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“When someone really loves ceramics, they just absolutely give themselves to it.”

Interview with Richmond artist Colleen Garland

Colleen Garland grew up in Richmond and works as a potter and ceramics teacher in the Bay Area. She learned wheel throwing in community college, taking classes at Diablo Valley College and Contra Costa College. Now she rents a studio where she works in clay, and since the covid pandemic she has been making art and teaching ceramics online. 

Colleen spoke with Marisa Burman, Richmond Art Center’s Ceramics Manager, on February 9, 2021

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

What are your favorite things about clay and working with ceramics? Why have you chosen this as your primary medium?

I absolutely love clay. I love what clay looks like when it’s fired. I love throwing on the wheel. I love having a purpose. I love serving a purpose. 

Coming from a working class background, I think art can be hard to justify as a career. Art is a choice, but you can’t argue with making functional work. And I think that’s something that attracted me to it. 

Clay is messy, it’s physical, and there’s infinite variety in what you can do and whatever you do, you can make it absolutely personal. 

So, what has it been like for you making art during a pandemic? 

I make a lot of wheel thrown work, mostly to fire with Mary Law at her studio in Berkeley. But we had to cancel most of our firings this year because of covid.

So my practice has been a little halted in a way, because I’m not finishing work, but it’s also really opened up what I can make because I’m not limiting myself as much. I’m wheel throwing a lot. Also I’m spending a lot more time on decorating. It’s been a lot of making and not keeping this past year.

Do you consider Mary Law your mentor? She’s a great potter who has been doing ceramics in Berkeley for decades. 

This is funny, because I know she’ll read this. I took classes with Mary a lot at Contra Costa College. And I started working with her when I was still a student. I then started doing her website and Facebook and in trade I fire with her.  She has taught me about clay, but also so much about life. I would say she’s my friend and my mentor. I have learned a lot from her about how one can live as a potter, about ways of doing this sustainably in terms of taking care of yourself, taking care of your body, and taking care of your finances, so that this can be a viable option.

That makes me feel warm.

She’s very, very important to me. 

So you are teaching ceramics online. What has that been like?

At first, in the first few months of the pandemic, when I saw university professors having to instantly switch to teaching, and hearing about how incredibly difficult it was initially, I thought no ceramics class should be online. That’s a ridiculous thing to do. But in time I was offered the opportunity to teach online with Richmond Art Center. I thought it was going to be really hard and it turned out to be really fun. The online classes give me much more room to be creative. I’m able to offer a lot more visual information. Like images of other artists’ work and more historical context. So it’s been a really great experience because I’ve learned how to teach in a new way. 

I would keep teaching online, I think even after we go back to in-person, which feels crazy, but it’s been fun. 

Colleen’s Studio

What are you teaching this session for Richmond Art Center?

I will be teaching ‘Handbuilding: Women in Contemporary Ceramics’ again. Each week we learn from a different woman working in clay in the 20th or 21st century through photos and video, and then we settle on a form to try to recreate. Or students branch out on their own and use inspiration from the artists to make something different. I see that students in this class are excited about learning from other artists. They feel like they are kind of participating in the global ceramics community through engaging with other people’s works, cultures and histories. 

I’m also teaching a drawing class, which is called ‘Sketchbooking’. It is a fun drawing class meant to make people feel comfortable with engaging with their sketchbooks. To help people not fear a blank page. It’s all about having fun and trying lots of things so that we can get into the habit of sketchbooking as a daily practice. ‘Sketchbooking’ is an intergenerational class. So anyone is welcome to take it from young children to adults, teenagers. Friends are welcome. Roommates are welcome. Grandparents and grandchildren. Any experience level. Everyone is absolutely welcome! 

I see art as a daily practice as a theme in your teaching, as well as your relationship to engaging with art.

I love using pottery. It totally changes the way I interact with the world. I love being surrounded by handmade things. I’ve been a very functional potter and I’m very interested in craft; the way things are made and the way things work. 

Just last night in class we learned from artist Marguerite Wildenhain, she ran an informal school in Guerneville, California, in the 1950s. Her philosophy was to teach young craftspeople to have integrity and to have dedication and to really care about what they’re doing. But also to have a reason for what they’re doing too. To engage philosophically with their work instead of just being technicians, who can technically produce something. She wouldn’t let students keep anything. Students would be throwing forms for two months and they would never fire anything! All the clay was reclaimed. She demanded absolute dedication. And if students weren’t absolutely dedicated, they just wouldn’t continue showing up because it was too hard.

