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Press Release: Emmy Lou Packard: Artist of Conscience


Exhibition Announcement:

Emmy Lou Packard: Artist of Conscience

June 22 – August 20, 2022

Richmond Art Center
2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804
Gallery Hours: Wed-Sat, 10am-4pm

Richmond, CA: Richmond Art Center announces Artist of Conscience, an exhibition exploring the life and work of Emmy Lou Packard (1914-1998), a remarkable artist known for her paintings, prints and murals, as well as her activism. 

Presenting artwork, photos and ephemera, and organized around key periods of Packard’s life, Artist of Conscience will tell the story of this remarkable, though over-looked, artist. 

Packard was mentored by Diego Rivera and became his principal assistant on the mural he painted on Treasure Island for the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1940 (currently on view at SFMOMA). During WWII Packard worked at Kaiser shipyard’s newspaper in Richmond, Fore ‘n’ Aft, creating images that urged ending racial segregation and supported voting rights. After that, she turned to printmaking, creating portraits of workers, explorations of the joys of childhood, the beauty of nature and the importance of history. One of her signature images distributed around the world, Peace is a Human Right, shows three children, Asian, Black and White, seated around a sunflower. The message is framed in human terms — children are not political; they are just children. Later in life, Packard inspired and mentored a generation of mostly female and Chicana artists in the Bay Area. She also led the movement to save the Mendocino headlands from development.

This exhibition is curated by Robbin Légère Henderson and Rick Tejada-Flores.

Emmy Lou Packard: Artist of Conscience will be presented at the same time as SFMOMA’s exhibition Diego Rivera’s America (opening July 16, 2022), offering audiences the opportunity to learn about Packard’s mentor and understand her oeuvre within a broader artistic movement focused on social change and justice. Richmond Art Center is working in partnership with SFMOMA on a collaborative public program (to be announced).

The exhibition at Richmond Art Center is supported by funding from California Humanities and The Jay DeFeo Foundation. Collectors and organizations generously loaning work include Mendocino Art Center, and Emmy Lou Packard’s son Donald Cairns and granddaughter Shannon Cairns. 

Exhibition and Public Programs Schedule

Exhibition and events are free to attend. All programs will take place at Richmond Art Center.

Emmy Lou Packard: Artist of Conscience
Curated by Robbin Légère Henderson and Rick Tejada-Flores
Exhibition Dates: June 22 – August 20, 2022

Open Reception
Event Date: Saturday, June 18, 2pm-4pm

How Emmy Lou Packard Made Her Prints
Demonstration of Packard’s press by master printer Art Hazelwood
Event Date: Saturday, July 16, 12pm-2pm

Rebel Art: Emmy Lou Packard’s Legacy
Artist panel moderated by art historian, curator and writer Terezita Romo
Event Date: Friday, July 29, 6pm-7:30pm

Screening of Rivera In America (featuring interviews with Emmy Lou Packard)
Film by Rick Tejada-Flores
Event Date: Thursday, August 11, 6:30pm-8:30pm

Closing Reception with The Great Tortilla Conspiracy
Featuring edible art inspired by Emmy Lou Packard
Event Date: Saturday, August 20, 12pm-2pm

About the Curators

Rick Tejada-Flores is a documentary filmmaker whose works have explored art and politics, including profiles of Diego Rivera, Jasper Johns, Jose Clemente Orozco and Cesar Chavez. They have been shown on PBS, Sundance Channel, History en Español, and Channel 4 UK, and at the National Museum of American History and British Museum. Tejada-Flores printed for Packard in Mendocino, and remained a friend for the rest of her life.   

Robbin Légère Henderson organized exhibitions focusing on art and politics as director and curator of Berkeley Art Center for 20 years. A graduate of U.C. Berkeley, Henderson has served as curator at Intersection for the Arts and was a co-founder of Southern Exposure Gallery. For 10 years she has freelanced as a curator and speaker on her illustrated history of a woman labor organizer in the 20th century.

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 in downtown Richmond, as well as off-site activities that bring free, high-quality art making experiences to WCCUSD schools and community partners.

