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Richmond Art Center showcases the work of the Social Justice Sewing Academy

Bright, colorful quilts adorned the hallways of the Richmond Art center last Saturday. It quickly became clear that the meticulously crafted works of art carry meaning in every thread. A quilt embroidered with the image of a police officer choking a black person includes the stitched phrase ”I can’t breathe” on his face. Above the officer’s head hovers the question: Protect and Serve? The quilts are part of an exhibit titled “Empowering Threads: Quilts from the Social Justice Sewing Academy.”…

After decades of painting, Richmond artist finds professional success

Billy White is a Richmond-based artist who has been working out of Nurturing Independence Through Artistic Development (NIAD), located on the city’s 23rd street, for over 20 years. White was hit by a car when he was seven years old, but still paints and creates mixed-media drawings. He’s recently started to make it big, with a sold-out show in New York City. A selection of his pieces is currently being exhibited at Seven Places of the Mind, curated by Margaret…

‘Captain’ of Hotel Mac preserves 100 year tradition of flavor

Instead of calling herself owner of Hotel Mac, Lara Cho calls herself “captain.” Her employees playfully call her “Momma.” In the mornings, she comes in several hours before opening at 11:30 a.m. She does a sweep through the restaurant to make sure things are in order, such as turning on the lights. She boots up the computer systems and makes sure the fridges and water are running at the correct temperatures. Lara is the fourth generation of captains of Hotel…

Richmond small business owner kickstarts neighborhood party to boost childhood literacy

Reading is a struggle for many of Richmond’s youth. Almost half of students in West Contra Costa County Unified School District are unable to read at grade level.   To boost reading in Richmond, the owners of R&R Coffee hosted a party on Monday for local families at the Bridge Storage and Artspace, where food and books were given away. It was “like an adventure” for her children, said Richmond mom Sherab Osugi. She said the party made her children,…

Proposed housing developments promise to transform downtown Richmond

A series of recently proposed housing developments along Macdonald Avenue in downtown Richmond could spur a business renaissance in the struggling district if city and local business leaders’ predictions ring true. In a city desperate for affordable housing, the developments reserve only about one quarter of the total number of units for residents making below the median income. The rest of the apartments would be rented at market rates. Still, Richmond leaders are supporting the proposals on land that has…

Berkeley artists share religion-focused work at Richmond Field Station

Green and orange ceramic statues with a reptilian texture were displayed inside “Bodurinao’s shrine,” surrounded by candles. At first, the statues looked like the body parts of crocodiles, but on closer look, were actually mixed creatures composed entirely of sex organs. The shrine itself was actually the inside of an art studio at the Richmond Field Station. It was built for a new religion called “Leymusoom,” created as an art project by Heesoo Kwon. Visitors came into the shrine and…

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