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Day Two of Art Bank: Making Art in OUR Community

The Richmond Art Center began in 1936 with the vision of one woman, WPA artist Hazel Salmi, who was devoted to sharing her love of art with the community. Today, we continue her legacy by bringing high quality art-making experiences to young people and families across Richmond and neighboring cities through our Art in the Community program (AIC.)

AIC serves over 1,700 students each year in 12 public schools, six community centers, the Latina Center, the Richmond Public Library, Youth Enrichment Strategies Family Camps and more. We make our popular STEAM (science, technology, engineering, ART and math) camps free to low-income students, and over 2,800 school children have participated in tours of the Art Center free of charge. Additionally, we hold workshops for teaching artists to help integrate STEAM into their art instruction and offer two professional development workshops for more local teachers to integrate the visual arts into their core curriculum.  

Part of our work at the Art Center is to ensure that art making, learning and creative exploration is accessible to all members of our community. Your donation to the Art Center allows us to continue growing and expanding this important work, and enables us to keep AIC making art in OUR community.

Please help us leverage our matching grant of $2,000, provided by a generous anonymous donor! Help us reach our week’s goal of $5,000 by giving today.

June Message from Our Executive Director

ric drawing 4Dear Art Center supporters,

June opens the door to summer, and a joining together in art and community. Celebrate this month by spending time with us at the Art Center: take a class or visit our new gallery exhibitions that open with a reception on Saturday, June 11 at 5:00 pm.  Summer exhibitions include our Annual Members Show, which features the work of over 100 local artists and members, Terry St. John: Close Views & Distant Vistas, and the juried show Our Townall reinforcing an important view of locality and community. And for members, you have an opportunity to vote on our next Board members at the annual meeting held on Saturday, June 11 at 4:00 pm.

Summer is also the time we close out our books and say goodbye to fiscal year 2016. This year has seen a tremendous amount of growth in our award-winning Studio Education, Exhibition, and Art in the Community programs. We’re so proud to have served over 2,000 children in the West Contra Costa Unified School District and thousands of youth and adult students here at the Center. Help us close out our fiscal year in the green by supporting us with a donation this month. Stay tuned for more information about our “Art Bank: Invest in Art Futures!” week-long campaign, and as always, your support is greatly appreciated.

I look forward to seeing you at the Art Center on the 11th.

Ric Ambrose
Executive Director

Annual Members Meeting and Board Election on June 11

SATURDAY, JUNE 11, 2016 at 4:00 p.m.

The Richmond Art Center’s annual members meeting will be held at the Art Center (Painting Studio) at 4:00 p.m. The purpose of the meeting is to elect 6 members to the Board of Directors of the Art Center.

Ballots will be available and must be submitted between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m.  at the front desk at the Art Center.  All members are eligible to vote and at least twenty must vote for the election to be valid.

Executive Director Ric Ambrose will provide an update on the Art Center’s accomplishments of the past year and plans for the next year.  The meeting will be followed by the reception for the summer exhibits at 5:00 p.m.

The Board has set the number of directors for fiscal year 2016-2017 at 17 members.

Richmond Art Center Hosts Racial Justice Coalition

On May 21, the Richmond Art Center hosted the Contra Costa Racial Justice Coalition community meeting, “Priorities for Racial Justice in Contra Costa County.” This Town Hall meeting to discuss priorities for Racial Justice in Contra Costa County. Great ideas were shared on the criminal justice system, housing and transitional housing, education for youth & job trainings, health, mental health & substance treatment. Introductions on behalf of the Richmond Art Center were presented by our Art in the Community Coordinator Cristina Haley and our Deputy Director Rebeca Garcia-Gonzalez. The event was organized by Tamisha Torres of the Safe Return Project and Claudia Jiminez of Contra Costa Interfaith Supporting Community Organizations (CCISCO). Supervisor John Gioia and a representative from Congressman Mark Desaulnier’s office joined as well.

Participants discussed the County’s new task force to make the county’s criminal justice system more just and equitable, removing racial bias, and the importance of community advocacy to advance these issue. About 50 community and religious leaders came to learn about the County’s budget and brainstorm priorities that match the community’s needs.

The breakout groups met in our studios. We were pleased to note that some attendees had never been at our Center and remarked on what a beautiful space it was.

Images courtesy of Rebeca Garcia-Gonzalez and Healthy Richmond.