It definitely takes dedication.

Wheel throwing is ridiculous. It’s crazy that we all love to do it! I’ve been working with clay for at least eight years and three years seriously. And I still get cracks in my handles which is so frustrating! But that’s just reality. Something Marguerite Wildenhain said was art is not cumulative. Every day you show up as a potter and you’re starting from scratch. And you just have to pull this desire out of yourself to create something. Then through repetition it becomes less challenging, but you’re still starting from nothing each day. Every single potter has to learn from the very, very beginning.

And that makes it really beautiful to teach because it’s like I’m on that journey with my students. When someone really loves ceramics, they just absolutely give themselves to it. And they work through the frustration and they work through the darkness of being in a learning environment. It’s very human. I think it’s so much more human than any other work that I could be doing. So it feels infinitely valuable. 

Agreed. I think that’s great. 

Follow Colleen Garland on Instagram @colleenandclay


Handbuilding: Women in Contemporary Ceramics
Adult Class
Mondays, 6:00pm – 8:00pm PDT
Apr 19, 2021 – Jun 14, 2021
More info…

Sketchbooking
All Ages Class (5+)
Sundays, 10:00am – 12:00am PDT
Apr 11, 2021 – Jun 6, 2021
More info…

 

Join our Board!

Richmond Art Center is poised to re-open! We have a new Executive Director, José Rivera, who is eager to lead the center forward.  Richmond Art Center’s board plays an important role in supporting and guiding the organization.  Different individual board members bring different experience, skills, knowledge and connections to their Board work.  

Read Richmond Art Center’s Mission, Vision and Values.

Who We Are Looking For

  • People who live and/or work in Richmond, who are community-minded and thoughtful about how Richmond Art Center could better serve the community in and around Richmond
  • An accountant/bookkeeper (CPA credential would be great but is not necessary)
  • A lawyer (for the general knowledge and issue-spotting ability lawyers tend to have)
  • People who can help us raise money for Richmond Art Center
  • Leaders with the potential to be board vice president and president in the future

What can you expect?

Board members attend board meetings (currently being held via Zoom), act as ambassadors at select evening and weekend events, give of their expertise and wisdom and make a personal financial contribution to the extent that they can.  A Board member’s term is three years, with a two-term limit. Service on the Board of Directors is unpaid.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEMBER AGREEMENT

Selection Process

Contact Donna Brorby at Donna@nullRichmondArtCenter.org.  A CV/resumé/brief bio would be appreciated but is not necessary.

Let’s Do Art for Lunch | With Love… Issue 15

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ISSUE 15

Celebrating the Journey  |  Make Art with José and Lauren  |   Hello Rebeca Garcia-Gonzalez | Classes Starting Soon  |  From Our Neighbors, For Our Neighbors


Celebrating the Journey

Reception for Art of the African Diaspora

Saturday, March 20, 2021, 3-4:30pm

Join us for a special online event celebrating the artists – past, present and future – who make Art of the African Diaspora possible. This event is presented in partnership with Rhythmix Cultural Works.

Featuring 130 artists, the online exhibition for Art of the African Diaspora 2021 is now open! Special events accompanying the exhibition will be happening throughout March, April and May. Visit richmondartcenter.org/exhibitions/aotad2021 to learn more.

Image: Photograph by Val Kai

RSVP for the reception…


Make Art with Lauren and José

Let’s Do Art for Lunch

Free online guided drawing session with Lauren Ari!
With special guest Richmond Art Center’s executive director José Rivera!

Friday, March 5, 12:30-1:30pm

Join Richmond artist Lauren Ari this Friday, March 5 at 12:30pm for a free lunchtime session of guided drawing and relaxation. And meet Richmond Art Center’s new(ish) Executive Director José Rivera! All ages and levels of experience welcome. Simply bring plain white paper and a pen/pencil.

Stream the event…


Hello Rebeca Garcia-Gonzalez

Interview with Teaching Artist Rebeca Garcia-Gonzalez

“For a long time I have been pondering how to convey the tremendous loss in the Latino community covid has caused.” – Rebeca Garcia-Gonzalez

Rebeca Garcia-Gonzalez is a painter and a muralist living in Richmond whose creative practice focuses on social justice issues. We interviewed Rebeca about some of her recent projects, which include a large-scale mural at Pulman Portal Park in Richmond.

