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Richmond Art Center Updates & News

 

 

 

 

 

Richmond Art Center News & Updates

Victor Cartagena | Sites/Sights of Intervention“Victor Cartagena: Sites/Sights of Intervention” runs through May 30


Critical Praise for Sites/Sights of Intervention
“Cartagena’s artwork has much to reveal about the world, and audiences have much to experience, and learn.” — Oakland Art Enthusiast

Salvadoran-born, Bay Area artist Victor Cartagena’s installations at the Richmond Art Center received thoughtful reviews by both San Francisco Chronicle Art Critic Kenneth Baker and Oakland Art Enthusiast

Mural painting students at DeJean learning about cold and warm colors.Mural painting students at DeJean learning about cold and warm colors.


Teaching artist Holly Carter with 4th and 6th graders at Grant Elementary. Teaching artist Holly Carter with 4th and 6th graders at Grant Elementary.

Art in the Community Update: Summer 2014
Lots of great news! In March, our Art in the Community program received an award from the Sui Generis Foundation commending our achievements, excellence and continued efforts to bring art-making experiences to children across Richmond. We are honored that our work enriching our community and our city’s next generation has been recognized.

We are celebrating the rapid expansion in our Art in the Community programs, from seven last fall to at least 13 for this coming fall! This spring, our instructors taught classes on fiber arts, ceramics, mosaic, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) and metal arts. We also taught an introduction to visual arts program for children in grades K – 2.

The summer is jam-packed with free opportunities for kids and teens to experience art making, including a three-week photography program at Richmond High School. Our STEAM camps for low-income families are in their second year, and this year, we’ll host two week-long camps, one for elementary students and another for 6 – 7th graders.

Day after day, we see the benefits of arts integration as a highly effective tool to engage and motivate students and support academic achievement, which is why we are thrilled to launch a professional development series for K – 6 elementary teachers who work in the Richmond/San Pablo area. This free series will provide teachers with skills and lesson plans to integrate more art into the core curriculum. We look forward to seeing the ripple effect as art experiences reach even more children!

Glazing a ceramics piece at Nevin Community Center.
Glazing a ceramics piece at Nevin Community Center.


Writing on a clay tablet during a class at the Richmond Main Public Library.
Writing on a clay tablet during a class at the Richmond Main Public Library.

Executive Director Update: Summer 2014
The Richmond Art Center’s Art in the Community program is experiencing exciting growth, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. In just a year and a half, we have nearly doubled the number of programs that we bring to sites across our community. We are enhancing the program by creating classes that comply with California’s Visual Arts/Performing Arts (VAPA) standards, align with the new Common Core standards and infuse STEM with Art to create STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math).

This expansion means that we are providing more children in our community with opportunities to make art, see art and learn about art, which cultivates critical and sequenced thinking, problem solving and teamwork; it sparks creativity, deepens their learning and provides a voice and sense of accomplishment to young people.

Here are the many ways we are bringing art to more people this summer:

This fall, we plan to be teaching kids at 13 locations—a mix of elementary and middle schools, community centers and the Richmond Public Library.

This incredible growth and success would not be possible without generous support from the City of Richmond, 12 Bay Area foundations and individuals like you, who have endorsed our work. If you would like to learn more about this program or ways to support our work, please contact me at 510.620.6777 or richard@therac.org.

Working with watercolors at Lincoln Elementary.Working with watercolors at Lincoln Elementary.

Constructing a city with recyclable materials at the Richmond Public Library main branch.
Constructing a city with recyclable materials at the Richmond Public Library main branch.


Art in the Community: Spring 2014
“We learned how to use metal the right way, how to form it, but in a safe way.”

That’s how a middle school student described what he learned in the Metal Arts class at our newest site, DeJean Middle School. Our traveling Art in the Community program continues to expand and we are now at eight unique sites.

This spring, we are set to bring a variety of art-making programs all across Richmond. Instructor Rachel Schaffran will teach two STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) classes at Lincoln Elementary and Helms Middle School. Students at DeJean Middle School will paint a mural with artists Suzanne Czerny and Nichole Talbott and at Portola Middle School, teens will screen-print with Monica Gyulai. Students at Grant Elementary will be making beautiful metal objects with Holly Carter. At Nevin Community Center, students will learn ceramics from Kiki Rostad, and at Shields-Reid Community Center, they will create mosaic embellishments with instructor Daud Abdullah. At the Richmond Main Public Library kids will listen to works of children’s literature and make art with Irma Vega Bijou. This amazing season will conclude with Jessica Regalado leading families through several art-making experiences at two Youth Enrichment Strategies (YES) camps.

Interested in bringing our Art in the Community programs to your group or school? Please contact Rebeca García-González at rgarcia@therac.org or call 510.620.6772.

Carl Worth's work in the exhibition The Breakfast Group: Jive and Java. Sanctum, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 48 inches, 2013. Photo: John Friedman.
Carl Worth's work in the exhibition The Breakfast Group: Jive and Java. Sanctum, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 48 inches, 2013. Photo: John Friedman.


Katie Hawkinson's work in The Breakfast Group: Jive and Java. Water Element, Oil on linen, 48 x 48 inches, 2013.
Katie Hawkinson's work in The Breakfast Group: Jive and Java. Water Element, Oil on linen, 48 x 48 inches, 2013.

