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“Making new work and teaching during covid is challenging, but I’m grateful to be able to do it.”

Meet Alex Martinez

Artist Alex Martinez is a second-generation Queer, Mexican-American Chicanx, raised in Watsonville, California. She has lived in the Bay Area for 20 years, and is a teaching artist at Richmond Art Center. 

Alex chatted with Amy Spencer, Exhibitions Director at RAC, on January 12, 2021.

Hi Alex! Let’s start with your art and teaching practice.

I am a dual-credentialed educator and artist. I taught for five years as a special education teacher, but now I am focused on my art practice and anti-racist teaching work, specifically developing curriculum in Bay Area schools. At the moment I’m applying to MFA programs. This is all keeping me busy.

What art project are you working on at the moment?

I’m continuing a series called Legacy of Resilience, which is about amplifying voices of transgender asylum seekers, and missing and murdered indigenous women. This was a collaborative project working with artists Eli Reyes and Malaya Tulay. So far we have created two large-scale portraits that highlight the effects of systemic racism on marginalized populations. The first portrait is called They Came Seeking Protection (2020, mixed medium, 48’’ x 65”) and shows Roxsana Hernandez and Johana “Joa” Medina Leon, transgender asylum seekers who died in detention at the US/Mexico border. The second portrait is called Disappeared Three Times (2020, mixed medium, 48’’ x 65”) and depicts missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, two-spirit and trans people. These works feature painted acrylic portraits, beadwork, text, and appliqué, as well as embroidery and linoleum block printing on the borders. I started the Legacy of Resilience series as part of a YBCA Public Participation Fellowship last year. 

Alex Martinez, Eli Reyes, and Malaya TulayDisappeared Three Times, 2020. Mixed Medium, 48’’ x 65”. Courtesy the artists.

What has it been like continuing to make work and teach online during the pandemic?

At first it really felt like a big challenge and pivot. But teachers are adaptable. I think we all took it as a learning opportunity. Right now I’m an art teacher for middle schoolers. It continues to be a challenge to engage with students as they go from screen to screen, and I’m seeing screen fatigue. But we are just trying to be compassionate and understanding. And create spaces where kids can express some of the complicated feelings they are going through right now.

What are you teaching at Richmond Art Center this semester?

A teen journaling class. The class is designed as a series of one-off activities where kids can engage as they want. I created it like this because of my understanding of how hard it can be for young people to show up online right now. I wanted the class to be available to suit individual kids’ needs. Each class session focuses on a different medium and way of expression, so students can learn how to add a new design dimension to their journal. It’s about helping youth develop their own visual language across a ton of different mediums. As well as giving them the opportunity for exploration and connection with other youth. 

Art Journaling for Teens (for ages 12-17) starts January 20 and runs through February 10. More info about the class is online HERE. Alex is also teaching a kids class Junk Art! (for ages 6-12) this semester. Info HERE. And you can visit Alex’s website to see her work HERE.

Thank you Alex!

Thank you! Making new work and teaching during covid is challenging, but I’m grateful to be able to do it. 

Alex Martinez, Eli Reyes and Malaya TulayThey Came Seeking Protection, 2020. Mixed Medium, 48’’ x 65”. Courtesy the artists.

Thank you for being part of RAC’s story | With Love… Issue 12

Issue 12
Let’s Keep Going | Art of the African Diaspora | Spotlight On… Vera Totos | Classes Starting Soon
Play the Art Cube Game

Let’s Keeping Going

Thank You!

A huge thank you to everyone who contributed so generously to Richmond Art Center’s end-of-year campaign. We raised $78,500 that sets us up for a great start in the new year! (If you didn’t get a chance already, donations can still be made online here:

It will be a long time before we know how deeply 2020 has transformed our community and our country. But we are optimistic 2021 can shine. Thank you again to all who are part of Richmond Art Center’s story.

Image: Memories of 2020 from Instagram @richmondartcenter

Art of the African Diaspora

Artist Registration NOW OPEN

Online Exhibition Dates: February 11 – May 16, 2021
Artist Registration Deadline: Sunday, January 24, 2021, 11:59PM

“Art of the African Diaspora is an exhibition that introduces African Diaspora art to new audiences, but also provides fresh insight into its artists and their Bay Area experiences. We are excited that the 2021 program will be a virtual hybrid which we anticipate will expand our audience.”

