | Summer Fun for Young Artists Don’t Forget the Catalog
Rewriting the Rules
California Girls 2
The 1971 exhibition California Girls was the last show organized by groundbreaking curator Tom Marioni for Richmond Art Center. Marioni was dismissed from his job at RAC shortly after the opening reception. California Girls 2 marks the 50th anniversary of Marioni’s time at RAC.
Accompanying the exhibition is a new interview with Tom Marioni, Rewriting the Rules, by curator Shaelyn Hanes.
“At Richmond Art Center we celebrated Pride last weekend with Drag Queen Story Hour. In this special storytelling event with Drag Queen PerSia, families came together to rejoice in the gender fluidity of childhood and experience positive, queer role models.
End in Sight Three Artists’ Bittersweet Journey Through a Pandemic
Online Artists’ Talk: Thursday, June 24, 7-8pm PST
Three artists – Elishes Cavness, Tiffany Conway and Marva – will discuss their journey through the Covid-19 pandemic in a special online artists talk on Thursday, June 24, 7pm to 8pm. These three Richmond artists have studios very close to each other, and over the past eighteen months have developed a special bond. As Cavness says, “We are a unique three. We’ve supported each other. We’ve been in contact. We created a community of three.”
We’ve lined up some exciting online activities for young artists this summer! Drop in to single classes or sign up for weekly sessions. Printmaking Camp, Tie Dye Camp, Mermaid Camp, plus more! For Ages 5+
And don’t forget we have scholarships available for folks who need an Art Boost.
It’s June and Pride Month! Starting with the Stonewall Uprising in June 1969, this month celebrates and commemorates LGBTQ+ activism and culture through the years.
At Richmond Art Center we celebrated Pride last weekend with Drag Queen Story Hour. In this special storytelling event with Drag Queen PerSia, families came together to rejoice in the gender fluidity of childhood and experience positive, queer role models.
But Pride month is also a time for action. As I look at the fun and excitement occurring here in the Bay Area, I have to pause and reflect on the fact that many LGBTQ+ people around the world still struggle against discrimination and persecution. I recently saw the HBO documentary Welcome to Chechnya. This documentary exposes the underreported atrocities LGBTQ+ people are suffering while highlighting a group of people working undercover to help them. I personally recommend this documentary and at the end of it you will see ways to help those who are in harm’s way. This is another way to celebrate Pride.
On to lighter subjects, we are finally upon the end of our fiscal year – and what a year it has been! RAC staff have done an amazing job in keeping the artistic flame alive through a challenging period. And now we are busy planning big things for FY22. The pause in our on-site activities has provided an opportunity to perform significant upgrades to our facilities. We are also looking at how to more fully utilize the courtyard with the help of an architectural firm here in the East Bay. The results of these initiatives will be a greater and safer experience for our students, teachers and guests.
It will take a significant amount of money to ramp up again and kick-start on-site operations after working with a skeleton crew for the last nine months. If you have recently donated to our efforts, a heartfelt thank you; if you have not yet, we appreciate a donation in any amount, so we can finish our fiscal year strong and ready to (hopefully) restart full operations in the fall.
I hope you have an enjoyable summer. I look forward to welcoming you at RAC in the very near future.
Richmond, CA: Richmond Art Center (RAC) presents a new exhibition marking the 50th anniversary of California Girls. The 1971 exhibition was the last show organized by groundbreaking curator Tom Marioni for RAC and included early works from the feminist art movement. Marioni was dismissed from his job at RAC shortly after the opening reception.
California Girls 2 can be viewed on Richmond Art Center’s website and includes recent work by 12 Bay Area artists who Marioni admires: Susan Backman, Mitra N Forouhar, Diane Andrews Hall, Mildred Howard, Mary Ijichi, Flicka McGurrin, Cheryl Meeker, Susan Middleton, Gay Outlaw, Diane Roby, Frances Valesco, and Catherine Wagner.
