The Redwood City Parks and Arts Foundation (RWCPAF) and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) launched their annual art exhibition March 31 in the CZI Community Space, located at 801 Jefferson Avenue in Redwood City. The exhibit, “Environments of Emergence: Influences and Inspiration,” aims to create an inclusive, vibrant gathering space and celebrates the unique talents and life experiences of Bay Area artists.
To bring the exhibit to life, RWCPAF made a community-wide call for artists of all ages and abilities who are living or working in San Mateo County, California. Eleven artists — including two life partners who co-produce fine art photography — were selected to exhibit thought-provoking and engaging artwork as part of the annual series. From scratch art to contemporary weaving, the selected artists showcase a unique set of skills that demonstrate the role that art plays in enriching our local communities.
“Artists are brave people. They share with us a glimpse of their inner selves when they share their art, which is highly personal to them,” says Pamela Estes, President of the Redwood City Parks and Arts Foundation. “Art is a powerful tool to bring people together, and in coming together, we can learn from different perspectives. We really appreciate the opportunity to work with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to celebrate these local artists and give them a platform to exhibit their work for the community to see.”
The pieces in the exhibit were selected by members of RWCPAF’s art advisory work group, composed of six local community members of diverse backgrounds, to implement annual art exhibitions in the CZI Community Space. CZI and RWCPAF welcomed the 11 artists into the space with a celebration and meet-and-greet on March 31. Their work will remain in the Community Space through the spring of 2024.
“We’re thrilled to welcome eleven amazing new artists to CZI’s Community Space and to continue supporting the Redwood City Parks and Arts Foundation in this fantastic, community-rooted program,” said Andrea Jones, Director of Bay Area Giving at CZI. “The Community Space supports a diverse, inclusive and vibrant community, and programs like RWCPAF’s annual art exhibition help bring us together to showcase the beauty and talent in San Mateo County. We look forward to continuing this partnership.”
Artist Olivia Ramos talks about the inspiration behind her artwork. Photograph by CZI
An attendee snaps a photo of a painting by high school student Eva Arteaga. Photograph by CZI
Artist Shari Bryant poses with her work in the CZI Community Space. Photograph by CZI
Attendees chat during RWCPAF’s art launch event in the CZI Community Space. Photograph by CZI
Artists are pictured in the Community Space during the event programming. Photograph by CZI
A piece by pastel artist Deborah Shea. Photograph by CZI
East Palo Alto Vice Mayor Antonio Lopez leads the art program launch in the CZI Community Space. Photograph by CZI
Launched in January 2020, the CZI Community Space offers convenient, high-quality meeting and event space to local organizations based in and serving San Mateo County, free of charge. Through dedicated space for organizations to connect, collaborate, and host a variety of community-led events and programming, the CZI Community Space aims to support a more diverse, inclusive, and vibrant community.
RWCPAF is one of three CZI-funded grantee partners that lead the development and management of event programming for the Community Space, with the goals of supporting local arts and culture, building community, and supporting non-profit leaders. Thrive Alliance and Redwood City Together will also be rolling out community event programming at the CZI Community Space this year.
The exhibit is open to the public on select Wednesdays and Thursdays. Those interested in visiting can pre-register here.
The artists featured in this exhibit are:
Olivia Ramos, AKA Sangronx, is a queer Chicanx visual artist born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. They have roots extending to Jalisco, Mexico where she often pulls inspiration from by referencing the iconic Virgen de Guadalupe. As someone who has always struggled with anxiety, depression and self destruction, their art is an extension of their inner world, and the beauty/pain of existing as a spiritual being living a human experience. Olivia has taken drawing and painting classes with Juana Alicia at Berkeley City College, and worked alongside Judy Baca at UCLA. These artists helped shape Olivia’s perspective on what is possible within the art world as a Chicana.
(Instagram: @artedesangronx) | firstname.lastname@example.org
Shari Bryant captures the beauty of expression and form in her portrait and narrative works. She loves getting her hands dirty with charcoal, pastel, and ink. Her current series Meladies: The Fantastic Black Woman is an exploration of Blackness and fantasy – – reimagining Black women fantastically in roles of beauty, power, and brilliance. Shari Bryan began formal studies in art more than two decades ago at the University of Florida, where she completed an undergrad in Studio Art and a minor in Japanese language. She recently resumed her art studies, pursuing an MFA in Illustration at Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
(Instagram: @hypotheticalparticle) | email@example.com | www.sharibryant.com
Lauren Yurkovich is a San Francisco Bay Area based illustrator who creates customized complex brightly colored graphite drawings. The beauty and intricacy of the natural world and the many metamorphoses and transformations that exist within it inspire her. She weaves powerful narrative illustrations; blending nature, the animal realm, and the human form to share her passion and sense of wonder at the world. Her illustrations are often featured on music industry rock’n’roll posters and album covers. Lauren was raised in Saudi Arabia and came to the U.S. as a teen. She studied illustration and printmaking at California College of the Arts. She’s a founding member of the Haigh Street Art Center, an active artist in The Rock Poster Society, and a credentialed educator.