– Stephen Bruce, artist and Steering Committee Chair, AOTAD

Artist Info Session, Saturday, January 9, 2021, 11:30am-12:45pm
Register for the Artist Info Session:

Image: Fadhili Rauf looks at artwork from Art of the African Diaspora, including a ceramic piece by Renata Gray (2019).

More info…

Spotlight On…

Improv Weaving with Vera Totos

Learn expressive weaving with artist Vera Totos! In this two-day online class students will jump right into creating their own scarves on 4-shaft table looms borrowed from the instructor. Vera will teach improvisational techniques such as rya knots, clasped weft and soumak, as well as loom-controlled patterning. This is a great opportunity for beginner weavers, as well as folk with some weaving experience who would like to venture into free improvisation or try out shaft looms.
Sat-Sun, Jan 23-24, 10am-12pm

About the Artist: Vera Totos weaves, felts, paints, dyes and spins fibers that make up the fabric of our lives. Vera lives in the Bay Area and manages The Fono Arts and Crafts. You can find her online at at or

More info…

Classes Starting Soon

DIY Jewelry Making

DIY Jewelry Making

Using a variety of household materials students will create unique pieces such as bracelets, rings and a jewelry box.

Kids Class (Ages 7-11)
Wednesdays, 3-4pm
Jan 13 – Jan 27

More info…

Sumi-e/Ink Brush Painting

Become more aware of the world and capture the spirit of your subjects through ink brush painting.

Adult Class
Thursdays, 10am-12pm
Jan 14 – Mar 4

More info…

Let’s Paint Watercolor!

Improve your watercolor painting skills! This class focuses on skill building, problem solving and helping students develop their own personal style.

Adult Class
Saturdays, 10am-12pm
Jan 16 – Mar 6

More info…

Art Journaling for Teens

In this class young artists will fill the pages of their art journals with fun projects using watercolors, colored pencils, ink, marker, paint, folded paper, and found objects. Sign up for one class or as many as you like!

Teen Class (Ages 12-17)
Wednesdays, 3:30-5pm
Jan 20 – Feb 10

More info…

Art Cube Game

It’s time to roll and draw!

Draw on your own or with other people. Keep rolling and keep drawing! This game was created by Teaching Artist Lauren Ari.

Start playing…

Have something to share? Please email us at

Artist Registration for Art of the African Diaspora is Now Open

Artists, sign up HERE to join Art of the African Diaspora 2021!

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 2021 Art of the African Diaspora will be hosted at and All artists who register to participate will be included in the online exhibition with an individual webpage highlighting their work. Artists can also host virtual or in person* open studios, artists talks and other events in conjunction with Art of the African Diaspora

Art of the African Diaspora is an exhibition that introduces African Diaspora art to new audiences, but also provides fresh insight into its artists and their Bay Area experiences. We are excited that the 2021 program will be a virtual hybrid which we anticipate will expand our audience,” says Stephen Bruce, artist and Steering Committee Chair, AOTAD. “Each artist reveals a special story and offers a unique view into the world they live and social connections that drive their creativity.”

Online Exhibition Dates: February 11 – May 16, 2021
Artist Registration Deadline: Sunday, January 24, 2021, 11:59PM

More Info and Artist Registration:

Top image: Fadhili Rauf looks at artwork from Art of the African Diaspora, including a ceramic piece by Renata Gray (2019).

* No in person events will be held at Richmond Art Center. Individual artist events are subject to City and County health orders and compliance with the social distancing requirements.

Special Delivery! Winter 2021 Class Catalog

Which class will you take in 2021?

We’re excited to share our Winter Catalog! Register today for online classes starting in January! New offerings for adults include Improv WeavingPainting Towards Climate Justice and Dollar Store to Dinnerware. For kids new classes include DIY Jewelry, and Fairytale Sculptures!

Winter 2021 Class Catalog Flip Book (view as an interactive, online publication)

Winter 2021 Class Catalog PDF (download to print or share with your friends!)

Winter classes for one and winter classes for all! | With Love… Issue 11

Issue 11
Winter Session 2021 | Ceramics Sale Round 2 | Three Ways to Give Creativity | Taking a Break

Winter Session 2021

Class Registration NOW OPEN

We have online art classes for adults, teens, kids and, well… everyone! Browse our online listings and check out new classes including Improv Weaving, Painting Towards Climate Justice and Dollar Store to Dinnerware.

