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San Francisco Chronicle: Emmy Lou Packard, chief assistant to Diego Rivera, gets her due at Richmond Art Center

Link: https://datebook.sfchronicle.com/datebook-pick/emmy-lou-packard-chief-assistant-to-diego-rivera-gets-her-due-at-richmond-art-center

Tony Bravo | July 1, 2022


Bay Area artist and mural advocate Emmy Lou Packard is the subject of a timely exhibition at the Richmond Art Center titled “Emmy Lou Packard, Artist of Conscience,” which centers her place in art history.

A native Californian who studied art at UC Berkeley and the San Francisco Art Institute in the 1930s, Packard went on to work as famed Mexican artist Diego Rivera’s studio assistant, eventually living with him and his wife, Frida Kahlo. Packard became the chief assistant on Rivera’s “Pan American Unity” mural in 1940 created for the Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island.

During World War II, Packard worked at the Fore ‘n’ Aft, the Kaiser shipyard’s newspaper in Richmond, and was known for drawing illustrations supporting causes like racial integration and voting rights. Packard also worked as a printmaker. One of her signature images, “Peace Is a Human Right,” depicts an Asian child, a Black child and a white child seated together around a sunflower; it became known around the world.

Packard was a pivotal supporter of the Mission mural movement and advocated for the preservation of the Coit Tower murals in the later 20th century. She was also a key figure in saving the Mendocino headlands.

Packard’s exhibition, curated by Robbin Légère Henderson and Rick Tejada-Flores, will be on view at the same time as “Diego Rivera’s America” and the “Pan American Unity” mural at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

“Emmy Lou Packard, Artist of Conscience”: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday. Through Aug. 20. Free. Richmond Art Center, 2540 Barrett Ave., Richmond,. 510-620-6772. https://richmondartcenter.org/


Tony Bravo is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: tbravo@nullsfchronicle.com

Top image: Emmy Lou Packard and Frida Kahlo in a photograph taken by Diego Rivera. Packard is the subject of the exhibition “Emmy Lou Packard, Artist of Conscience” at the Richmond Art Center.

Meet Gabriela Yoque, Education Coordinator

Gabriela Yoque joins Richmond Art Center’s staff team with extensive experience as an educator and multimedia artist. As Education Coordinator, Gabriela (picture above with her sidekick Milo) will support studio activities, youth programs and summer camp. Welcome Gabriela!

Bio: Born in the San Fernando Valley within Los Angeles, California, and raised by immigrant parents, Gabriela Yoque (pronouns: she/they) is a multimedia, project based artist and educator. Her work uses her personal narratives and experiences as a means to understand larger social issues. Her latest work focuses on generational healing. As an educator, she pushes investigation as a means of learning, embracing failure as an important part of experiential learning. She has exhibited in group shows throughout the country, including Tacoma, Washington; Grand Junction, Colorado; Los Angeles, California and Brooklyn, New York. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Studio Arts and Computer Science at the University of Puget Sound, in Tacoma, Washington. Yoque received her Master’s degree in Fine Arts at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, California.

The Activist (Richmond Progressive Alliance): Emmy Lou Packard at Richmond Art Center

Link: https://www.richmondprogressivealliance.net/emmy_lou_packard_at_richmond_art_center

Interview with Richmond Art Center’s curators of the Emmy Lou Packard exhibition


Emmy Lou Packard: Artist of Conscience
Exhibition: June 22 – August 20, 2022
Richmond Art Center, 2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804
Gallery Hours: Wed-Sat, 10 am – 4 pm
Exhibition and events are free to the public

The new exhibition at Richmond Art Center, ‘Emmy Lou Packard: Artist of Conscience,’ is curated by Robbin Légère Henderson and Rick Tejada-Flores. The curators spoke with Richmond Progressive Alliance on Monday, June 27.

Hello! Introduce yourselves and tell us how you came to curate the Emmy Lou Packard retrospective currently on view at Richmond Art Center.

Rick Tejada-Flores: I met Emmy Lou Packard in the 1960s. She was an artist, primarily a printmaker, but she also painted and created murals. I was an art student at the time, and she asked me to gallery sit for her and she taught me how to print artist editions. Later when I became a filmmaker, Packard assisted me when I made a film on Diego Rivera in the United States. When Packard died in 1998, she was known to a small circle, but no one had seen her art in many, many years. We thought that now is an ideal time to bring her back to the public.

