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Why I liked the Urban Arts Class

An inspired group of middle school students delivered a stack of letters to our executive director yesterday.

The students loved our after-school Urban Arts class so much, they wrote persuasive letters to ask that the class continues for the entire year. Help us make this class and more happen by making a donation today.

“Let me tell you why I liked the Urban Arts Class…
#1: I liked the way Mr. Rivas and Mr. Wang teach, they are the best art teachers I’ve ever had.”

Need a gift for friends, family or coworkers?

Having trouble finding the perfect holiday gifts for your friends and loved ones? Look no further! The Richmond Art Center has three easy ways for you to give the gift of creativity!


Gift Certificates

Gift certificates to the Richmond Art Center are an ideal present and are good towards classes, workshops and memberships. Help your friends become makers and artists by giving the gift of art.
Purchase a Gift Certificate online today or by phone at 510.620.6772.


Gift Memberships

A wonderful way to give the gift with benefits that keep giving all year long! Your gift recipient will receive a notification with their membership that the gift is from you. When you give at the patron membership level or above, your friend will enjoy free admission to 700 museums nationwide! Neato!
Purchase a Gift Membership online today or by phone at 510.620.6772.


Exhibition Catalog

Our Closely Considered – Diebenkorn in Berkeley exhibition catalog is a wonderful addition to any art appreciators library. This four-color catalog beautifully documents our exhibition of works by world-renowned artist Richard Diebenkorn and artists of the Bay Area Figurative movement. Give the gift of art by purchasing this $25 catalog for your friends and loved ones. Order your copies today by stopping by our front desk or calling us at 510.620.6772.

Giving Tuesday To Inspire Generosity; Help Us Reach Our Goals

We hope you will support the Richmond Art Center during Giving Tuesday on December 2. This one-day national fundraising event aims to inspire people, like you, to donate to the nonprofits you love.

Watch the video below and see the after-school art programs that generous people, like you, are helping us to deliver to children all across Richmond. Your donation today will help us continue to grow these Art in the Community programs to engage over 1,600 local children next year.

Your generous gift on #GivingTuesday will help us bring art experiences to more children next year.

Richmond Confidential: Richmond Art Center: building community through art

Richmond Art Center: building community through art

Fan Fei on November 16, 2014

You don’t need to be an artist to work with clay or fibers. All you need is the desire. And a little support from your friends doesn’t hurt. The Richmond Art Center provides artistically inclined residents with potter’s wheels, electric kilns and looms to transform their creativity into a variety of art forms.

Located near the town Civic Center, the Richmond Art Center has one of the last remaining public art programs in the Bay Area. It first opened its doors in 1936. Every week, experienced artists as well as novices from Richmond and surrounding cities, mostly retired, come together to create pottery, weave fiber sculpture, basketry and quilt, and braid wonderful, multi-hued rugs. Most of the activities and events are free, but some classes do require a fee.

These workshops also provide retired people an opportunity to get to know more people in the community. Workshop participants said they are able to make friendships with their classmates and share in the inspiration and joy that comes from making things together.


Exhibition of Works by World-Renowned Artist Richard Diebenkorn Draws Record Crowds

A record number of people have flocked to the Richmond Art Center to view an exhibition of works by world-renowned artist Richard Diebenkorn and supporting exhibitions which feature artists of the Bay Area Figurative movement. A closing party for the public will be held on Sunday, Nov. 16 from 3:00-5:00 p.m.

The closing party will honor the generous collectors and galleries that have loaned the works, many shown publicly for the first time, for Closely Considered – Diebenkorn in Berkeley.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the work of Richard Diebenkorn, one of the most influential painters of the last 50 years. He exhibited his work at the Art Center in the 1950s and held his first major exhibition of drawings here in 1968,” says Richard Ambrose, executive director for the Richmond Art Center.

Call for Artists: The Art of Living Black Exhibition

The Art of Living Black is seeking Bay Area artists of African American descent to participate in the 19th Annual The Art of Living Black exhibition to be held at the Richmond Art Center from January 10 – February 27, 2015. This non-juried exhibition is open to Bay Area artists of African American descent.

Entry Application Deadline: Saturday, Dec 13, 2014
Artwork Drop Off: Friday, Dec 19 – Saturday, Dec 20, 2014 from 10 am – 4 pm

Artwork Guidelines

Superheroes and Princesses Make Art During Skeletonfest

More than 300 people from all across Richmond and the East Bay, including superheroes, witches, princesses and bumblebees, came to make art and celebrate the multicultural traditions of Halloween and Day of the Dead at Skeletonfest on Saturday, Oct 25, 2014.

The Richmond Art Center first hosted Skeletonfest in 2009 and it’s been a wildly popular annual event ever since. And this year was no different.

Kids, parents, grandparents and community members sat side-by-side and spent a fun afternoon coloring and constructing paper masks, learning about Mexican paper cutting and making cool paper creations, designing movable skeletons and decorating sugar skulls with colored frostings and adornments (a crowd favorite)!