For more information contact:
Amy Spencer,

Images: (top) Emmy Lou Packard, Artichoke Picker, circa 1955; (above left) Emmy Lou Packard, Peace is a Human Right, 1949; (above right) Diego River, Detail of Emmy Lou Packard in the Panamerican Unity mural, 1941


San Francisco Chronicle: Spring Family Day

Published in Datebook on May 9, 2022


Kids of all ages and their grown-ups are invited to the Richmond Art Center’s Spring free, family event. Celebrate the gifts of spring through art making activities, dancing and music including Bomba music and dance from Quenepas, pive printing by Liberación Gráfica, succulent art planters, photo booth, pottery demonstration and more.

Courtesy of the Richmond Rotary Club

Press Release: Luminaries Exhibition Series

Exhibition Series:

Art of the African Diaspora: Luminaries

Diamela Cutiño, JB Broussard, Donna Gatson, Daniel W. White

Exhibition Dates:
April 6 – May 21, 2022: Diamela Cutiño 
June 8 – July 23, 2022: JB Broussard 
August 3 – September 17, 2022: Donna Gatson 
September 28 – November 12, 2022: Daniel W. White

Gallery Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 10am-4pm
Location: Richmond Art Center, 2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804

Richmond, CA: Richmond Art Center announces Luminaries, an exhibition series presented as part of the 25th Anniversary of Art of the African Diaspora, and an integral part of the year-long series of programs and exhibitions that commemorate this achievement. 

Luminaries presents four solo exhibitions that shine a spotlight on the remarkable work of four artists who have participated in Art of the African Diaspora but who have maintained an inconspicuous public image throughout their storied artistic careers. The four artists featured are: Diamela Cutiño, JB Broussard, Donna Gatson and Daniel W. White. Each solo exhibition will have a unique curatorial focus and will provide a space for the artists to present newly commissioned work. 

The exhibitions will be presented in Richmond Art Center’s West Gallery throughout the year on the following schedule: Nadie es ilegal en tierra robada: Photography by Diamela Cutiño, April 6 – May 21, 2022; The Eastern Shore: Work by JB Broussard, June 8 – July 23, 2022; Assemblages by Donna Gatson, August 3 – September 17, 2022; and Paintings by Daniel W. White, September 28 – November 12, 2022. Each exhibition will have its own reception and public program (t.b.a.). 

Luminaries is generously funded by the East Bay Fund for Artists at the East Bay Community Foundation.

Top Images (clockwise from top left): Artwork by Diamela Cutiño, JB Broussard, Daniel W. White, and Donna Gatson

About the Artists: 

Diamela Cutiño is a photographic storyteller born and raised in Havana, Cuba. Cutiño is most known for her work documenting Black existence. Cutiño’s most recent body of work documents Indigenous culture and the emotional and spiritual undertones of freedom movements. 

JB Broussard is the second generation of his family to be born in Oakland. He began drawing at age of seven, took art classes during secondary school, and years later attended U.C. Berkeley as an Art major where he focused primarily on sculpture. After graduating from U.C. Berkeley he settled into a career in education. Now retired Broussard spends his time engaged in art projects. As a teenager he was exposed to the work of Charles White. Broussard describes the experience of viewing White’s work as “an awakening.” White’s dignified images of Black people had a lasting impact on him.

Donna Gatson is primarily a self-taught artist. She was born and raised on the Monterey Peninsula, with deep ties to the South and Southwest. Using mediums including watercolor, graphite pencil, metal and found objects, her work ranges from Black Country Folk Art, to a style she refers to as Afro/Deco Cubism. Gatson is one of the few African American jewelry silversmiths in the country. She was taught traditional Native silversmithing by renowned Hopi silversmith Gerald Lomaventema on the Hopi reservation. Gatson uses traditional techniques to create her own Afro, Asian, and Anasazi influenced designs in silver and copper jewelry. 

