“Good On Paper” and “Right Here, Right Now, Richmond” are on view January 4-23, 2020 at NIAD Art Center’s galleries, 551 23rd Street in Richmond. Opening reception is Saturday, January 11 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Thirsty Thursday is Thursday, January 23 from 4:00 to 7:00 pm.
Good On Paper: Erin McCluskey Wheeler x NIAD
Erin McCluskey Wheeler was the first Artist in Residence at the renowned El Cerrito Recycling Center. The residency inspired her to collect used paper — bills of sale, correspondence from local businesses, office paper, photographs, and book pages– and make something big. The result – after she collected, sorted, painted, drew and glued the found bits – is a 28-foot collage mural that includes a hand-cut map of El Cerrito. The amazing piece was exhibited in El Cerrito’s City Hall last year. We’ll be showing that piece along with related works from McCluskey Wheeler as well as from NIAD artists Barbara Arbogast, Mireya Betances, Peter Harris, Karen May, Anne Meade, Dorothy Porter, Shantae Robinson, Alice Sampson, Tre’von Silva, Bubba Trieber, Jonathan Valdivias, and Matthew Wilson.
Erin McCluskey Wheeler is a Richmond-based artist and educator who works primarily with paper and paint. She teaches classes and workshops at the Richmond Art Center, the Center for Community Arts, Handcraft Studio School, and other venues. Erin studied art and writing at Beloit College and went on to an MFA from California College of the Arts.
This is the second exhibition Erin McCluskey Wheeler has organized at NIAD Art Center.
Right Here, Right Now, Richmond: Laurel Shear and Irene Wibawa
Right Here, Right Now, Richmond is a juried exhibition looking at the excellent and risk-taking new work being made in our city. Featuring work in different media by artists who live and work in Richmond, this multi-venue exhibition will be shown in the Richmond Art Center’s Community Gallery and the project space at NIAD. Recent works from Laurel Shear and Irene Wibawa are featured at NIAD. (The exhibition at NIAD runs through January 23, 2020 and the exhibition at the Richmond Art Center runs through March 6, 2020.)
Laurel Shear begins her work by taking photographs of an iconic symbol of love, the roses in her garden. She cuts up the photos, reassembling them into a collage that serves as the inspiration for her paintings. Using a palette that is at once sickly seductive and distinctly feminine, Shear experiments with the metaphorical potential of paint. She uses color, viscosity, paint moisture, and the speed of her hand to prompt conversations that are relevant to all: love, struggle and hope.
Laurel Shear recently earned her MFA from The University of Texas at Austin. Shear graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from San Francisco State University. She has studied fine art abroad at Studio Art Center International in Florence, Italy, and at Queensland College of Art in Brisbane, Australia. She has been awarded fellowships to study at Tyler School of Art – Summer Painting Intensive and Ox-Bow School of Art. She has shown at Incline Gallery in San Francisco, TSA LA in Los Angeles and Fort Gansevoort Gallery in New York. She is represented by Fort Gansevoort.
After finishing “A Place of Her Own” – a program that requires one to map their family tree – Irene Wibawa began Excavation, a series of work based on the artist’s family. A few years ago, Irene found old family photos that had been forgotten and since then, she has continued to research her family stories. Using vintage photos, found objects, light- and shadow-boxes, she brings to light, her family stories as ethnic Chinese living in Indonesia and how the history of Indonesia, emigration and immigration to the USA have shaped their myths and truths about their lives.
Irene Wibawa is a multidisciplinary artist and a plant and insect enthusiast. Her lifelong interest in art began in childhood, learning to draw with Pak Tino on TV and playing with Legos. In 2006, she began taking evening art classes at Berkeley City College. While touring Open Studios in 2009, she met Cynthia Tom and learned about the Asian American Women Artist Association. This has led to multiple exhibition opportunities with “A Place of Her Own,” Asian American Women Artists Association, and with InnerEye Art. She has exhibited in a variety of spaces throughout the Bay Area.
Located two blocks from NIAD, The Richmond Art Center’s mission is to be a catalyst in Richmond for learning and living through art. 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, the Art Center, continues to breathe life into Salmi’s original vision: That within every person lives an artist. Annually they teach thousands of students through classes taught by professional artists; onsite in six large studios, and off-site via partnerships with community organizations. The Art Center also mounts 14-16 rotating exhibitions yearly in their four gallery spaces, displaying the work of emerging and established Bay Area artists.
For this Thirsty Thursday, we’ll be hosting an open-bar (craft beer, spirits and amazing wines) with some snack sides. On hand will be organizer Erin Wheeler McCluskey as well as some of our artists. To set the mood, we’ll have a few choice records spinning on the phonograph.
At 5:45 pm, Erin will give a walk-through of “Good On Paper,” the amazing exhibition she’s organized in our Main Gallery. You’ll learn a lot! Admission is free.
Thirsty Thursday and our Opening Receptions are sponsored in kind by GoldLine Brands – A Winery Group. We’re very grateful for their support.