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, as well as off-site activities that bring free, high-quality art making experiences to WCCUSD schools, community centers, and Richmond Public Library. richmondartcenter.org
For more information contact: Amy Spencer, Exhibitions Director Richmond Art Center, 2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804 firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Marioni is a San Francisco-based artist, curator, and writer who played a key role in Bay Area conceptual art in the 1970s—a movement in which artists used humor and action to intertwine art and daily life. Marioni moved to San Francisco from Cincinnati in 1959. His first major foray into the San Francisco art scene occurred nine years later, when he became curator at the Richmond Art Center.
From 1968 to 1971, Marioni presented exhibitions at the Richmond Art Center that challenged traditional notions of art. Exhibitions such as The Return of Abstract Expressionism centered Marioni’s artist peers—a group that made ephemeral artwork that centered movement—and placed them into dialogue with art historical figures. Other exhibitions, such as Invisible Painting and Sculpture, demonstrated these artists’ move away from object-based artworks and towards art practices that prioritized space and ideas. While Marioni’s exhibitions at the Richmond Art Center are now celebrated as defining moments in Bay Area art history, they were controversial and challenging for audiences in the 1970s. As a result, Marioni was dismissed from his job at the Richmond Art Center in 1971 after the opening reception of California Girls. The exhibition, which marked the end of Marioni’s tenure at the Richmond Art Center, presented artwork by women living in California and included early works from the feminist art movement.
Independent curator Shaelyn Hanes interviewed Marioni in April 2021 to reflect on his time at the Richmond Art Center and consider the 50th anniversary of California Girls.
SHAELYN HANES: What was the Richmond Art Center known for when you became curator in 1968?
TOM MARIONI: The Richmond Art Center was founded by a woman named Hazel Salmi in 1936. It was one of the most forward-looking galleries in the Bay Area. In the 1950s, it showed the Bay Area Figurative artists. In the 1960s, it showed the Funk artists. When I became curator at the Richmond Art Center in 1968, I wanted to carry on that tradition. That’s when conceptual art was born, so that’s what I showed. Conceptual art wasn’t the majority of what I did, but those were the things that got noticed because they were controversial and underground.
HANES: The Richmond Art Center gained a lot of recognition for those exhibitions, right?
MARIONI: I curated an exhibition called Invisible Painting and Sculpture in 1969. It was the first time Larry Bell, an important leader of L.A.’s Space and Light movement, was seen in the Bay Area. The exhibition didn’t get reviewed in the [San FranciscoChronicle] newspaper, so I wrote a letter to the editor and the art critic. I explained the concept and argued that Invisible Painting and Sculpture was an important show. After that, the editor decided to pay more attention to the Richmond Art Center. That was when [Bay Area art historian and critic] Thomas Albright became an art critic. Albright didn’t drive, so he’d take the bus to the Richmond Art Center. At first, he was critical of the shows I did, like The Return of Abstract Expressionism. It took a long time for him to come around to conceptual art, as it did for most of the Bay Area.
HANES: How did working as a curator inform your practice as a sculptor? Did curating play a role in your move towards the social artworks [staged events in which the artist controls the environment and/or participants] that you made in the 1970s?
MARIONI: When I moved to San Francisco in 1959, I was a minimalist sculptor. San Francisco was expressionistic and figurative. I was doing work that looked like it came out of L.A., where the style was clean and plastic. After hanging shows at the Richmond Art Center, my sculpture expanded to focus on installation instead of single objects. I became a conceptual artist around 1968 when I learned of Joseph Beuys’s idea of social sculpture [the concept that everything in life is art and anyone can be an artist]. The work that I’m most known for, The Act of Drinking Beer with Friends is the Highest Form of Art (1970), is like an opening reception. Receptions are like parties. I always thought the alcohol was an aid to communication. It gets everybody to loosen up.
HANES: What about the logistics of working as both an artist and a curator? I know you worked under a pseudonym for a while.