Robbin Légère Henderson: I am currently spending most of my time making my own art, a combination of text and drawing to create graphic narratives, but I spent more than 30 years as a curator and director of various community art centers promoting the work of artists from the Bay Area and beyond. Rick and I have both admired the work of Emmy Lou Packard for decades. My parents acquired some of her prints that were displayed in our home. When Rick invited me to help him organize this show, I was eager to help him shine a light on this powerful, but long overlooked woman artist. Packard was friends with people who were friends of my parents in the Bay Area, so I was aware of her as a real person—not just a remote figure.

Who was Emmy Lou Packard? Why do you think people today might be interested to learn about her story and see her artwork?

Robbin: Packard was primarily a printmaker and painter, but she also experimented with many mediums including cast concrete, plastic, and mosaic. She turned to printmaking because she wanted people of limited means to be able to acquire original art and multiples can serve that purpose. Packard objected to many of the issues of inequality—racial and gender discrimmination, low wages, and the use of public money to support wars for the benefit of capitalism—that continue to confront us today. 

Rick: When Packard was twelve her parents took her to Mexico, because her father was an agronomist working for the Mexican Government on irrigation issues, and her mother introduced her to Diego Rivera, the famous muralist. When they met, Rivera decided she was a really talented young girl so he gave her art lessons. So imagine, you’re twelve years old and Diego Rivera is teaching you how to paint! This sort of set the direction for Packard’s life. When Rivera came to the United States to paint a big mural at Treasure Island in 1940, he brought her on as his chief assistant. Emmy Lou Packard is actually depicted as a central figure in the mural—the artist in the red sweater standing at an easel. I think this connection with Rivera formed her political and artistic vision as well. [Rivera’s Pan American Unity mural is currently on view at SFMOMA.]

Robbin: Packard’s relationship to the great muralist and painter, Diego Rivera, is an example of how older artists can mentor and inspire those coming after them. 

Rick: Later, in the 1980s, she herself mentored a whole generation of artists in the Mission District of San Francisco, supporting the new emergence of murals, and political and social art. So that’s a really important side of her that people don’t really know about. It was very important to her that whatever you do, it is vital to pass it on to the next generation. 

Emmy Lou Packard has an important connection to Richmond. Tell us about Packard’s work at the Richmond shipyards.

Robbin: Emmy Lou Packard worked at the Kaiser Shipyards as an editor and artist for the in-house newspaper, Fore ‘n Aft. The work exposed her to the involvement of women and people of color in the defense industry during World War II. She identified with the solidarity that working together can create, and also the double burden of working women who also care for their children. Her editorials described working conditions and her cartoons represented workers’ lives—the night shift, the commute, women cooking wearing hard hats—this no doubt resonated with many readers. Her cartoons also advised vaccination against communicable diseases and the importance of voting. All of these concerns are still relevant. 

Rick: For the exhibition at Richmond Art Center we were lucky to loan pages from Packard’s  personal scrapbook that includes her newsprint illustrations from Fore ‘n Aft

Last question, was Emmy Lou Packard’s artwork political? How did she express her progressive views?

Robbin: Packard’s work appealed to people for its beautiful color, strong design and its narrative content. She promoted the dignity of labor, celebrated the beauty of the natural environment and progressive political principles such as peace, racial diversity, and the joy of children. Usually, her progressive perspectives were implied, rather than overtly expressed. The urgency of environmental protection is implicit in her evocation of our rural landscape and abundant sea life. Her appreciation for California’s workers, especially those who provide our food, is reflected in the bent backs that tie their individual labor to the land that sustains us. Sometimes though, her work offers a challenge to power. For example, her famous poster “Peace is a Human Right” and some of her topical cartoons express those ideas. Packard’s advocacy for the environment helped to preserve the Mendocino headlands which is now a state park, instead of a wall of homes and hotels limiting public access. Packard’s efforts 60 years ago, reminds me of today’s Richmond residents’ fight to preserve the wild landscape of Point Molate from development.

Rick: Packard’s art is political, but in subtle ways. She celebrates workers in their daily lives and not on the picket lines, in the grace of their interaction with nature instead of the constant struggle between the human person and machine; worker and boss. She felt that people need art as part of their daily lives, but couldn’t afford to buy paintings; so she created her beautiful, low cost images for them to hang on their walls. What looks like non-political work is deeply rooted in her politics of equality and her belief in the importance of art in daily life.

