Visual Artists of Richmond preview exhibit features over 40 artists

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Photo by Kathy Chouteau

By Kathy Chouteau

An opening reception for the “Richmond Open Studios Preview Exhibition,” including more than 40 artists from the Visual Artists of Richmond (VAR), will take place Saturday, June 29 from 1-3 p.m. at the Richmond Art Center.

The preview will offer a glimpse into “the great diversity of disciplines, approaches and media among the artists living or working in our city,” says Brian Conery, from VAR’s leadership team. Community members can take a deeper dive into viewing the artists’ work when the group opens their doors Aug. 17-18 for its Richmond Open Studios event.

For the second event, a number of VAR artists will showcase and sell their work at the Richmond Art Center, NIAD Art Center and Ar.ti.fact Gallery on Saturday, Aug. 17, between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Other artists from the group will open their Richmond studios both days and maps will be provided (both printed and online) to help find the locations.

VAR said that the preview marks the first time since the 1970s that an expansive group show featuring Richmond artists is on view at the Richmond Art Center. The exhibition’s curator, Erin McCluskey Wheeler, said she can’t recall a similar event growing up in Richmond. “Before last year, we’ve never had our own open studios in Richmond and this is our first preview exhibition,” she said.

The Preview Opening Saturday is a collaboration between the Richmond Art Center and VAR and is not part of any other local open studio event (i.e., East Bay Open Studios). VAR is a volunteer group of local artists fiscally-sponsored by Intersection for The Arts and creates opportunities to celebrate and promote the work of Richmond artists, according to the group.

Richmond Open Studios’ artists are all members of the VAR; membership is free to residents or those with studios in the city. The Richmond Art Center is located at 2540 Barrett Ave. in Richmond.