MARIONI: When I did Invisible Painting and Sculpture, I produced a catalog that listed the artists alphabetically. I included myself in the catalog by inserting two blank pages where my name would have been. That was the first time I included myself as an artist in an exhibition. When I was organizing the next show, TheReturn of Abstract Expressionism, I selected mostly wall pieces. I needed something on the floor, so I created Birds in Flight (1969). For that piece, I sent instructions to throw crumpled paper on the floor to myself, the curator, from someone named Allan Fish. I made artwork under the name Allan Fish for the next three years while I was curator at the Richmond Art Center. It was a conflict of interest to be an artist and a curator, especially if you put yourself in the show. I exposed it in 1971 after I left the Richmond Art Center.
HANES: Could you tell me about some of the more memorable exhibitions you curated at the Richmond Art Center?
MARIONI: Every year, the Richmond Art Center would have a juried annual, which alternated between a Sculpture Annual and a Painting Annual. I got [renowned American painter] Wayne Thiebaud to jury the Painting Annual and Larry Bell to jury the Sculpture Annual. Larry Bell’s Sculpture Annual was a scandal because he only picked three artists and they were all conceptual artists: Terry Fox, Paul Kos, and James McCready. Everyone else was a “first prize winner” and got their $5 entry fee back. I got blamed for it, but it was all Larry Bell. I had no idea that he would select those works.
HANES: Terry Fox’s Levitation (1970) was also a bit of a scandal, right?
MARIONI: I first met Terry Fox when I included him in The Return of Abstract Expressionism. After that, I invited him to perform his famous Levitation piece at the Richmond Art Center. He covered the gallery floor with white paper and made a dirt island [in the center of the room]. He laid on the floor and tried to levitate. Fox had Hodgkin’s disease and the piece was related to his illness. The Director of Parks and Recreation forced that show to close after three days because he said it was obnoxious. He got the Health Department to say the dirt was a health hazard and the Fire Department to say the paper was a fire hazard.
MARIONI: Another work that closed early was Paul Kos’s Richmond Glacier (1969). I met Paul Kos when he came to see InvisiblePainting and Sculpture. He showed me his work and I invited him to have a solo show, which was titled Participation Kinetics (1969). Richmond Glacier was in that show. It consisted of 25-pound blocks of ice stacked to make a big [7,000 pound] sculpture that would have taken a few days to melt. It blocked the main entrance of the museum. Kos wanted viewers to go around the side of the museum to get into the gallery, but the city carted it away.
HANES: Are there any other moments or artworks that stand out in your memory from your time at the Richmond Art Center?
MARIONI: Before I applied to the job at the Richmond Art Center, I showed my sculptures to Hayward King, who was the director and curator at the time. He invited me to have a show. Then, about a month later, I interviewed for the curator’s job and they hired me. In the meantime, my show was already scheduled by Hayward King, so I installed it. When the exhibition was reviewed, a reporter claimed that the first thing I did as curator at the Richmond Art Center was to exhibit my own work, which wasn’t true. That was something I always regretted not being able to correct.
HANES: What was the last exhibition you curated at the Richmond Art Center?
MARIONI: The last show I curated was a group exhibition of women artists from L.A. and San Francisco. Janet Webb was an interesting conceptual artist in L.A., and she gave me the idea for the name for the show—California Girls, based on the Beach Boys song that was popular in the late 1960s. Liz King had a very interesting piece in the show. My favorite was Marsha Fox’s sculpture, which was a bra for a cow. It had big straps that went around the cow with a cup for each of the nipples. It was a really great hanging sculpture made out of cloth, like a [Claes] Oldenburg. I was friends with Judy Chicago and her husband, Lloyd Hamrol, at the time. Chicago was a prominent artist in L.A. who also taught feminist studio art classes at Fresno [State College]. The fact that she was a woman that didn’t keep her down any, because she was so strong. She was responsible for me getting fired from the Richmond Art Center. We weren’t friends after that, and I haven’t seen her since.
HANES: Was your relationship with Chicago and Hamrol what connected you to the feminist art movement and led to the California Girls exhibition?
