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Press Release: NEA-Award Winning Artist Christopher Brown Presents Work with Former Student Megan Atherton


The relationship between an established teaching artist and student are examined in Making Our Mark, the 80th Anniversary Exhibition presented by the Richmond Art Center.

RICHMOND, CA — AUGUST 23, 2016 —  Award-winning Bay Area artist Christopher Brown has been a widely influential painter and a dynamic teacher. Brown exemplifies an artist who also teaches— stepping out of the studio to fulfill the commitment of molding future artists. In celebration of its 80th anniversary and continuous service to the Richmond community and the greater Bay Area, the Richmond Art Center is preparing a major 2016 Fall exhibition, Making Our Mark, which considers the works of engaging and influential artists such as Christopher Brown, and the relationships they foster with their students, mentees, and assistants.

In the work of Megan Atherton, Brown’s former student, we share in some of the rewards of this special exchange. The teacher / student relationship is shaped and fed by a myriad of elements and conditions. Sometimes influence is direct, sometimes it slips into corners of consideration, displaying wrinkles of reflection. With regard to the work of Brown and Atherton, we are invited to look at the connections, and then we can see further to a spirit of visual exploration and investigation.

CHRISTOPHER BROWN Downtown Oil on canvas, 2008-2016 80 x 110 ½ in. Courtesy of the Artist

Oil on canvas, 2008-2016
80 x 110 ½ in.
Courtesy of the Artist











MEGAN ATHERTON Grass is Greener Oil and acrylic on canvas, 2016 17 x 22 in. Courtesy of the Artist

Grass is Greener
Oil and acrylic on canvas, 2016
17 x 22 in.
Courtesy of the Artist



“Christopher Brown pursues visual inquiry with an analytical framework which expands with his integration of abstraction,” says Jan Wurm, Director of Exhibitions. “A similar multi-dimensional thinking infuses Atherton’s work with unexpected investigations and permutations which echo a shared impulse.”

Brown and Atherton 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 2 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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