Illustration for Kaiser Shipyards newspaper ‘Fore ’n Aft’ (1944-46), Emmy Lou Packard. Newspaper.
Courtesy of John Natsoulas Gallery and Richmond Art Center

Emmy Lou Packard: Artist of Conscience 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

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

Emmy Lou Packard at Richmond Shipyards (1944). Photographer Unknown. Photograph.
Courtesy of Richmond Art Center

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. richmondartcenter.org

For more information contact: Amy Spencer, amy@nullrichmondartcenter.org

Top image: Landscape Near Half Moon Bay (1950s), Emmy Lou Packard. Linocut with hand coloring.
Courtesy of Donald Cairns and Richmond Art Center

Welcome New Board Members!

We welcome a mighty group of five who join RAC’s Board of Directors: John BoychukJane DiokasNettie HogeSusan Kuramoto Moffat, and Rachel Sommovilla. And we salute Michael Dear as he steps up to become the new Board President. 

Lastly, a huge thank you to departing Board Members for their active and meaningful service: Donna BrorbyMarguerite Thompson BrowneCarlos Privat, and Catherine Waller.

Top Image: Folk at the Annual Members Meeting on June 18, 2022 elect new Board Members.


New Board Member Bios

John Boychuk
John Boychuk is a professional artist and art professor who works with a wide variety of materials and processes, both traditional and digital. Over the course of 20+ years of art making, John has shown and taught internationally as well as in the Bay Area. He is a new teaching artist at Richmond Art Center. John grew up in the Detroit metropolitan area and now lives with his family in Richmond. John has taught at Berkeley City College, SAE Expression College in Emeryville, and the University of Silicon Valley in San Jose. His greatest accomplishments as an educator are in supporting multicultural, gender-diverse, and economically challenged students to achieve their academic and personal goals. He is excited to work with Richmond Art Center to increase the creative opportunities for the communities of Richmond.

Jane Diokas
With her Master’s in printmaking from Illinois State University and background in teaching art at schools in underserved communities, as well as starting and running two successful design-based businesses, Jane Diokas’ qualifications provide real world solutions that bridge the gap between idealism and financial necessity. She believes that art can be first and foremost a joyful pursuit that naturally expresses a higher truth. She hopes to help carry on the mission of the founder of Richmond Art Center – who believed there was an artist in everyone and that art was as vital as breathing – while aligning it with both contemporary values and needs.

Nettie Hoge
Nettie Hoge is an East Bay resident who is deeply grateful to the staff and faculty at Richmond Art Center for her cultivation of self-expression and personal growth in and as a result of Richmond Art Center’s painting and drawing classes. Nettie brings a wealth of nonprofit experience to Richmond Art Center’s board. She has served on three nonprofit boards, including a stint as the chair of the Heyday Press board. She is a retired lawyer who has worked in many governmental and nonprofit organizations including as an executive director and a senior staff member. She served as Chief Deputy Commissioner at the California Department of Insurance during the term of Dave Jones. She provided legal assistance to victims of domestic violence as a Legal Services lawyer. While working for Consumers Union, she served on the advisory board for Health Access and litigated to establish funds for community health efforts as nonprofits like Blue Cross converted to for profit institutions. She was Executive Director for six years at TURN, a nonprofit, legal organization advocating at the Public Utilities Commission for utility consumer rights, and fare rates.

Susan Kuramoto Moffat
Susan Kuramoto Moffat melds the arts and the humanities and environmental design disciplines to study urban life. She is Executive Director of Global Urban Humanities Initiative and Creative Director of Future Histories Lab, two grant-funded interdisciplinary programs at UC Berkeley. She has worked in organizations ranging from small advocacy organizations (Greenbelt Alliance) to large bureaucracies (UC Berkeley) and has served on Albany’s City Council-appointed Waterfront Committee and Arts Committee in Albany. She founded a small non-profit community arts organization called Love the Bulb that brings outdoor music, dance, and theater performances and public art to non-traditional audiences. She brings an anti-racist and equity lens to all her work. Susan earned her undergraduate degree at Harvard University and master’s degrees at UC Berkeley (City Planning) and Columbia (Journalism). She has lived in Albany since 1997. 