Daniel W. White grew up in Kansas City, Missouri where he attended Kansas City Art Institute but did not finish his degree. He was determined to complete his education and enrolled in San Francisco Art Institute some 20 years later, earning a Bachelor of Fine Art degree in 2001, majoring in painting. White’s work runs the gamut from super realistic fine art portraits, abstract paintings, photography and writing. His current work is influenced by Josef Albers and Mark Rothko. Jacob Lawrence, J. M. W. Turner, as well as Henry Ossawa Tanner are among his favorite artists. 

About Art of the African Diaspora: Established in 1996, Art of the African Diaspora is the longest running event of its kind in the Bay Area. Annually it supports hundreds of artists of African descent through representation (exhibitions and open studio opportunities), professional development, and building a creative community. In 1996 artists Jan Hart-Schuyers and Rae Louise Hayward established the event as The Art of Living Black at Richmond Art Center. After the deaths of Hart-Schuyers and Hayward, organizing efforts were carried on for many years by members of their families. Today, with a new name to reflect a new era, Art of the African Diaspora is organized by a steering committee of participating artists.

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 in downtown Richmond, as well as off-site activities that bring free, high-quality art making experiences to WCCUSD schools and community partners.

For more information contact:
Roberto Martinez, Curator,


Press Release: Spring Family Day

Special Event:

Spring Family Day

Saturday, May 14, 12pm-3pm | FREE
Richmond Art Center (courtyard), 2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond
Event webpage:

Richmond, CA: Kids of all ages and their grown-ups are invited to Richmond Art Center’s Spring Family Day on Saturday, May 14, 12pm-3pm. This free, family event is an opportunity to celebrate the gifts of spring through art-making, dancing, and music.

Activities will include making clay flowers, live printing by Liberación Gráfica, succulent art planters, flower photo booth, and bomba dancing by Quenepas. Visitors will have an opportunity to work with Fencelines to contribute to a public art project, as well as meet the folk from Richmond Our Power Coalition to learn about organizing work around the environment and housing happening in Richmond.

Richmond Art Center is located at 2540 Barrett Avenue in Richmond.

Covid-19 Prevention: Mask wearing is a condition of entry to RAC’s galleries, studios and public indoor spaces. Vaccinations are strongly encouraged. Masks may be removed in our courtyard.

Thank you to Richmond Rotary Club for sponsoring this event.

About the Program and Participants:

Bomba by Quenepas: Bomba music and dance originated over 400 years ago in the sugar cane plantations of Puerto Rico where enslaved Africans played, sang, and danced to survive and to resist colonial oppression. Quenepas is a vibrant Puerto Rican Bomba music and dance youth ensemble that had its inception in 2008 at La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley. Quenepas youth have been studying and performing under the direction of Hector Lugo and Shefali Shah for over 15 years and many of the youth have been involved in the practice of Bomba through observing and participating in community jams and performances with their families. Contact:, 510-681-1036

Live Printing by 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.

Workshop by Fencelines: Join the Fencelines team for an art-making workshop to paint messages and stories about environmental justice onto colorful fence slats. Fencelines is a participatory art project that responds to the Chevron petroleum refinery. The project’s team are artists, designers and community organizers, who have collaborated for years on projects for urban environmental and infrastructural transformation here in Richmond.

Richmond Our Power Coalition: Special guests Richmond Our Power Coalition will have an information table set-up for folks to learn more about the work ROPC does in organizing around issues of the environment and housing here in Richmond.

Succulent Art Planters: Take home a spring succulent in an artful planter made by students at Richmond Art Center. These weird and wonderful creations can be yours for a small donation.

Amazing Clay Flowers: Join teaching artist Lauren Ari to sculpt and decorate clay flowers using air dry clay. Lauren Ari is a Richmond-based artist and educator.

Family Photo Booth: Rally your friends and family, strike a pose, and take home a special polaroid photo to remember Spring Family Day forever!

Pottery Demo with a Kick Wheel: Artist Colleen Garland will demonstrate the fun of throwing pottery on a kick wheel. Colleen grew up in Richmond and works as a potter and ceramics teacher at Richmond Art Center.

Gallery Search and Find: Have fun exploring Dewey Crumpler’s Crossings exhibition in the main gallery with a unique search and find activity. Find Pikachu, Miss Piggy and their friends to win prizes!