Rebeca is teaching two online classes at RAC starting March: Fundamental Drawing and Acrylic Techniques For Beginners.

Images: (top) Detail of the Pullman Park Mural, 2020. Images courtesy of the Artist; (right) Rebeca Garcia-Gonzalez

Read the interview…


Classes Starting Soon

Gems and Rocks

Explore the wondrous world of gems and rocks! Students will learn to create their own gems and rocks through drawing, painting, sculpting and more.

Kids Class (Ages 7-11)
Tuesdays, 3-4pm
Mar 9 – Mar 30
More info…


Inward Spiral: Guided Drawing for the Fun of It

Drawing is a tool for play, relaxation and exploration. Infinite possibilities lay before you…

All Ages Class
Fridays, 12:30-2pm
Mar 12 – Apr 30

More info…


Creative Exploration and Expansion Series: Intuitive Collage

This class series is about creative expansion and artistic self-discovery. In this class students will create intuitive collages and learn to interpret their messages. La maestra habla español.

All Ages Class
Saturdays, 11am-12pm
Mar 13 – Mar 20

More info…


Acrylic Techniques For Beginners

Learn the possibilities of acrylic paint using the most user-friendly medium! Set your own goals and choose your own projects, with help from a supportive instructor. La maestra habla español.

Adult Class
Tuesdays, 10am-12pm
Mar 16 – May 4

More info…


Dollar Store to Dinnerware: Plaster Mold-Making, Slab Forming and Slip-Casting

In this two-day workshop students will use plastic forms that can be purchased from a dollar store and turn them into slump and hump molds formed out of plaster for making multiples of the shape.

Adult Two-Day Workshop
Saturday and Sunday, 10am-12pm
Mar 20-21

More info…


From Our Neighbors, For Our Neighbors

Free Craft Kits for Adults

Did you know Richmond Public Library has free craft kits for adults? In March they are giving away this cool coloring tote. 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 admin@nullrichmondartcenter.org

“I appreciate the warmth of my students during this very isolating time.”

Rebeca Garcia-Gonzalez is a painter and a muralist living in Richmond whose creative practice focuses on social justice issues. She is Puerto Rican and often paints traditional subjects seen from the lens of her Latina perspective.

Rebeca chatted with Ilene Conde, Studio Education Manager at RAC, on January 28, 2021.

Can you please start by telling us about your current mixed media series? 

For a long time I have been pondering how to convey the tremendous loss in the Latino community covid has caused. I first started thinking about this while working on a mural about the essential workers of the Pullman neighborhood, located at Pulman Portal Park, on the corner of Carlson Boulevard and Ohio Avenue. We had enough funding to make it large enough that people riding by on Bart could see it. The mural shows neighbors leaving for work while it’s still dark. There is a progression from dark to light, with people in uniforms, people with children and Richmond businesses and neighborhood homes in the background. The topic came out of meetings with the Richmond youth, who also painted most of the mural. They really wanted to show reality – so not everyone in the mural is wearing a mask. Some of the neighbors posed.

As the mural was being finished people in the neighborhood stopped to ask questions. They liked how the mural showed resolute people. People who looked strong, not sad. Yet it showed the reality of who is bearing the brunt of this battle against COVID. Towards the end of the mural, in late September 2020, one woman said it was hard for her to look at because it reminded her of all the lives lost. 

How did it feel to hear this about your work? 

It stayed with me. I started thinking how do you help people reflect on what has been lost. That was a challenge that I posed to myself. And also a way for me to process my own feelings about the pandemic.

Every winter I do printmaking. This winter I’ve been working with a very large gel plate because I don’t have a proper press. The prints from this plate will be used for a series on the subject of the loss of Latinx lives. I want to paint portraits of Latinos who have been lost to COVID over the prints. Certain elements of the prints are independent of each other, and will be incorporated into the portraits as a way for the series to have a common thread. 

I’m still working it out. But I think that’s what it’s going to be.

What has it been like for you as an artist during COVID?

I have a studio in north Richmond and I have converted a part of it it into a classroom. I have also spent more time than usual launching a new website, developing a larger social media presence and selling art online.

What has your experience been like teaching online?

Very positive! I am doing more demos and have made changes to my curriculum to make sure my students get quality feedback. My students can access all of my class materials online and they say this helps.