And don’t forget, we have scholarships too!! Apply now.

Browse class listings…

Ceramics Sale Round 2

Amazing New Work Available

After our first Ceramic Sale sold out in less that 48 hours we’ve decided to go again! Purchase work online by Shannon Abac, Marisa Burman, and Hanneke Steenmetz, then collect it at our curbside pick-up event happening this Thursday, December 17, 11am-2pm (or make an appointment to pick up at a different time). All proceeds benefit Richmond Art Center.

Visit the Ceramics Sale…

Three Ways to Give Creativity this Holiday Season

  1. Gift Cards for Classes

Send gift cards instantly to anyone! RAC Gift Cards are redeemable for all art classes; the perfect gift for creative folks, or folks who need a nudge towards accessing their creativity!

Purchase a Gift Card…

  1. Drawings by Chris Ahn

These beautiful drawings by Chris Ahn are only $150 (and at 11″ H x 17″ W will fit in standard size frames). Purchase online then come make a selection at our curbside pick up event happening this 12/17, 11am-2pm. All proceeds benefit Richmond Art Center!!

Purchase a Drawing…

  1. Shop Local Art

The Arts & Crafts Hub for the Holiday Arts Festival is an online space for Bay Area artists and makers to share and/or sell their work during the holiday season. Shop work by over fifty amazing artists!

Visit the Arts and Crafts Hub…

Taking a Break

Coloring sheet by J.P. McNicholas (

RAC will be closed December 19 to January 3.

To rest and regenerate Richmond Art Center staff are taking a coloring break.

Thank you to all – students, volunteers, partners and the community – who have supported us during this wild year. From our shelter-in-place to yours, we send out wishes for healing and peace through creativity in 2021.

Have something to share? Please email us at

And pivot, Ceramics Sale NOW ONLINE! | With Love… Issue 10

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Online Ceramics Sale | Giving Forward | Spotlight on: Yelloh Joy Magazine | Last Classes in 2020 | A Gift from Our Neighbors

Online Ceramics Sale

Sale Starts Very Soon!

We’re sad we can’t bring you our Ceramics Sale in person this year. But don’t worry, you can still shop some of the best of the Ceramics Studio online! Purchase beautiful and usable pieces made by artists who are students, teachers and friends of RAC.

How to shop: Sale launches at 12:01am on Friday, December 4, 2020 (that’s tonight!); at this time the ‘Buy Now’ links will go live on our website, and we will start featuring one piece per hour on our Instagram Stories.

Preview the Ceramics Sale…

Giving Forward

City of Black and Brown Solidarity

So excited to have this new artwork available as a Thank You Gift. And in in the spirit of giving Richmond Art Center is paying forward 50% of the proceeds from this piece to the Richmond Emergency Food Pantry.

About the Work: This color screen print by Liberación Gráfica was created in the summer of 2020 in response to the Black Lives Matter Movement. City of Black and Brown Solidarity highlights Richmond as fertile ground for cross cultural solidarity and the ways we can fortify each other in the journey towards liberation. More about the piece…

Thank you Liberación Gráfica for contributing your work! Follow Liberación Gráfica on Instagram @liberacion_grafica.

Learn more…

Spotlight On

Arts and Crafts Hub Spotlight On: Yelloh Joy Magazine

Yelloh Joy Magazine was created by San Pablo-based writer and editor L Holley. Published four times a year, the magazine provides a digital and literary platform for women of color creatives. Holley writes, “The artistic flow of designers, writers, music-makers, entrepreneurs and innovators are the DNA of what makes our work so great.” See sample copies of the magazine online here.

Yelloh Joy Magazine is one of fifty artists and makers in our Online Arts and Crafts Hub for the Holiday Arts Festival.

Visit the Arts and Crafts Hub…

Our last classes in 2020…

But don’t worry, registration for Winter 2021 classes opens very soon. Stay tuned!

Ritual Objects

Curiosidades de México III : Pantuflas

A Gift from Our Neighbors

Did you know Richmond Public Library has free craft kits for adults? Call the library 510-620-6561 to make an appointment to pick one up (while supplies last!).