MARIONI: Not really. I always thought that men become artists because they want to express their female side. I think most male artists are feminists. That’s what the premise of the show was. And I think it was probably one of the first feminist art shows in the country. I can’t say for sure, but I didn’t know of any other at the time.
HANES: Were all of the artists part of the feminist art movement or was the exhibition feminist because the works were political?
MARIONI: I didn’t think of it as a feminist art show at the time. I just thought of it as a show of women artists.
HANES: Can you tell me about the opening reception of California Girls and the piece that Judy Chicago sent her student [from the Fresno State College Feminist Art Program] to perform?
MARIONI: Ernie Kim was Head of Education [at the Richmond Art Center] and taught ceramics. He asked me what was going to happen at the opening, and I told him. Kim told the Director of Parks and Recreation, who never came to any of the openings of the shows I curated. The Director of Parks and Recreation came to California Girls and stayed until the end, when Judy Chicago’s student [Cheryl Zurilgen] performed. She wore a white, two-piece bathing suit and strapped a milking machine to herself. She laid a long strip of paper on the floor of the front hall. She crawled on her hands and knees and dragged cow’s blood on the paper. It was creepy. I got fired the next day.
HANES: Did they fire you because, similar to the Fox piece, there was blood in the gallery?
MARIONI: The Richmond Art Center had been trying to fire me since the Terry Fox show, but Hayward King wouldn’t do it. He always gave me a good review because I was putting the Richmond Art Center on the map. They fired him a year before I left, so I was in charge the last year I was there. As soon as I got fired, they made Ernie Kim acting director. It’s like he was after my job. It was a dirty trick.
HANES: I’m interested to hear about your approach to curating California Girls 2 in 2021. How does this presentation of artists relate to the original exhibition? Are you going to invite any of the original artists?
MARIONI: I don’t know any of the original artists anymore. It’s been 50 years and some of them have died or moved away. Liz King became a famous sculptor in West Virginia. Janet Webb lives in New Mexico. There’s no way to invite any of the original artists after this many years. The women I’m inviting to California Girls 2 are women artists that I know and admire.
HANES: Why is it important to reconsider California Girls from the current contemporary moment?
MARIONI: Two reasons: it’s the 50th anniversary of the original exhibition and there’s the #MeToo movement. Also, some of the most prominent artists today are women.
Shaelyn Hanes is a San Francisco-based curator, writer, and arts professional. She has supported curatorial projects at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, and di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art. Shaelyn earned an MA in Curatorial Practice at California College of the Arts in 2021 and a BA in Interdisciplinary Field Studies from the University of California, Berkeley in 2010. Her graduate thesis explores the role that women artists played in Tom Marioni’s Museum of Conceptual Art in the early 1970s.
CLICK HERE to view California Girls 2, an online exhibition curated by Tom Marioni.
Top image: Allan Fish (Tom Marioni), Birds in Flight, 1969. Courtesy of the Artist
The Richmond Art Center (RAC) is celebrating Pride month by hosting a free online “Drag Queen Story Hour with PerSia” on Saturday, June 12 from 10-11 a.m. In an event geared toward kids and their families, PerSia will read A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss, according to the RAC.
We’ve lined up some exciting online activities to keep young artists creative this summer! Drop in to single classes or sign up for an entire session. Unicorn Camp, Squishy Wonderful Clay, plus so much more… For Ages 5+
Taller de comunicación gratuito (Free Communications Workshop)
Cuenta Tu Historia
Taller: Sábado, 12 de junio, 9:15 am – 11:15 am
Un taller de narración personalizado para líderes, defensores y aquellos motivados a hablar por y servir de manera significativa a su comunidad.
En este taller de 90 minutos facilitado por The Practice Space, los participantes aprenderán cómo crear y entregar historias personales convincentes, conectar las experiencias personal con los temas importantes, y tendrán la oportunidad de agregar sus historias a un repositorio creciente de historias de personas que viven y trabajan en la ciudad de Richmond.