I appreciate the warmth of my students during this very isolating time. I have noticed that my students are now much more interested in each others’ work. I have also appreciated getting invited to see and give suggestions on their home painting setups. I have also given them “tours” of my studio!

What upcoming classes are teaching?

In March I will teach beginner drawing and acrylic painting classes.

Thank you Rebeca!

Registration for Rebeca’s classes is now open.

‘Fundamental Drawing’ runs for eight weeks on Wednesdays, 1pm-3pm, starting March 17. CLICK HERE for more info and to register.

‘Acrylic Techniques For Beginners’ runs for eight weeks on Tuesdays, 10am-12pm, starting March 16. CLICK HERE for more info and to register.

Visit Rebeca’s website to see her work: www.rebecasart.com  

Follow her on Instagram for updates: www.instagram.com/rebecathepainter

Or Facebook: www.facebook.com/rebecagarciagonzalez

Or check out her demo videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJjjt7rqlixYb0rDZJzkQSg


Blocking in with Acrylic: Video by Rebeca Garcia-Gonzalez

Top image: Rebecca (left) works on the 23rd Street Mural Honoring Black Lives Matter at Richmond Art Center in 2020.

Let’s Do Art for Lunch

Free online guided drawing session with Lauren Ari! 

With special guest Richmond Art Center’s executive director José Rivera!

Friday, March 5, 12:30-1:30pm

Join Richmond artist Lauren Ari this Friday, March 5 at 12:30pm for a free lunchtime session of guided drawing and relaxation. And meet Richmond Art Center’s new(ish) executive director José Rivera! All ages and levels of experience welcome. Simply bring plain white paper and a pen/pencil.

This event will be streamed on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jf88Fqba780

Press: Richmond, Alameda art exhibits celebrate Black History Month, East Bay Times

‘Art of the African Diaspora,’ ‘Demystifying the Journey’ feature Bay Area artists’ works

By MARTA YAMAMOTO | CorrespondentPUBLISHED: February 6, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. | UPDATED: February 7, 2021 at 7:14 a.m.

In honor of Black History Month, the Richmond Art Center is hosting its “Art of the African Diaspora” exhibit along with a satellite exhibit at Alameda’s Rhythmix Cultural Works. The exhibits offer opportunities to view art inspired and produced by Bay Area artists of African descent as it reflects the spirit and creativity of African people and, through artists’ talks and virtual open studios, opportunities to hear their stories and appreciate their creativity.

“Sweet Mother” by Abi Mustapha is one of the many works by African-American Bay Area artists being displayed by the Richmond Art Center and Alameda’s Rhythmix Cultural Works in their respective “Art of the African Diaspora” and “Demystifying the Journey” exhibits. (photo courtesy of Richmond Art Center) 

This annual event goes back 25 years, founded in 1996 under the name “The Art of Living Black” by the late sculptor Jan Hart-Schuyers and late painter Rae Louise Hayward. It was the only annual exhibit in the Bay Area to exclusively feature regional artists of African descent; in 2019 it was renamed “Art of the African Diaspora” (AOTAD).

The longest show in California dedicated to African-American artists, it’s running this year from Feb. 11 to May 16 with the main exhibition at the Richmond Art Center, along with satellite exhibits, including “Demystifying the Journey” at Alameda’s Rhythmix. AOTAD was created to provide opportunities to the Bay Area’s African-American artists ages 16 and older, to highlight their work, give them a chance to exhibit and to have a professional art experience.

“To participate in this nonjuried community show, artists must meet three qualifications — are you of the African diaspora, do you live in the Bay Area and do you have a body of work?” said Stephen Bruce, who chairs the AOTAD steering committee. “One of the key elements of the show is we have anywhere from beginning artists to emerging artists to well-known artists, so artists get to interact with a professional they would never expect to exhibit with, so mentoring is a big part of the show. There’s a chance to meet artists who have been exhibiting a while and learn some insight.”

“The 2nd Line” photograph by Val Kai is one of the many works by African-American Bay Area artists being displayed by the Richmond Art Center and Alameda’s Rhythmix Cultural Works in their respective “Art of the African Diaspora” and “Demystifying the Journey” exhibits. (photo courtesy of Richmond Art Center) 

Normally this year’s 110 participating artists would display at the Richmond Art Center and offer open studio tours. Due to the pandemic, though, the gallery is closed and this year’s show is virtual. Participating artists are included in the online exhibition with individual webpages highlighting their work. Some will offer virtual artist talks and open studio tours, and all are encouraged to display as much of their creativity as they can. The show, open to all media, is meant to raise awareness about Black art.