Rachel Sommovilla
Rachel Sommovilla was born and raised in the Philadelphia area, and received her B.A. degree in biological anthropology from Harvard University. She earned her law degree from UC Berkeley School of Law, practiced law in San Francisco and clerked for numerous Federal District Court judges before joining the Richmond City Attorney’s Office in 2012. As a Senior Assistant City Attorney and Interim City Attorney, her duties included the handling of complex litigation and land use matters for the City, and advising the City Council, City Departments, and various boards and commissions. Rachel currently serves as Assistant County Counsel for Alameda County. While in the Richmond City Attorney’s office, Rachel and her two sons participated in various Richmond Art Center classes and summer programs. Rachel lives in El Cerrito with her two sons, husband and dog.

KPFA La Raza Chronicles: Interview with Rick Tejada-Flores, co-curator of Emmy Lou Packard exhibition

Julieta Kusnir spoke with curator Rick Tejada-Flores about the exhibition Emmy Lou Packard: Artist of Conscience at Richmond Art Center on June 14, 2022.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW (STARTS AT 16:26MINS)

This transcript has been edited lightly for clarity. 

Julieta Kusnir: You’re listening to La Raza Chronicles, I’m Julieta Kusnir and I’m so happy to have on the line with me Rick Tejada Flores. Many people know Rick from his filmmaking, he’s produced incredible documentaries that serve to be a history of so many important movements, everything from looking at farm worker struggles to looking at his own personal journey understanding the context of Bolivia’s revolution through his own family story. So Rick it’s so wonderful to have you here on the line with us. Thank you so much for joining us.

Rick Tejada Flores: It’s wonderful too. It’s nice to talk about things to people who care about them.

Julieta: So you actually have a really exciting exhibit that is opening up soon and it’s related to Emmy Lou Packard’s life, who was a California post-war activist, muralist, painter, many many many other things. But let’s just start there – a lot of people maybe don’t know about her work – why don’t you give us some context. Who was she and what was happening in the world while she was most active?

Rick: Well, she was a great artist and I think her art career started when she was twelve. Her parents took her to Mexico because her dad was an agronomist working for the Mexican Government on irrigation issues and her mother introduced her to Diego Rivera, the famous muralist. And they met and Diego Rivera decided this is a really talented young girl – she was twelve at the time – so I’m going to give her art lessons. So imagine, you’re twelve years old and Diego Rivera is teaching you how to paint. This sort of set the direction for her life. She grows up, studies art, and then Diego comes to the United States to paint a big mural at Treasure Island in 1940 and he brings her on; she’s his chief assistant on the mural. So I think that connection with Rivera formed her political vision and her artistic vision. 

Rick: After the mural she goes back and lives with Diego and Frida in Mexico. She’s a very good friend of theirs. Then she comes back and starts her own artistic path. It’s the end of World War Two and she goes to work at the Kaiser Shipyards in Richmond as an artist drawing illustrations about integration, women in the workforce, the importance of health and vaccinations. And that sort of gets her started as an artist and as someone who can make a social connection. After that, she’s a very political person, but she focuses on ordinary people and ordinary life. She doesn’t paint pictures of demonstrations or people with guns. She celebrates humanity. She did a wonderful series of images – she’s a printmaker, by the way, she did large linoleum prints – of ordinary people: net menders, artichoke pickers, fisherman, things like that. Those [works] become what she is known for. 

Rick: But there’s a connection between her art and her politics. For example, her most famous print is a print called ‘Peace is a Human Right’. It came out of the anti-war movement after World War Two. It shows three children sitting around a sunflower. They’re just ordinary kids. But they have a right to peace and to live a life. She brings her politics and beautiful images of life together in that way. 

Rick: I met her in the 1960s. I was an art student, and she asked me if I wanted to sit her gallery for her and she taught me how to print artist editions. That was the beginning of a lifelong friendship for me. And later on, she knew I was a filmmaker… I said, “Is Diego Rivera Mexican artist?” And she said, “Well, not quite. He was an American artist too.” And she gave me a wonderful biography of Rivera to read, and that led me down the path of doing a big film on Diego Rivera in the United States. I have very strong connections with her. She’s a significant figure. 

