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Our Mission






About Us

The Richmond Art Center is a visual arts showcase and hands-on learning center that gives wide-ranging audiences the opportunity to create, see and learn about art. We’re the largest visual arts center in the East Bay, dedicated to bringing art to young and old alike who reflect the diverse richness of our community.

Every year, we serve more than 1,800 students through classes and programs taught by professional artists, both onsite at the Center and offsite at local schools, studios and community centers. Our four galleries allow us to mount rotating exhibitions that display the works of emerging and established Bay Area artists. Artists such as Richard Diebenkorn, Jasper Johns, Jay DeFeo, Wanxin Zhang, Hung Liu, Ed Rossbach 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 we do at the Center continues to breathe life into Salmi’s original vision: That within every person lives an artist.

Our Mission
The Richmond Art Center is a dynamic arts organization that empowers and transforms individuals and the community through creative exploration, experience and education.

Our History
The Richmond Art Center was founded in 1936 by local artist Hazel Salmi. Working for the WPA, Hazel carried her suitcase filled with art supplies around Richmond. In 1951, recognizing the arts as an essential part of its civic cultural fabric, Richmond integrated the Art Center into its new civic center. In 2011, the Art Center celebrated its 75th year of continuous operation.

Recent Accomplishments
• Our 2012 Spring exhibitions ‘In Conversation: June Schwarcz and John Chiara' and 'Wanxin Zhang: A Ten Year Survey' were honored as SF Chronicle art critic Kenneth Baker’s Top Ten Bay Area art exhibitions.
• Launching five free after school arts program at Helms Middle School, Lincoln Elementary School, Shields-Reid and Nevin Community Centers, and the Richmond Main Library that offer much-needed creative art experiences to children and teens.
• Organizing and hosting free community events — Jazz in Art, Upcycle!, and Skeletonfest — that offer a fun day filled with hands-on art making activities for the whole family.
• Teaming up with the Lawrence Hall of Science, the Richmond Main Library and the Exploratorium in Summer 2013 to pilot STEAM, a program that will use Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math to promote experimentation, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking among 7- to 14-year-old students.
• Building alliances and partnerships with other community organizations to bring more affordable and unique arts-related opportunities to the city of Richmond and the greater East Bay.


We Would Like to Thank our Generous Contributors

As a nonprofit organization, we depend on financial support from many sources of funding, including the City of Richmond, foundations, individuals and businesses. The Richmond Art Center's programs in 2012 – 2013 were possible thanks to generous support from the City of Richmond and the following institutions, foundations, individuals and businesses.

2012 – 2013

The City of Richmond
Dean and Margaret Lesher Foundation
Reuben and Muriel Savin Foundation

California oils Company
Susan Chamberlin
East Bay Community Foundation Open Circle Foundation of East Bay Community Foundation

Frank F. Davis, Davis Family Trust in memory of Don Hardison
Richmond Community Foundation
Thomas J. White and Leslie Scalapino Fund

Andrea Biren and Richard Beal
Lucius and Eva Eastman Fund
Matt and Margaret Jacobson in honor of Jean Jacobson
San Pablo Community Foundation
Susan Sharfman
Soroptomists International of Richmond
West Contra Costa County Unified School District

Art4Moore, Tides Foundation
Betty Ann and Raymond Barnett
Susan Brand and Jon McPherson
Donna Brorby
Clair Brown and Richard Katz
Jan and Byron Brown in memory of Don Hardison
Chevron Humankind Employee Match
Eve Conner
Robin Cooper and Richard Quade
Rosemary Corbin
Katy Curl
Peter Dodge, The Dodge Family Trust
Edward M. Downer III
El Sobrante Art Guild
David and Susan Hodges Kaiser Permanente Foundation
Health Plan, Inc.
Levin Richmond Terminal Corporation
Martin and Janis Mcnair
Mechanics Bank
Owen Oakley Jr. and Ellengale Oakley
Oliver and Company
Stephen and Ami Orr in honor of Harry and Susan Wittenberg
Ruth and John Reible
Richmond Chamber of Commerce Richmond Sanitary Service
Richard and Judith Rigney in honor of Virginia Rigney
Virginia Rigney in memory of Don Hardison
Soroptomists international of Richmond in honor of Tanisha Kaur
Todd Ouida Children’s Foundation in honor of Lisa di Prima
George Tomberlin and Elizabeth Kallas
Theodore and Lida Urban
Kirby and Amy Wilcox
Karen Wittenberg
Susan and Harvey Wittenberg

Richard Ambrose
American Ceramic and Glass Association
Michael Barry
Bay City Mechanical, Inc.
Christina Benitez
Naomi Black
Blackbaud in honor of Claire Murphy
Center for Cultural Innovation
Patricia Cerda
City of Hercules, Recycle More
Marjory Corbett
Carla Della Zoppa
East Bay Municipal Utilities District
Lisa Esherick Fund
Nancy Foss
Sandi Genser-Maack and Lynn Maack
Google Matching Gifts Program
Sue Hartman
Marcia Hataye
Yolanda Holley
Alice Johnson
Katherine Kiehn
John and Jean Knox
Terry Kotsatos
Susan Kutner
Jeffrey Lewis and Barbara J. Tiger Bass
Marilyn Lindauer
David Madsen and Richard Norris
Toody Maher
James Melchert
Martha Miller
Milligan Family Foundation, Kyle Milligan
Jean Newsom
Elizabeth and Douglas Overmyer
Gay Parker
James Petrillo
Pinole Artisans Foundation
Pogo Park
Cleveland Rayford
Red Oak Opportunity Foundation
Lawrence Risman
Stephen Schaefer
Patrick Secor and Dayna Holz
Michele Seville
Donna Sidel
Lu and Steven Tipping
Joey and Karim Toubba
Connie Tritt
Leah Virsik
Julian and Elsa Waller
West Contra Costa Public Education Fund
White Firefly Art Foundation

Richard Ambrose
Annie's Annuals
Association of Clay and Glass Artists of California
Garry Knox Bennett
Jennifer Brazelton
Gabrielle Castonguay
Catahoula Coffee
The City of Richmond
Mort Cohn
Eve Conner
Sandi Cummings
El Sobrante Art Guild
Hylla Evans
Sandi Genser-Maack
Leanna Hudson
Just Desserts
La Farine
Suzanne Lacke
Ed Lay
Florence Lewis
Maggiora Bakery
Maria’s Gourmet Bakery
Nancy Mizuno Elliott
No Trace Inc.
Shirley Parini
Susan Pekarsky
Gary Gerald Perkins
Chris Peterson
Margaret Price
Primal Screen
Hilda Robinson
Ivy Robinson
Joseph Rogers
Rubicon Cakes
Nikki Schrager
June Schwarcz
William Schwob
Steve Shoen
Taproot Foundation
Lu and Steve Tipping
John R. and Pamela Stefl Toki
Towers Watson
John Wehrle
Gail Welson-Smith
Susan Wittenberg
Jim Wixon
Cheryl Wolff
Wanxin Zhang
Zoe's Cookies

To our dedicated volunteers who donated thousands of hours to make our work possible.