“It’s not about the image that you see but the spirit and creativity of African people,” Bruce said. “There’s a preconception of what Black art is, and that preconception might limit its marketability. Even though it shouldn’t, it might.”

In Alameda, the “Demystifying the Journey” satellite exhibit at Rhythmix Cultural Works highlights the work of nine Bay Area African-American winners of AOTAD show awards: 2018 winners Tōmye, Stephanie Thames and Karin Turner; 2019 winners Abi Mustapha, Zoë Boston and KaLiMa AmiLak; and 2020 award winners Fan Warren, Tiffany Conway and Val Kai. This exhibit is online now through April 30.

“Each artist submitted four to six pieces of work. Some have also submitted a process video or a video of them speaking about their work,” said Jennifer Radakovich, the assistant director at Rhythmix. “On the Rhythmix website, viewers can access the online gallery, watch the Zoom reception, hear the artists talk about their work and view the videos they’ve made.”

“One of the great values in this show is how we celebrate our history and one of the most poignant ways to do that is to highlight and celebrate the award winners,” added Bruce. “Some of them are emerging artists, and they use this award as a confidence builder for their careers.”

The exhibit advances the theme “Creating Our Future” from Rhythmix and AOTAD’s 2020-21 public art installation at Alameda’s Chochenyo Park, curated by Bruce in response to the Black Lives Matter movement. The installation is up now and will remain so through the end of April.

“God’s Children Will Rise” by Zoe Boston-Brown is one of the many works by African-American Bay Area artists being displayed by the Richmond Art Center and Alameda’s Rhythmix Cultural Works in their respective “Art of the African Diaspora” and “Demystifying the Journey” exhibits. (photo courtesy of Richmond Art Center) 

“Three of the same artists who created work for that installation are in our current exhibit — Abi Mustapha, Tiffany Conway and Zoë Boston,” Radakovich said. “Part of the reason we’re hosting the current exhibit is that we had such a great experience working with Stephen and the artists and we wanted to do something else.”

AOTAD sends out the message that Black artists are in the community and their creativity is not limited to any preconceived concept of what constitutes Black art, that the art is available for purchase and that purchasing art is an excellent way to support these artists. Part of the Rhythmix mission is to bring people together to learn about each other and the world through art.

“We’re so happy to be able to feature and highlight artists of the African diaspora and connect people across communities,” Radakovich said. “Another part of our mission is to support local artists and emerging artists, and we’re so happy that Stephen’s been able to work with us so we can reach different sections of the artists’ population that we haven’t reached before and help bring them to the public.”

Twenty-five years ago two artists recognized the need to showcase the work of Black artists; this year the main and satellite exhibits again give Bay Area residents an opportunity to broaden their conceptions and admire the artists’ work and creativity.

Marta Yamamoto is a freelance writer, longtime Bay Area resident and outdoor enthusiast. Contact her at martayam@nullgmail.com.

Top image: “Legacy-Y” by Fan Warren is one of the many works by African-American Bay Area artists being displayed by the Richmond Art Center and Alameda’s Rhythmix Cultural Works in their respective “Art of the African Diaspora” and “Demystifying the Journey” exhibits. In honor of Black History Month, the Richmond and Alameda locations are hosting the exhibits to offer Bay Area residents opportunities to view the work of Black artists, broaden their conceptions and admire the artists’ work and creativity.

Clay at home? Yes! | With Love… Issue 14

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ISSUE 14 – Clay at Home  |   Get Ready for Art of the African Diaspora   |   Welcome Sarah!   |   Classes Starting Soon


Clay at Home

Free online workshop THIS Sunday

Sunday, February 7, 10am-11:15am

Learn how easy it is to set up your own ceramics space! Marisa Burman, Richmond Art Center’s ceramics studio manager, will discuss and demonstrate how best to set-up a space for working with clay in your home.

More info…


Get Ready for Art of the African Diaspora

Featuring Over 120 Artists of African Descent!