More info…

Have something to share? Please email us at

HAF Curbside Market Canceled due to Covid-19

A Message for RAC’s Community:

Your safety is really important to us. In light of the rapid increase of Covid-19 cases in Richmond, we have decided to cancel the in-person Ceramics Sale and Curbside Vendor Market for our Holiday Arts Festival at Richmond Art Center.

But you can still enjoy the Holiday Arts Festival!

We’re continuing to assess the rate of new Covid-19 cases and hope to reschedule our Vendor Market sometime in Spring 2021. If you were planning to pick up your Thank You Gifts at the market we will be in touch with you soon.

We are deeply sorry for this inconvenience, but feel it’s necessary for the health of our staff, vendors, and community.

Until we can see you at RAC again, we look forward to keeping in touch through our online happenings, and wish you and your loved ones a safe holiday weekend.


José Rivera
Executive Director

Giving Tuesday

Richmond Art Center is participating in Giving Tuesday on December 1! This one-day national fundraising event aims to inspire people, like you, to donate to the nonprofits you love.

Please consider making a contribution to our End-of-Year Appeal. Ways you can support RAC:

Thank you for your contributions. Your support keeps us going!

What is Giving Tuesday? GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past seven years, it has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.

The Ceramics Sale Returns | With Love… Issue 9

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Holiday Arts Festival   |   Thank You!    |    Unity and Community    |    Online Art Classes in December 

Holiday Arts Festival

Online and In Person Arts and Crafts Festival The Holiday Arts Festival returns in 2020 with a hybrid online and curbside event! Click on the links below to view the event schedule and artist listings.

Ceramics Sale and Curbside Market
Richmond Art Center – Outdoor Courtyard, 2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond
Friday, Saturday, Sunday, December 4, 5 and 6, 11:00am – 3:00pm
Arts and Crafts Hub
November 9 – December 31
(Artists, there’s still time to list your work! Click here to join before the deadline tomorrow, 11/20, 11:59PM!)

Learn more…

Thank You!

We ask for your help to keep going  

Thank you for being part of Richmond Art Center’s creative community. Click the link below to see some of the great gifts – like this t-shirt designed by Shannon Abac – we are saying ‘thank you!’ with for our End-of-Year Appeal.

Browse Thank You Gifts

Activity Sheet

Coloring Activity to Move Forward into 2021  

Enjoy this coloring sheet created by Liberación Gráfica! Liberación Gráfica is a collective from Richmond composed of artists, educators, and community members that create work to uplift social justice, the Richmond community, and young people’s voices. Follow the group on Instagram @Liberacion_Grafica

Download the Coloring Sheet

Online Art Classes in December

Click HERE to browse all our last classes for 2020

Winter Wonderland

Join Winter Wonderland and create different mixed media projects related to nature and animals!

Kids Drop-In Class (Ages 5-11)  |  Tuesdays, 3-4pm, 11/24 – 12/22

More info…

Ritual Objects

Learn about historical and personal rituals, and create vessels and sculptures to incorporate into your own ceremonies.

Adult Workshop (Ages 16+)  |  Sun-Sat 3pm – 5pm, 12/5 – 12/6 

More info…

Curiosidades de México III : Pantuflas

Tejeremos un par de pantuflas al estilo que mi abuela me enseñó, usando puntadas básicas. Con este proyecto tendrás un buen regalo para las fiestas. Esta clase será en español.

Edades 10-16  |  Sábados, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm, Dec 12 – Dec 19, 2020

More info…

Have something to share? Please email us at

Press Release: Holiday Arts Festival Returns to Richmond Art Center


November 17, 2020

Online and in-person event featuring Bay Area arts and crafts

Richmond, CA: Richmond Art Center (RAC) invites holiday shoppers and art lovers to experience the 58th Annual Holiday Arts Festival! This beloved Richmond Art Center tradition returns in November and December 2020 with a hybrid in-person/virtual event featuring Ceramics Sale and Curbside Market and Online Arts and Crafts Hub.

We also have art kit giveaways and thank you gifts to celebrate the Holiday Arts Festival as RAC’s largest community fundraising event. Visit to view the event schedule, artist listings, and browse thank you gifts including RAC apparel, unique glass magnets and beautiful, original artwork.

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.

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