(Instagram: @ms.yurkovich) | Lauren@LaurenYurkovich.com | www.LaurenYurkovich.com
Jiyul Park is a high school artist who was born in South Korea and spent most of her childhood there. Although she is still finding her art style, and the story she wants to tell through her art, she likes to incorporate bright and vivid colors and show her cultural aspects in her art pieces. Jiyul is committed to her art classes and wants to take an artistic path in the future, now aiming to attend an art university or 4-year college with an art major.
Eva Arteaga is a Mexican-American high school artist who from a young age has delved into many different art forms whether it be baking with family, a musical or traditional art classes. She works with clay, paint, and digitally, and isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. She is fascinated by the ability to express herself along with the joyous feeling of being covered in paint or clay. However, what resonates Eva most is being able to create a message in a painting. She strives to express the hardships of youth and the fragility of the mind through different mediums that are often experimental. For her, art is about rawness, expression, and creating memories.
Deborah Shea paints personality and effervescence into her pastel renderings of flowers. She transforms the pure pigments of pastel powder into beautiful, vivid floral portraits. Their fluidity and ability to layer is ideal to render all the beauty in florals; exploring the abstract shapes, finding the path of light, creating transparency and building the luminous color of the flower centers and petals. She prefers to work in large scale paintings, drawing the viewer in to experience her art. Deborah received a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art and Design at UC Davis, where she studied with Wayne Thiebaud and Roland Peterson, and had a career as a creative director, designer, and illustrator before becoming a full-time fine artist in 2017.
firstname.lastname@example.org | www.deborahsheastudios.com
Chris Rasmussen retired from Law Enforcement after serving over 30 years, 23 of those years in his community of Redwood City, California. HE worked closely with the homeless and mental health community During his time in Law Enforcement in his role as a Community Police Officer. His series Faces was inspired by the people he has worked with over the years in the mental health and homeless communities. Chris began studying art in High School and Graphic Design in college. He developed a love for working with scratchboard and continued in the medium as a hobby. He is an active member of the International Society of Scratchboard Artists.
(Instagram: @chrisrasz) | email@example.com | www.raszdesigns.com
Belinda Chlouber was born in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and raised on the Navaho and Hopi reservations in Arizona where she developed a deep appreciation for the strong connection to nature that exists in many Native American cultures. This love and reverence for the natural world profoundly influences her artwork. Recently, her work has been inspired by her family history and climate advocacy. Constantly seeking to understand and communicate our changing world, her art explores human interaction with nature, highlighting the human potential for positive transformation. Belinda received her BFA from Kansas City Art Institute in Missouri, and continued her studies at Parsons School of Design in New York. She has exhibited her work both nationally and internationally. She lives and works in San Mateo, California.
(Instagram: @bchlouber) | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.tenfingers.com
Ellen Konar and Steve Goldband are life partners and collaborators in fine art photography. Their co-productions are often strong geometries in muted tones, evidencing Steve’s eye for geometry and light, elevated by Ellen’s interest in memory, meaning, and color. The translucency and mystery of their images are heightened by their embrace of the imperfection-laden beauty of Japanese Kozo papers and the infusion of encaustic wax. The resultant images quietly draw the viewer into the complex and tension-filled interactions between humans and the natural world. Steve and Ellen’s images have appeared at national and international galleries and museums. They received PhDs in Psychology and were contributors to the emergence of the digital age during their work at tech giants Apple, IBM, Intel, and Google.
email@example.com | www.goldband.com
Adriene Busch is a contemporary weaver based in San Mateo. She made the jump from embroidery to weaving in 2019, eager for the larger scale options that the loom provides. She quickly fell in love with the physicality of the entire process, from selecting the fibers to cutting the finished tapestry off the loom. She particularly enjoys the full body experience of creating larger works that require a greater scope of movement. The style she works in shifts between geometric and organic, but always incorporates her characteristic use of color and texture. Adriene draws great inspiration from the natural beauty of her surroundings. Having grown up in Arizona desert landscapes, she is constantly captivated by the lushness of the San Francisco Bay Area.
(Instagram: @westbayfiber) | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.westbayfiber.com
About the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was founded in 2015 to help solve some of society’s toughest challenges — from eradicating disease and improving education, to addressing the needs of our communities. Through collaboration, providing resources and building technology, our mission is to help build a more inclusive, just and healthy future for everyone. For more information, please visit chanzuckerberg.com.
About Redwood City Parks and Arts Foundation
Established in 2012, RWCPAF is a 501(c)3 public charity. The Foundation’s mission is to advocate, advance, and develop support for parks, recreational programming, community services, cultural activities, and the arts in Redwood City and surrounding unincorporated areas. The board works closely with the City of Redwood City’s Department of Parks, Recreation, and Community Services and provides technical, volunteer and financial support for entertainment and community events which enhance our quality of life. For more information, please visit www.rwcpaf.org.