Rick: Given the way politics influences art… The 1950s was the age of abstract expressionism. Political art, social art, it was forgotten. It was shoved to the side. So she was pretty much ignored. She died in 1998, and she was known to a small circle, but no one has seen her art in many, many years. So this was an ideal time to bring her back to the public. Especially since of her connection with Rivera. There’s a large Rivera show at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and so I thought if there’s any time to do an Emmy Lou Packard show it’d be now. She was a San Francisco artist. She worked with Rivera on his San Francisco mural. So that was the impetus for what I’m doing now, working on this show with Robbin Henderson, my co-curator. To do a retrospective, to connect all the dots; between her personal life, her political life, her connections with Rivera and Frida, and paint a real portrait of this wonderful woman. 

Julieta: Her artwork was telling these stories. I know that she was also involved with UC Berkeley. Tell us about some of the movements, touchpoints, and issues that were important to her.

Rick: She had a wide range of issues: she was concerned about history, she was concerned about working people, she was an educator too. She’d been a teacher in San Francisco schools and she’d taught kids to make murals. There’s still one of her murals at a San Francisco public school.* At the bottom it says, “Created by 650 children and Emmy Lou Packard.” So that was her vision of including people. At UC Berkeley she did a very large relief underneath the campus commons dining hall, so she did architectural work. But her real love was prints. You know they’d say, “Why do you do prints? Why not paintings or more murals?” “Well, it’s hard to get murals done and for people to see them. And people need art. So I want to make beautiful pictures that-” (and they can’t afford art? Who can buy a painting if you’re taking care of your kids?) “I want to create beautiful affordable art that they can have in their houses.” Even the implicitly non-political art had a political motive. It furthered what she thought was important. Art is important. And as we know, art is the first thing to go onto the chopping block, art teachers are fired at schools, it’s considered expendable. So she was making the point that art is really important to us; to our culture, to our society.

Julieta: We’re speaking to Rick Tejada-Flores who is part of an important exhibit. So tell us how we can get to know about Emmy Lou Packard and actually see her work. So tell us about this opportunity to actually get to know Emmy Lou Packard’s work. 

Rick: Well, as I said, the impetus was this big Rivera show at SFMOMA, which is opening very soon. We’re cross promoting this show and telling people about the Rivera show. And people at MOMA are telling people if you want to know more about Rivera and his work in California then go and see Packard. So this is new to me. I’m a filmmaker, never done an art show, even though I was somewhat of an artist at one point. So I got a very good friend of mine involved; Robbin Henderson, of the Berkeley Art Center. She’s a brilliant curator who sort of guided me through the process. And it’s been a three year path. We started working on this show three years ago: trying to find the art, put it together, the history, the context. So it’s not just her pictures, it’s photographs, it’s statements that Rivera wrote about her. It’s her politics, especially with someone like Emmy Lou Packard you can’t just look at her work. You have to understand the context. Well, you don’t have to, you can enjoy her work. But if you see the context you really get the significance of it. 

Rick: So the show is opening in Richmond this week, June 18. And it’ll run June 22 to August 20. But the Richmond Art Center where it’s at is a wonderful institution. Great, great gallery and a wonderful place to put this show on too, because Emmy Lou Packard worked in Richmond. That’s how we hope to get people there, through the Rivera show. But also through talking to you and people who cared about her, and maybe had a print on their wall. Sort of trying to bring her back in that way. And I should also mention when I did the film about Rivera, Emmy Lou Packard was one of my inspirations and naturally she is one of the people interviewed in the film. So we did a little gallery piece too so people can look at her art and then also hear her and see her talking about her art to understand who she is as a person. It’s been a wonderful journey and it’s time for people to see it. And see what they think about it.

Julieta: That’s the voice to Rick Tejada-Flores, he’s been working on this Emmy Lou Packard exhibit. It’s going to be at the Richmond Art Center. And it’s going to be up for a couple of months. We recommend people check it out. Are you doing any opening or closing activities?

Rick: Yes, first of all the opening reception is this Saturday, the 18th, from 2pm to 4pm. There’s going to be a bunch of activities during the length of the exhibition. We have her [printing] press. So we’re going to be doing a demonstration how Emmy Lou Packard made her art. And the end of the show is going to be celebrated with edible art with an appearance and a presentation by the Great Tortilla Conspiracy, who silkscreen tortillas with chocolate. Kids eat them and adults save them as art. So it seems like the perfect way to end her visit to the Bay Area, hearts and minds.

Julieta: Oh, and it’s also a wonderful project by the Yañez father-son duo, where Rio continues that tradition which is such an important one. 