Online Exhibition: February 11 – May 16, 2021

Art of the African Diaspora starts next week! Now in its 25th year, but presented as an online exhibition for the first time, Art of the African Diaspora will showcase artwork by over 120 Black artists from the Bay Area. The event also offers numerous artist-organized happenings that everyone is invited to join. Meet artists, learn about and from their work, and celebrate this creative community.

Where to stay updated on what’s happening:
Online Exhibition at Richmond Art Center (goes live February 11)
Art of the African Diaspora (event website)
AOTAD Facebook Page
@aotadofficial (Instagram)

More info…


Welcome Sarah!

Introducing our CAC Administrator of Color Fellow

We’re thrilled to announce Richmond Art Center has been selected as a host organization for the inaugural California Arts Council’s Administrators of Color Fellowship. Our amazing fellow is production manager and non-profit administrator Sarah Guerra. She will participate in a nine-month professional development fellowship at Richmond Art Center committed to expanding equity in the arts.

“I’m honored to be part of the inaugural class of CAC fellows,” says Sarah. “It is such an imperative and unique moment in history; our class of arts administrators of color are needed now more than ever.”

More info…


Classes Starting Soon

Digital Art: Mixed Media Mash Ups

Get weird and have fun with digital mashups! This digital collage class focuses on free to access and easy to use software.

All Ages Class
Saturdays, 12-2pm
Feb 6 – Feb 27
More info…


Things That Go!

Students will use mixed media to create things that go, such a water bottle airplane and texture train. Great for kids in love with all things transportation.

Kids Class (Ages 5-11)
Wednesdays, 3-4pm
Feb 10 – Feb 24

More info…


Creative Exploration Series: Intuitive Drawing

This class series is about creative expansion and artistic self-discovery. In Intuitive Drawing students will experiment with drawing techniques that encourage them to create in new and surprising ways.

All Ages Class
Saturdays, 11am-12pm
Feb 13 – Feb 20

More info…


Resistance is Beautiful

Learn ways to use resist methods in ceramics to create decorative surfaces. By using resist, you can “resist” glaze or underglaze being in particular areas of your piece and add interest and design perspectives to your ceramic creations.

Adult Workshop
Saturday, 10am-12pm
Feb 20

More info…


Have something to share? Please email us at admin@nullrichmondartcenter.org

Press Release: Art of the African Diaspora at Macy’s Union Square

Macy’s Union Square in San Francisco presents a satellite exhibition for Art of the African Diaspora in honor of Black History Month 

Featured artists: Derrick Bell, Stephen Bruce, Orin Carpenter, Tiffany Conway, Kelvin Curry, Andrea McCoy Harvey, and Akili Simba

Exhibition Dates: February 13 – 28, 2021
Meet the Artists: February 13 & 14, 20 & 21, 27 & 28, 1pm-5pm
Location: Macy’s Union Square, 170 O’Farrell Street, San Francisco

Richmond, CA: Art of the African Diaspora is thrilled to partner with Macy’s Union Square to present a satellite exhibition as part of their 2021 program. Seven participating artists will exhibit their work throughout Macy’s San Francisco store at 170 O’Farrell Street from February 13 through to February 28. These artists are Derrick Bell, Stephen Bruce, Orin Carpenter, Tiffany Conway, Kelvin Curry, Andrea McCoy Harvey, and Akili Simba.

Special artist events are happening on February 13 & 14, 20 & 21, 27 & 28 from 1pm to 5pm. During these times visitors to Macy’s will have the opportunity to meet exhibiting artists, and learn about and from their work, in an open studio environment.

For twenty-five years Art of the African Diaspora, in partnership with Richmond Art Center, has supported 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 a hybrid online/in-person event presented at aotad.org, richmondartcenter.org, and at venues throughout the Bay Area. Over 120 artists will be featured in an online exhibition highlighting their work, bios and artist statements at richmondartcenter.org. The online exhibition will run February 11 through to May 16, 2021. For more information about the special online artist Reception and Guest Speaker Evening, as well as numerous artist-organized events, visit https://richmondartcenter.org/exhibitions/aotad2021/

