Richmond Art Center Updates & News
Executive Director Update: Winter 2014
I hope you had the opportunity to see the extraordinary survey of 50 years of work by Oakland artist Bella Feldman this past fall. Organized by the Richmond Art Center, this exhibition was the first survey of her illustrious career and earned accolades from across
the Bay Area, including articles from writers and art critics who extolled the depth and breadth of her work and its historical importance. This exhibition attracted thousands of visitors who shared their excitement and reinforced the praise of the art critics. Our ambitious exhibition schedule continues all year! This spring, The Breakfast Group: A Half Century of Java and Jive! will include weekly brunches in our main gallery with the artists; Closely Considered, will feature rare works on paper by nationally known Bay Area artist Richard Diebenkorn in collaboration with The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation and Estate; and this winter, we’re adding Open Studios on March 8 – 9 for the artists featured in the 18th Annual The Art of Living Black.
I am pleased to announce talented new staff who have joined our team: Laura Buchan, Development Assistant and Hannah Lennett, Administrative & Volunteer Coordinator. I would like to extend my personal gratitude to Emily Anderson, our departing Exhibitions Director, for her leadership over the last four years. She has left her imprint on many important and memorable exhibitions. Emily has taken on an important new task as Mom as she prepares to welcome her first child — Congratulations, Emily!
This spring, we are excited to introduce a new STEAM (Science Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) curriculum to our Art in the Community after-school programs at Helms and De Jean Middle Schools and the Richmond Public Library. This new offering, a partnership with the Lawrence Hall of Science-UC Berkeley and the Library, is the start of a program we hope to expand to elementary, middle and high school students.
If you enjoy our classes, exhibitions and programs, I encourage you to support our work by becoming a member. Members can get discounts on classes, or at some levels, free admission to 650+ museums nationwide — it’s our way of saying thanks!
Art in the Community Update:
Our Art in the Community programs bring talented teaching artists (jewelry makers, screenprinters, clay sculptors and more) to sites across Richmond, including community centers, the Richmond Public Library and elementary and middle schools. STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) education is being embraced nationally, and we’re proud to be leading the effort to bring it to Richmond by infusing some of our Art in the Community after-school programs with this curriculum. Our aim is to have at least two classes in place by spring 2014.
This summer, the Richmond Art Center successfully piloted a STEAM Camp to 32 elementary- and middle-school kids in partnership with the Richmond Public Library and Lawrence Hall of Science-UC Berkeley. Art and science concepts were taught through a project involving the making of Alebrijes, brightly colored Mexican folk art sculptures of fantastical creatures that moved with a gear mechanism created by the students. The students happily spent the week perfecting their automata and kept sketchbooks that documented their projects. We (and the parents) were thrilled with the excellent designs the children presented at a community celebration on the final camp day.
Interested in bringing our Art in the Community programs to your group or school? Please contact Rebeca García-González at email@example.com or call 510.620.6772.
Art in the Community: Fall 2014 Update
The Richmond Art Center is gearing up for another year of inspiring creativity in Richmond kids through our Art in the Community program which brings art programs in to the community. This year, we’re excited to be expanding our afterschool art program! This past year, the students in our afterschool programs made jewelry, drew visuals for children’s literature, sculpted clay animals and learned about fashion, screen-printing and using recyclable materials for sculpture. Long-lasting examples of the students’ creativity from large mosaic murals to mosaic-tiled trash receptacles to planter boxes now beautify a community center and an elementary school. If you are involved with a group or school and would like to work with the Art Center’s talented instructors, please contact our Community Art Coordinator, Rebeca García-González, at rgarcia(at)therac.org or call 510-620-6772.
Rosie’s Girls at the Richmond Art Center
It was a busy and fun summer at the Richmond Art Center. We had the unique opportunity to partner with the Rosie’s Girls, a camp that empowers girls with skills and knowledge. On two separate weeks, the Richmond Art Center faculty taught the 6 – 8th grade girls how to design and screen-print T-shirts and how to work with metal to make name badges from WWII.
STEAM Camp Launches
The Richmond Art Center successfully launched a pilot STEAM program, in partnership with the Lawrence Hall of Science and the Richmond Library. Two STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) Camps aimed at 7 – 14-year-olds encouraged experimentation, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking by merging fun art and science lessons. These one-week camps brought art and science together through unique projects like building kinetic sculptures. STEAM education is taking off nationally and we’re thrilled to be leading the local effort to bring this curriculum to Richmond. Our aim is to secure funding to bring this unique program to local schools next year. See photos of the STEAM camp here.
Executive Director Update: Fall 2013
I am pleased to announce three new members of the Richmond Art Center Board of Directors. They are an accomplished, experienced group whose talent and enthusiasm will propel the Art Center’s success. Matt D. Jacobson, Managing Partner of Jacobs & Company and an El Cerrito resident; Ellengale Toki Oakley, a doctor of early childhood math education who has walked the halls of the Art Center since the age of five; and Inez Brooks Myers, a Richmond resident and retired curator at the Oakland Museum. We bid a fond farewell to three Board members -- Jan Brown, Jerarde Gutierrez and Janie Nutt -- and are grateful for their many contributions.
In completing my first year as executive director of the Art Center, I want to thank the dedicated team of staff, volunteers, board of directors, members, students and donors who helped our fiscal year end with success. We started a new year on July 1 with a balanced budget and a proactive plan for maintaining financial health. This strong financial base along with our approved three-year strategic plan will enable us to:
Double our community art programs. This fall, Richmond Art Center instructors will double the number of afterschool art activities they teach. Richmond-area teens and kids will have the opportunity to learn about mosaics, drawing, clay sculpture and fashion design at various community sites. These free programs are filling a gap in art education and helping our community’s next generation experience the pride in creating art.
Expand our talented community. We will continue to strengthen our marketing so more creative people learn about the amazing resources of the Art Center. By growing our population of inspiring students and instructors we will build an even stronger studio program and enhance our class offerings.
Propel our work to new levels. You are a vital part of the Center’s continued success, so please share your ideas on ways to engage the community and volunteer your talents to help us improve our programs. My door is open for each one of you and in turn I hope you will open the Art Center’s doors to more people. Invite your friends to see the artistic poetry of Bella Feldman’s iconic sculptures and her impressive body of collages and paintings — and let them experience the creative energy that emanates from our studios.
This is our moment to build a strong future — if you are not already an Art Center member,
please join us today and start reaping the benefits of this remarkable journey.