Rick: There’s another side that I think should be mentioned, that is very important to the Bay Area. She lived in Mendocino for a very long time and she moved back to the Bay Area in the 1970s. And she was an inspiration and a role model. When people wanted to learn how to make murals they didn’t know how to do it, and she taught them how. She mentored a whole generation of Latina women and people in the Mission, supporting the new emergence of murals and political and social art. So that’s a really important side of her that people don’t really know about. You know if you talk to an artist who lives in the Mission District, they’ll say, “Oh yeah, Emmy Lou Packard.” But that’s an unknown part of her that I think is quite important: the issue of whatever you do passing it on to the next generation. I think that’s a real important thing about who she was and what she cared about.  

Rick: So the show is in downtown Richmond. It’s part of the Civic Center complex on Barrett Avenue. The opening reception is this Saturday, June 18, from 2 to 4. The show actually opens the following Wednesday on June 22 and will run until August 20. The galleries are open Wednesday through Saturday each week. Admission is free. There’s information there. You can take a handout and learn more about her. And enjoy her work I hope! 

Rick: It’s been a real pleasure talking to you and spreading the message about this important artist.

*Hillcrest Elementary School, San Francisco

Important Parking Notification for Students and Visitors to RAC during RPAL’s Juneteenth Carnival

RPAL’s Juneteenth Carnival

Set-Up through Deinstall: Tuesday, June 14, 6pm – Monday, June 20, 5pm

Carnival Dates: Friday, June 17 – Sunday, June 19

Starting Tuesday, June 14 at 6pm through Monday, June 20, 5pm the City parking lot opposite Richmond Art Center (on the 400 block of 25th Street between Barrett and Nevin Avenues) will be reserved for the Juneteenth Carnival being sponsored by the Richmond Police Activities League. The Civic Center parking lot in front of RAC will also be occupied and not available during this time. As a result students and visitors to Richmond Art Center during this period will need to find alternative parking.

PARKING OPTIONS:

  • The Civic Center parking lot at RAC’s 25th Street entrance is open, visitors can enter from Nevin Avenue only, as 25th Street is closed to traffic
  • There are City parking lots adjacent to 1st Northern California Credit Union or across from Richmond Library (these may get crowded)
  • Residential street parking on the other side of Barrett Avenue from RAC might be the best option (RPAL has informed us that during the Carnival 2-hour street parking limits will not be enforced)
  • Lastly, we encourage visitors to RAC to take public transportation, car pool or use a ride share service

For information about the Juneteenth Carnival Celebration call Richmond PAL at 510-621-1221 or visit their website at www.rpal.org

A message from RAC’s Board of Directors

Dear Community Member,

Richmond Art Center’s Board of Directors invites you to our Annual Members’ Meeting on Saturday, June 18 starting at 1pm. Learn about RAC’s accomplishments over the past year and what we have planned for the future. This meeting is open to all current, recent and prospective members, as well as the general public.

At the meeting current members will also be invited to vote to elect new members to our Board of Directors (see short biographies for members who are standing for election below). Voting will open at 12:30pm and close at 1:30pm.

The Members’ Meeting will be followed by the Opening Reception for our summer exhibitions from 2pm to 4pm.

We hope to see you there!

RAC Board of Directors


Prospective New Members to Our Board of Directors

John Boychuk

John Boychuk is a professional artist and art professor who works with a wide variety of materials and processes, both traditional and digital. Over the course of 20+ years of art making, John has shown and taught internationally as well as in the Bay Area. He is a new teaching artist at Richmond Art Center. John grew up in the Detroit metropolitan area and now lives with his family in Richmond. Being a RAC board member would further connect his local community, his love of art and his experience of mentoring artists.

John has taught at Berkeley City College, SAE Expression College in Emeryville, and the University of Silicon Valley in San Jose. His greatest accomplishments as an educator are in supporting multicultural, gender-diverse, and economically challenged students to achieve their academic and personal goals. He encourages his students to question conventional ideas, form their own opinions and communicate that through their art. He is excited to work with Richmond Art Center to increase the creative opportunities for the communities of Richmond.

Jane Diokas

With her Master’s in printmaking from Illinois State University and background in teaching art at schools in underserved communities, as well as starting and running two successful design-based businesses, Jane Diokas is uniquely qualified to provide real world solutions that bridge the gap between idealism and financial necessity. She believes that art can be first and foremost a joyful pursuit that naturally expresses a higher truth. She hopes to help carry on the mission of the founder of Richmond Art Center – who believed there was an artist in everyone and that art was as vital as breathing – while aligning it with both contemporary values and needs.