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 in downtown Richmond, as well as off-site activities that bring free, high-quality art making experiences to WCCUSD schools and community partners.

For more information contact:
Amy Spencer,

Images: Former Family Day fun at Richmond Art Center


Annual Members’ Meeting and Board Election

Annual Members’ Meeting and Board Election

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Voting Opens: 12:30pm (and closes at 1:30pm)

Meeting Starts: 1pm

Richmond Art Center, 2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond

Richmond Art Center members are invited to attend our Annual Members’ Meeting. Cast your vote to elect new board members, get a chance to know our Executive Director José Rivera a little better and get an early start on the 2:00pm reception for our summer exhibitions.    

Image: Past and current members speaking about their artwork in 2019

Join our Board!

Join our Board!

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
  • Artists and others who know and love Richmond Art Center
  • People with accounting/bookkeeping expertise with the potential to serve on the board finance committee and/or as board teasurer
  • 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.


To volunteer / apply:

Contact Donna Brorby, chair of the board nominations committee, at

A CV/resumé/brief bio would be appreciated but is not necessary.

Image: The WCCUSD Student Art Show Reception, April 2022

Summer Mural Program for Richmond Youth (Ages 14-24) is back! (Register NOW)

S.P.O.T.S: Supporting Peoples Outlooks, Talents, and Speech

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1pm to 4 pm

Jul 5 – Aug 11, 2022

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 14-24) 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.

CLICK HERE to view the mural created by youth participating in the program in 2021.

Eligibility: This six week class is for youth ages 14-24 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, 1pm-4pm, Jul 5 – Aug 11, 2022

Instructors: Fred Alvarado and Keena Azania Romano

This class welcomes Spanish speakers and is an inclusive bilingual space. El Artista Maestro habla Español.

New Summer Class for Youth (Ages 13-17): Framing Identity (Register NOW)

Framing Identity: Legends, Characters, and Icons

New Summer Class for Youth

Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 11:00am – 2:30pm

June 7 – June 30, 2022

For this three-week course, youth ages 13-17 will join artist Alex Martinez to explore the legends, characters and icons that have informed their personal identity and cultural understanding, while developing their own visual language in mixed media.

La instructora de clase es bilingüe ingles / español.


About the Artist: Alex Martinez (she/her/they) is a Queer Latinx mixed media visual artist and teacher who is based in Oakland, California.  Her mixed media paintings and prints playfully juxtapose her ancestors with Mexican ephemera, folklore, legends, and pop culture characters that represent her personal identity and visual landscape.

Spring Updates: A Message from José R. Rivera, Executive Director

Hello Friends,

Could there be a more perfect cover artwork for our Spring Catalog than instructor Chris Harper Triplett’s Flower Cowgirl? Some students may recognize this piece as Chris created it as a demo in her watercolor class back in 2018.

As Covid-19 case numbers continue to go down and the Bay Area gradually “opens up” you’ll see some positive changes rolling out at Richmond Art Center. Our gallery hours are expanding (Wed-Sat 10am-4pm), new staff hires are arriving (welcome Elaine Moreno, our new Visitor Services Coordinator), and more in-person classes will run as part of our Spring Session schedule. A highlight for me in the galleries this spring is—after a two year pause—the return of the WCCUSD Student Art Show. Be inspired by the skill and vision of the next generation of local artists. 

There’s also a lot happening behind the scenes at RAC. Our education team is collaborating with RYSE Youth Center and East Bay Center for the Performing Arts to run a professional development training series for educators. The makeover of the metals studio continues and we are hosting the Metal Arts Guild Picnic. Artists-in-residence Liberación Gráfica are working in the print studio with a group of students from Richmond High. And we were excited to send three staff to the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) conference in Sacramento this past March. Marisa Burman, RAC’s Ceramics Manager, described the event as, “rich and stimulating”. 

I look forward to meeting you at RAC soon!

José R. Rivera

Executive Director

Visit and Contact

Richmond Art Center
2540 Barrett Avenue
Richmond, CA 94804-1600


Gallery Hours: Wed-Sat 10am-4pm