Executive Director Update: Winter 2014
I am excited about our spring exhibition series—in particular, The Breakfast Group: Jive and Java, an exhibition of 30 noted artists featuring a unique program of weekly discussions, artist talks and hands-on workshops.

The Breakfast Group was formed in the 1960s by a group of artists who were professors in the Art Department at the University of California Berkeley. They began meeting weekly to talk about art, teaching and individual pursuits. As the coffee flowed, so did conversations about art, film, politics and, naturally, sports. Five decades later, The Breakfast Group still meets weekly. What binds these artists is not a singular style or material, but an interest in the work around them, an engagement in the dialogue of contemporary art and an open and questioning relationship to the world and current events.

I hope you’ll join us as The Breakfast Group takes up residence at the Richmond Art Center in the Main and West Galleries. The exhibition, sponsored by Oliver & Company, will contain works by The Breakfast Group members and each week one or two of these artists will display additional work in the Spotlight Gallery. On Saturdays, the members will meet up in our Main Gallery from 11 am to 1 pm. Everyone is invited to pull up a chair and join in the lively discussion as coffee fuels unexpected conversations about current events and the group exchanges shared experiences of being practicing artists. These discussions will be followed by a talk by one of the Spotlight artists. In addition, six of the artists will also be teaching Saturday workshops.

We hope these unique weekly programs will generate an ongoing discourse for artists (performing, visual and literary) and art enthusiasts and continue building a thriving art community at the Richmond Art Center where artists can share their individual and collective ideas, stories and aspirations in pursuing their artistic and economic prosperity.

And later this spring, don’t miss your opportunity to view the immense talent of over 100 aspiring artists. In April, the 49th Annual West Contra Costa Unified School District Student Exhibition opens and in May we will showcase the work of students from our traveling Art in the Community Program. — Ric Ambrose, Executive Director

American Teenager ProjectAmerican Teenager Project in Richmond


American Teenager Project in Richmond
Our exhibition Unlock the Talk: The American Teenager Project in Richmond has been getting a lot of attention. We're thrilled with the conversations we're overhearing in the gallery and the ones were seeing in the news. "It's clear that the American Teenager Project lights a fire within students; they're given the space to have their deepest desires and emotions documented, and the recognition that their stories and voices are valuable and relevant." -- KQED, Collaborating with the 'American Teenager'.

Art of Living Black The Art of Living Black on the 96 Hours cover!


SF Chronicle on The Art of Living Black
The SF Chronicle 96 Hours cover story featured our exhibition The Art of Living Black. Writer Kimberly Chun stopped by the Richmond Art Center for a preview of the exhibition and spoke to some of the 50 artists who will be showing their work. We're thrilled that our work hosting this long-running exhibition of established and emerging artists has received this major coverage! Exhibition closes Feb. 28

"It's unique -- there's nothing else like this in Northern California. There's no other place you can go every year and see a cross section of the area's black artists." -- Oakland artist Ajuan Mance. Read the full story online.

Art of Living Black The Language of Realism


Why Not Just Photograph It?
Four West Coast realist painters -- Michael Beck, Christine Hanlon, Anthony Holdsworth and John Rampley -- feature prominently in our exhibition The Language of Realism curated by John Wehrle, a California artist best known for his site-specific public artworks.

"I have often been asked the question, ‘Why not just photograph it?’ I have never had a simple answer, either for myself or for others. So, one of the goals of this exhibition was to provide examples of realist painting that, if not providing a definitive solution, at least presented a variety of reasons." -- John Wehrle. Honoring the Language of Realism, Fine Art Connoisseur.

Anthony Torres Anthony Torres


Art Center Announces new Exhibitions Director, Anthony Torres
We're proud to announce our new Exhibitions Director and Curator of Art, Anthony Torres, a seasoned curator, educator and art writer. Anthony has worked at arts organizations in the Bay Area and the Midwest including as Assistant Director of the Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery at UC Santa Cruz, Executive Director of the San Jose Art League, and as an Arts Midwest Fellow at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and The Martin Luther King Performing and Cultural Arts Complex in Columbus, Ohio. Welcome Anthony!

Bella Feldman’s 50-year survey in our main gallery.
Bella Feldman’s 50-year survey in our main gallery.

Nex Axthelm’s paintings in our Faculty Show.
Nex Axthelm’s paintings in our Faculty Show.

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!

A student in STEAM camp works on his sculpture.
A student in STEAM camp works on his sculpture.

A student in STEAM camp works on her Alebrijes.
A student in STEAM camp works on her Alebrijes.

Art in the Community Update:
Winter 2014

Our Art in the Community programs bring talented teaching artists (jewelry makers, screen-printers, 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 rgarcia@therac.org or call 510.620.6772.

Detail of the large mosaic mural at Lincoln Elementary school. Detail of the large mosaic mural at Lincoln Elementary school.


Art in the Community: Fall 2013 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 after school art program! This past year, the students in our after school 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 screen-printed custom T-shirts.
Rosie’s Girls screen-printed custom T-shirts.

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.

Learning about art and science by building sculptures
Learning about art and science by building sculptures.

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.


Richmond Art Center Board Members (left to right)
Matt D. Jacobson, Susan Brand and Inez Brooks-Myers
at the Race for the Cup reception in July 2013.

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.

Ric Ambrose
Executive Director