About Art of the African Diaspora: Art of the African Diaspora is the longest running event of its kind in the Bay Area. It originated from a salon for African American artists known as Colors of Black that was organized in 1990 by artist and professor Marie Johnson Calloway. In 1997 artists Jan Hart-Schuyers and Rae Louise Hayward founded The Art of Living Black at Richmond Art Center, and many of the artists from Colors of Black participated in the inaugural exhibition. Hart-Schuyers and Hayward developed The Art of Living Black to present the work of emerging and established African American artists, introduce them to new audiences, and build a creative community of artists and art lovers. Over the next twenty-five years Richmond Art Center’s commitment in presenting the exhibition ensured the increased visibility for African American artists in the Bay Area that Hart-Schuyers and Hayward wanted. Tragically Hart-Schuyers passed away in 1998 and Hayward died in 2008. However, their organizing efforts were carried on for many years by their husbands Henri Schuyers and Steven Hopkins, and Steven’s sister Melba Lazenby, who passed away in 2013. Since 2018, the event has been produced by a Steering Committee of artists dedicated to the vision of Hart-Schuyers and Hayward. In 2020 the event changed its name to Art of the African Diaspora to reflect a new era moving forward. aotad.org

About Richmond Art Center: Richmond Art Center has been sharing art and creating with 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

About Macy’s: Macy’s is America’s Department Store. For more than 160 years, Macy’s, the largest retail brand of Macy’s, Inc., has served generations at every stage of their lives. Macy’s customers come to us for fashion, value and high-quality products. We are proud of our heritage and the unique role we play in American culture and tradition. We celebrate occasions big and small, and have created decades of memorable experiences through Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks® and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®, as well as spectacular fashion shows, culinary events, flower shows, and celebrity appearances. With the collective support of our customers and colleagues, Macy’s helps make a difference in every market we serve, supporting local and national charities through funding and volunteer service. With fashion, value and celebration as our guide, Macy’s makes life shine brighter for our customers, colleagues, and communities.For Macy’s media materials, including images and contacts, please visit our online pressroom at macysinc.com/news-media.

Top image: Artwork by Derrick Bell

Above images: Artwork by Kelvin Curry (top), Orin Carpenter (left), and Andrea McCoy Harvey (right)

For more information contact:

Stephen Bruce, Steering Committee Chair, Art of the African Diaspora

stephenbstudios@nullyahoo.com, 916-446-3271

Amy Spencer, Exhibitions Director, Richmond Art Center, 2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804

amy@nullrichmondartcenter.org

# # #

Welcome Sarah! Our CAC ACF Fellow

We are so excited to announce that Richmond Art Center has been selected as one of ten host organizations for the inaugural California Arts Council’s Administrators of Color Fellowship. This fellowship is administered by the School of Arts and Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza.

Richmond Art Center’s fellow is production manager and non-profit administrator Sarah Guerra. She will participate in a nine-month professional development fellowship at Richmond Art Center committed to expanding equity in the arts.

“I’m honored to be part of the inaugural class of CAC fellows,” says Sarah. “It is such an imperative and unique moment in history; our class of arts administrators of color are needed now more than ever.”

Staff at Richmond Art Center look forward to learning from and working with Sarah!

About Sarah Guerra

Sarah Guerra is a queer native Tejana who has dedicated her life to supporting and leveraging the arts as a tool for education and political and social justice. A Bay Area resident since 2001, Sarah is a seasoned program manager that has overseen the creation, implementation, and evolution of commissioning programs and artist residencies focused on uplifting Black and Brown queer and trans people for Brava! For Women in the Arts, Queer Cultural Center, and La Peña Cultural Center. She participated in the Ford Foundation’s inaugural Future Aesthetic cohort and has served as a liaison and conference organizer for the National Performance Network. As the Production Manager for the Queer Cultural Center, Sarah has supported the presentation of eight National Queer Arts Festivals, providing direct support and feedback to artists as well as implementing Festival logistics. She has served as a grant reviewer for San Francisco Arts Commission, Galería de la Raza, and Live Arts Boston; and recently completed the Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy with National Arts Strategies in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice.

About the California Arts Council Administrators of Color Fellowship

The California Arts Council Administrators of Color Fellowship program was initiated by the California Arts Council with the goal of uplifting an inclusive workforce and supporting the vibrancy of organizations that create and preserve the cultural identities of all California communities, reflecting the Arts Council’s commitment to racial equity. The pilot program is made possible by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation and 2018 one-time increased state arts funding. arts.ca.gov/programs/administrators-of-color-fellows

Visit and Contact

Richmond Art Center
2540 Barrett Avenue
Richmond, CA 94804
510.620.6772

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Hours
Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Closed Sundays & Mondays & Major Holidays

Gallery admission is free.

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