Nettie Hoge

Nettie Hoge is an East Bay resident who is deeply grateful to the staff and faculty at Richmond Art Center for her cultivation of self-expression and personal growth in and as a result of Richmond Art Center’s painting and drawing classes. She would love to give back to RAC and the community surrounding it by serving on the board.

Nettie would bring a wealth of nonprofit experience to Richmond Art Center’s board. She has served on three nonprofit boards, including a stint as the chair of the Heyday Press board. She is a retired lawyer who has worked in many governmental and nonprofit organizations including as an executive director and a senior staff member. She served as Chief Deputy Commissioner at the California Department of Insurance during the term of Dave Jones. She provided legal assistance to victims of domestic violence as a Legal Services lawyer. While working for Consumers Union, she served on the advisory board for Health Access and litigated to establish funds for community health efforts as nonprofits like Blue Cross converted to for profit institutions. She was Executive Director for six years at TURN, a nonprofit, legal organization advocating at the Public Utilities Commission for utility consumer rights, and fare rates.

Susan Kuramoto Moffat

Susan Kuramoto Moffat melds the arts and the humanities and environmental design disciplines to study urban life. She is Executive Director of Global Urban Humanities Initiative and Creative Director of Future Histories Lab, two grant-funded interdisciplinary programs at UC Berkeley. She has worked in organizations ranging from small advocacy organizations (Greenbelt Alliance) to large bureaucracies (UC Berkeley) and has served on Albany’s City Council-appointed Waterfront Committee and Arts Committee in Albany. She founded a small non-profit community arts organization called Love the Bulb that brings outdoor music, dance, and theater performances and public art to non-traditional audiences. She brings an anti-racist and equity lens to all her work.

Susan earned her undergraduate degree at Harvard University and master’s degrees at UC Berkeley (City Planning) and Columbia (Journalism). She has lived in Albany since 1997. She looks forward to bringing her experience and expertise to Richmond Art Center’s board.

Rachel Sommovilla

Rachel Sommovilla was born and raised in the Philadelphia area, and received her B.A. degree in biological anthropology from Harvard University. She earned her law degree from UC Berkeley School of Law, practiced law in San Francisco and clerked for numerous Federal District Court judges before joining the Richmond City Attorney’s Office in 2012. As a Senior Assistant City Attorney and Interim City Attorney, Ms. Sommovilla’s duties included the handling of complex litigation and land use matters for the City, and advising the City Council, City Departments, and various boards and commissions. Ms. Sommovilla currently serves as Assistant County Counsel for Alameda County. While in the Richmond City Attorney’s office, Rachel and her two sons participated in various Richmond Art Center classes and summer programs. Rachel lives in El Cerrito with her two sons, husband and dog.

Top image: Past and current members speaking about their artwork in 2019

Richmond Standard: Liberación Gráfica selected for residency at Richmond Art Center

Link: https://richmondstandard.com/richmond/2022/06/06/liberacion-grafica-selected-for-residency-at-richmond-art-center/

By Kathy Chouteau

The Richmond Art Center (RAC) has selected community based art collective Liberación Gráfica as its artists-in-residence this year, with its residency to encompass hands-on community screen printing workshops, a summer youth class and a major fall exhibition. Funding for the artistic endeavor has been provided by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The art collective—which consists of Richmond artists, teachers and community organizers Eddy Chacon, Lisette Vera, Daniel Cervantes and Francisco Rojas—aims to provide opportunities for personal and community expression via silkscreen printing, said the RAC.

Midway through this month, Liberación Gráfica will bring live screen printing demos to community events throughout Richmond at these locations: The Richmond Juneteenth Festival, Sat., June 18, 12-3 p.m., Nicholls Park, 3230 Macdonald Ave. in Richmond; Low Rider Sundays, Sun., July 31 12-3 p.m., 23rd St. between Grant Ave. and Rheem Ave.; and the Richmond Flea Market, Sun., Aug. 21, 12-3 p.m., 716 W. Gertrude Ave. in Richmond. Additional dates/locations will be announced, per the RAC.

According to the RAC, the prints will raise awareness surrounding Richmond social issues, while also “reflecting the joy and resilience of the community.” The art center added that the project aims to “bring art directly to the people and inspire the community to engage with Richmond and each other through art.”