East Bay Monthly: Bay Area Figuration and More in Four RAC Shows

Dewitt Cheng from The Monthly stopped by our galleries to review our fall exhibitions. You can see the original review here and we’ve posted it below:

by Dewitt Cheng
With SFMOMA closed for construction and the Berkeley Art Museum about to close and move to new digs, what’s an art-lover to do for visual sustenance? The Richmond Art Center has been on a programming roll recently, notably with sculpture, and four shows that started on September 14 promise to keep up the momentum.

Three of the shows examine Bay Area Figuration, one of our region’s main claims to art-world fame. Closely Considered — Diebenkorn in Berkeley follows up on the recent major show by the California painter at the deYoung Museum, with smaller shows at the College of Marin and San Jose State University. This show, curated by Berkeley painter Jan Wurm, focuses on works on paper from Diebenkorn’s Berkeley years, 1953-1966, some never exhibited before, along with works by contemporary Bay Area Figurationists Elmer Bischoff, Joan Brown, Frank Lobdell, Nathan Oliveira, David Park, and James Weeks. Several related events are scheduled.

Richmond Confidential: Art Center provides a blank canvas for community creativity and learning

Loi Almeron on October 2, 2014

“Pinch and pull, pinch and pull” was the constant mantra of 12 kids molding their clay on a sunny afternoon. Each student was given a block of clay, water, molding tools and freedom to make their own clay birds.

At the Richmond City Library, Marie Kamali, a multimedia artist, teaches kids ages 6-9 years old how to make clay sculptures as part of an art in community program.

Art in Community provides career readiness to future artists by aiming to “bring the art-making experience to the community [and] encourage people to see art as a lifelong pursuit,” Community Programs Director Rebeca García-González said.

An outgrowth of the Richmond Art Center, the program provides after-school art training to schools and community centers within the city of Richmond. Art programs usually last 4-8 weeks per semester and admission is free for children and teens. Students are limited to 10-14 per class to make sure that the artist-teachers have time for everyone.

Starting with 5 programs in 2012, Richmond Art Center currently has grown to 16 art in community programs running today. Local program sites decide on the kind of art program they want. Funding comes from the City of Richmond, local businesses and Parent-Teacher Associations.

According to Rebeca, out of the 450 enrolled students, 80% are Latinos and 20% are African-Americans.

During class, each student pinched a part of clay and pulled it to form a wing, then repeated it to make a pair. Their clay birds cannot fly, of course, but it did not matter to these children. They had the choice to create, and so their imaginations soared.

“The risk of being creative, which we lose as we get older,” Marie said, “the kids just have it.” Marie said that it was faith that brought her to meeting Rebeca and the introduction to the art in community program. “Faith in the sense that I believed there was a place for my passion, working with and teaching children, art,” she said.

Marie used to create environmental installations before getting involved with the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) program in Richmond, where she wrote a curriculum linking sciences and art. After years of living a “lucrative life” of art culture, Marie “realized doing something like this [teaching] held a deep sense of well being within.”

The STEAM program, tied to the Common Core, has been essential to the community program. It acknowledges art and design in learning different subjects. Art is the “glue to learning,” Richmond Art Center Executive Director Ric Ambrose said.

Each student carefully places their molded clay birds on plates and Marie collects them in a box ready for glazing.  Students are also taught how to be responsible with their materials and the room. Several students cleaned-up after their class.

“Think of the Richmond Art Center as a person – one arm in exhibitions and one arm in education,” Rebeca said. That person is aiming that the little ones walk out of the room not only with “pinch and pull” thoughts, but also a further sense of freedom ready for their flight to creativity and learning.

Link online:

Annual Holiday Arts Festival Takes Sabbatical for 2014

The Richmond Art Center has announced that its annual Holiday Arts Festival is taking a sabbatical for 2014.

“Organizing this annual community event is a labor of love and one that we all look forward to each year, but as a nonprofit and the largest visual arts center in the East Bay, we are often managing multiple priorities with limited resources. We determined that taking a sabbatical from the Festival this year would ensure that we are able to maintain the high quality of our on-the-ground programs,” says Richard Ambrose, executive director for the Richmond Art Center. The Festival will return in December 2015.

The Richmond Art Center has been celebrating many milestones this fall.

The Center’s Art in the Community programs, which bring free art-making classes to Richmond children, have experienced unprecedented growth and demand and have doubled in number in just one year. Over the Sept. 13-14 weekend, the Art Center hosted hundreds of people at the opening reception for new exhibitions, including a showcase of works by world-renowned artist Richard Diebenkorn and numerous artists from the Bay Area Figurative Movement.

These exhibitions, which underscore the Art Center’s historic role in supporting emerging and established artists, are complemented with a series of free programs and an expansion of the Center’s gallery hours to include Sundays.

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Richmond Art Center
2540 Barrett Avenue
Richmond, CA 94804