By Kathy Chouteau
The Richmond Art Center (RAC) has selected community based art collective Liberación Gráfica as its artists-in-residence this year, with its residency to encompass hands-on community screen printing workshops, a summer youth class and a major fall exhibition. Funding for the artistic endeavor has been provided by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
The art collective—which consists of Richmond artists, teachers and community organizers Eddy Chacon, Lisette Vera, Daniel Cervantes and Francisco Rojas—aims to provide opportunities for personal and community expression via silkscreen printing, said the RAC.
Midway through this month, Liberación Gráfica will bring live screen printing demos to community events throughout Richmond at these locations: The Richmond Juneteenth Festival, Sat., June 18, 12-3 p.m., Nicholls Park, 3230 Macdonald Ave. in Richmond; Low Rider Sundays, Sun., July 31 12-3 p.m., 23rd St. between Grant Ave. and Rheem Ave.; and the Richmond Flea Market, Sun., Aug. 21, 12-3 p.m., 716 W. Gertrude Ave. in Richmond. Additional dates/locations will be announced, per the RAC.
According to the RAC, the prints will raise awareness surrounding Richmond social issues, while also “reflecting the joy and resilience of the community.” The art center added that the project aims to “bring art directly to the people and inspire the community to engage with Richmond and each other through art.”
Another facet of Liberación Gráfica’s residency will be teaching a summer youth class at the RAC centered on screen printing through a social justice lens. During a six-week class, students will become familiarized with basic screen printing materials and techniques “while choosing a theme that is related to community, culture, social justice and/or societal issues,” per the RAC. The class welcomes Richmond youth via referral.
Liberación Gráfica’s residency will hit a crescendo when—this fall from Sept. 13 through Nov. 17—the RAC’s Main Gallery will feature work created by the art collective, as well as Richmond youth and additional community artists.