Another facet of Liberación Gráfica’s residency will be teaching a summer youth class at the RAC centered on screen printing through a social justice lens. During a six-week class, students will become familiarized with basic screen printing materials and techniques “while choosing a theme that is related to community, culture, social justice and/or societal issues,” per the RAC. The class welcomes Richmond youth via referral.

Liberación Gráfica’s residency will hit a crescendo when—this fall from Sept. 13 through Nov. 17—the RAC’s Main Gallery will feature work created by the art collective, as well as Richmond youth and additional community artists.

Want Liberación Gráfica to come to your community event this summer? Contact Roberto Martinez at roberto@nullrichmondartcenter.org. Learn more about the RAC here.

Special Summer Class for Youth Ages 13-17

New dates!!

SPECIAL SUMMER CLASS FOR YOUTH AGES 13-17 STARTS NEXT WEEK AT RAC

Framing Identity: Legends, Characters and Icons

Tue, Wed, Thu & Fri, 1pm – 4pm

June 14 – June 24, 2022

For this two-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.

More info and online registration

Need an ART BOOST? SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE! Apply online at: richmondartcenter.org/art-boost

Press Release: Richmond Art Center Announces Artists-in-Residence Liberación Gráfica

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 6, 2022

Richmond Art Center Announces Artists-in-Residence Liberación Gráfica

Residency to include community screen printing events, summer youth class and a major exhibition 

Richmond, CA: Richmond Art Center (RAC) is excited to announce Liberación Gráfica, a community-based art collective, as this year’s Artists-in-Residence. With major funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, Liberación Gráfica will lead two summer art programs that will engage Richmond youth and the greater Richmond community through hands-on screen printing workshops. 

Beginning in mid-June Liberación Gráfica will be out in the community bringing screen printing to events and locations throughout Richmond (details and schedule below).

Additionally, Liberación Gráfica will teach a summer youth class at Richmond Art Center focused on screen printing through a social justice lens. Students will be introduced to basic materials and techniques of silkscreen printing, while choosing a theme that is related to community, culture, social justice, and/or societal issues. This six-week class is open to Richmond youth by referral.

The residency will culminate in a fall exhibition in Richmond Art Center’s Main Gallery showcasing work created by Richmond youth, Liberación Gráfica, and other invited community artists. The exhibition will run from September 13 through to November 17, 2022. Public programs tba.

Screen Printing in the Community: This summer Liberación Gráfica will be out in Richmond engaging youth and families at community events and local gathering places with live screen printing demonstrations. The prints will raise awareness to social issues faced in Richmond while reflecting the joy and resilience of the community. The goal of this project is to bring art directly to the people and inspire the community to engage with Richmond and each other through art. 

Schedule:
Liberación Gráfica at the Richmond Juneteenth Festival
Saturday, June 18, 12pm-3pm
Nicholls Park, 3230 Macdonald Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804

Liberación Gráfica at Low Rider Sundays
Sunday, July 31 12pm-3pm
23rd Street Between Grant Avenue and Rheem Ave 

Liberación Gráfica at Richmond Flea Market
Sunday, August 21,12pm-3pm 
716 W. Gertrude Avenue, Richmond, CA 94801

More dates and locations to be announced. If you are interested in inviting Liberación Gráfica to a community event this summer, please contact Roberto Martinez at roberto@nullrichmondartcenter.org

About the Artists-in-Residence: Liberación Gráfica is a community based art collective whose mission is to provide opportunities for self and community expression through silkscreen printing. The collective is made up of Richmond-based artists, teachers, and community organizers: Eddy Chacon, Lisette Vera, Daniel Cervantes and Francisco Rojas. Liberación Gráfica was established in 2019 and since has worked towards teaching youth the process of silkscreen printing through a social justice lens with the intention to bridge gaps between communities of color and bring awareness to social injustices faced by the Richmond community. 



Images: (top artwork) Daniel Cervantes, Real G’s Grow Food, 2020, Screenprint; (above logo) Eddy Chacon, Liberación Gráfica Logo, 2022; (above photo) Liberación Gráfica printing at Richmond Art Center’s Family Day, May 2022


 
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. richmondartcenter.org
 
For more information contact:
Roberto Martinez, Curator, roberto@nullrichmondartcenter.org

 

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