Press Release: Richmond Art Center Announces Summer Exhibitions


RICHMOND, CA — MAY 19, 2016 — From June 12 – August 26, 2016, the Richmond Art Center features three distinctive exhibitions in its summer programming: Terry St. John: Close Views & Distant Vistas, the Annual Members Exhibition, and the juried show Our Town. In conjunction with the exhibitions, the Art Center will offer several free public programs including a series of artists’ talks. The opening reception for all three exhibitions will take place at the Art Center on Saturday, June 11 from 5 to 7pm.


This exhibition gives the viewer a deep look into the studio life of Bay Area painter Terry St. John. Building figures formed from the air that surrounds them in a space that expands, contracts, and at times, merges with the body, these works present a profound exploration of light and shadow. Maintaining strong ties to Bay Area traditions, St. John has pursued a visual journey investigating his personal view of our world. As represented in his vigorous practice, the paint itself brings forth body or bay, house or hill. The Terry St. John Artist Talk will take place on Saturday, June 18, from noon to 2 pm and is free to the public.


The Annual Members Exhibition shares the sights and textures of the diverse work of the Art Center’s members. Four spotlight artists have been invited to exhibit in greater depth: Francesca Borgatta, Susan Spann, John Wehrle, and Erin M. Wheeler. The Members Spotlight talk will take place on Saturday, June 25 from noon to 2 pm and is free to the public.


While reflecting on the  80th Anniversary at the Richmond Art Center, the open call for Our Town asked for views, impressions and thoughts on what makes a place unique, what gives a place its identity, what meaning can be drawn from an experience, association, or memory. Gallerist Jack Fischer juried the submissions to conjure a panorama of our town, your town, a better town.

Images (top to bottom):


Terry St. John, Model in Red, oil on canvas, 2014

Rik Ritchey, Refugio Bay Apocalypse V, Acrylic, collage, oil on paper, 2015

John Werle, Trout Chair, For my father, painted wood, found chair, 2013

About the Richmond Art Center: The Richmond Art Center is the largest visual arts center in the East Bay, delivering exciting arts experiences to over 20,000 visitors, students and artists who reflect the diverse richness of our community. The Art Center features hands-on learning, well-equipped studios, traveling Art in the Community programs and contemporary exhibitions in its galleries.

Every year, the Richmond Art Center serves thousands of students through classes and programs taught by professional artists, both onsite at the Art Center and at sites throughout Richmond. The Art Center’s four galleries mount rotating exhibitions that display the works of emerging and established Bay Area artists. Artists such as Richard Diebenkorn, Jay DeFeo, Wanxin Zhang, David Park, Mildred Howard, Hung Liu, Bella Feldman and Peter Voulkos have been showcased here.

The Richmond Art Center originated in 1936, when local artist Hazel Salmi, who worked for the WPA, traversed the streets of Richmond with a suitcase packed with art supplies, eager to teach art to anyone interested. Today, everything at the Art Center continues to breathe life into Salmi’s original vision: That within every person lives an artist.

Please visit the Richmond Art Center’s website for a full detail of activities and events relating to these exhibitions.


Jessica Parker, Communications/Marketing Director

Download a pdf of the press release.

We made it to the finals! Please vote for us!

We’re finalists in both the Parent’s Press Best of the Bay AND Best of Oakland Magazine 2016.

Please Vote for the Richmond Art Center!
Final Round Voting ends May 31!

parents pressThank you for your first round of votes; with your help we made it to the final round! Please take a moment to cast your vote in this final round for both of the following publications!
Parent’s Press: We are finalists for the following categories in West Contra Costa County!

1. Best Art Camp
2. Best Classes and Enrichment (Art)
3. Best Enrichment and AfterSchool programs
4. Best Place to Entertain a Teen


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Best of Oakland Magazine 2016: We are finalists in the Best Art Classes category!

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May is for Members!

may membership

Thank you for being a vital part of the Art Center community!

We would like to offer our members a complimentary gallery walkthrough, lead by Exhibitions Director Jan Wurm, on Saturday, May 14, from 2-3 pm.

Please RSVP! Stop by the front desk, call us at 510 620 6772, or email us at

Our Members Exhibition is coming up!

Become a member of the Art Center at the Artist Level or higher to submit your work to the 2016 Members Exhibition.

The annual Members Exhibition opens our summer with the sights and textures of the diverse work of our members. The deadline to participate is Sunday, May 22.

Click here for more information about the Members Show and find out how to submit your work.

Visit and Contact

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


Gallery Hours: Wed-Sat 10am-4pm