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Press Release: Artists Enrique Chagoya and Yvette Deas Present Work Addressing Cultural Appropriate and Societal (Mis)Representation


Former teacher/student, now artistic colleagues, Chagoya and Deas exhibit recent works in Making Our Mark, the 80th Anniversary Exhibition on view at the Richmond Art Center.

RICHMOND, CA — AUGUST 30, 2016 —  Identity and culture are thematic arcs to be considered in many of the works presented in the Richmond Art Center’s 80th Anniversary major exhibition, Making Our Mark, which opens on September 13 and runs through November 12, 2016. Now as colleagues at Stanford University, two of Making Our Mark’s featured artists, Enrique Chagoya and Yvette Deas, began their association as teacher/student, bringing forth another vital theme in this unique exhibition: showcasing a generation of established and internationally recognized artists and the younger generation of artists they have supported and guided in their growing careers.

The lens focused on cultural appropriation, societal representation and misrepresentation, and the underlying political implications connects the work of Chagoya and Deas. The artists share a commitment to the considered, the illuminated, and examined. In Chagoya’s Untitled (After Yves St. Laurent) and in Deas’ American Pie, the viewer is arrested by work which magnifies actions and sharply directs attention to the very meaning of fashion, entertainment, and art as freely appropriating culture and subverting historical truth.

Drawing from his experiences living on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border in the late 70s and in Europe in the late 90s, Chagoya juxtaposes secular, popular, and religious symbols in order to address the ongoing cultural clash between the United States, Latin America and the world. Recently his work has been addressing issues on immigration and the economic recession. Deas is drawn to the intersections between the multiple selves people construct for public and private consumption and examining the traces left behind. Her art explores narratives manifested through coded understanding and juxtapositions that explore gender, race and sexuality.


Untitled (after Yves Saint Laurent)

Enrique Chagoya
Untitled (after Yves Saint Laurent)
Color etching, 2016
Edition: 12
Publisher: Magnolia Editions
22 ¼ x 38 ¼ in.
Courtesy of Magnolia Editions and the Artist

American Pie

Yvette Deas
American Pie
Mixed media on panel, 2008
48 x 60 in.
Courtesy of the Artist


“Chagoya and Deas share a finely tuned sense of verbal and visual language, social constructs, and culture,” says Jan Wurm, Director of Exhibitions. “These underlying values and assessments link their work in a shared attitude of reflection. That this is seeped in popular culture provides accessibility also for the viewer.”

Chagoya and Deas will participate in one of the Making Our Mark Artists’ Talks related to the exhibition, where they will discuss their individual practices and how they have experienced the teacher/student relationship and the importance of the guidance and support. This event will take place in the Richmond Art Center’s Main Gallery on Saturday, November 5 at 3 p.m. and is free to the public. For more information on the event, please visit:

From September 13 through November 12 in three galleries, Marking Our Mark will highlight 14 established and nationally known artists who have supported, and enriched the programs and exhibitions at the Art Center over many years. These artists include Christopher Brown, Squeak Carnwath, Enrique Chagoya, Lia Cook, Allan deSouza, Mildred Howard, James Melchert, Hung Liu, Richard Misrach, Richard Shaw, William T. Wiley, and Wanxin Zhang, artists who reflect various philosophies and media (painting, ceramics, fiber, sculpture, and photography). The opening reception for this exhibition will take place on Saturday, September 10, from 5-7 pm. For more information about this exhibition, please visit:

To learn more about the Art Center’s 80th Anniversary, including the 80th Anniversary Gala celebration, please visit:

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog of artwork and interpretation by the Director of Exhibitions, Jan Wurm. The complete list of artists included in Making Our Mark are Dru Anderson, Megan Atherton, Christopher Brown, Ethan Caflisch, Squeak Carnwath, Enrique Chagoya, Lia Cook, Sofia Córdova, Yvette Deas, Allan deSouza, Nathan Dollarhite, Michael Hall, Scott Hewitt, Mildred Howard, Hung Liu, Nicholas Makanna, Bruce McGaw, James Melchert, Richard Misrach, Kate Nartker, Deborah Oropallo, Shari Paladino, Johanna Poethig, Richard Shaw, Ehren Tool, Mary Hull Webster, William T. Wiley, and Wanxin Zhang.

About the Richmond Art Center:

The Richmond Art Center is the largest visual arts center in the East Bay, delivering exciting arts experiences to young and old alike who reflect the diverse richness of our community. The Art Center features hands-on learning, well-equipped studios,  Art in the Community programs and contemporary exhibitions in its galleries.

Every year, the Richmond Art Center serves thousands of students through classes and programs taught by professional artists, both onsite at the Art Center and at sites throughout Richmond. The Art Center’s four galleries mount rotating exhibitions that display the works of emerging and established Bay Area artists. Artists such as Richard Diebenkorn, Jay DeFeo, Wanxin Zhang, Hung Liu, William Wiley and Peter Voulkos have been showcased here.

The Richmond Art Center originated in 1936, when local artist Hazel Salmi, who worked for the WPA, traversed the streets of Richmond with a suitcase packed with art supplies, eager to teach art to anyone interested. Today, everything at the Art Center continues to breathe life into Salmi’s original vision: That within every person lives an artist.


Julie Sparenberg
Communications Manager

Download a PDF of the press release.


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