This week, the Redwood City Parks and Arts Foundation (RWCPAF) and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) launched an inaugural art exhibit aimed at forging an inclusive community at the CZI Community Space, entitled, “Art Connecting Community: A Bridge to Understanding.” For this first art exhibit, RWCPAF issued a community-wide call for artists of all ages and abilities, living or working in San Mateo County, California. Seven artists were selected to exhibit their thought-provoking and engaging artwork as the first of a semi-annual series of art exhibitions.
“Art inspires new ways of thinking about the world, breaks down barriers, and forges community bonds. Our sense of community is an important part of being human. The act of creating a bridge to other humans, regardless of our differences, helps us to grow and learn more about each other and ourselves. We can create a more inclusive, diverse and vibrant community through art. Activating this dedicated CZI Community Space for community artists and the public to come together is at the heart and soul of this effort,” said Pamela Estes, President, Redwood City Parks and Arts Foundation. “The Redwood City Parks and Arts Foundation’s purpose in this endeavor at the CZI Community Space is to promote local artists’ work and provide an opportunity to promote education, awareness, and community understanding.”
The pieces in the exhibit were selected by members of RWCPAF’s first art advisory work group, composed of six local community members of diverse backgrounds, to implement semi-annual art exhibitions at the CZI Community Space.
“We are so excited to support the Redwood City Parks and Arts Foundation in exhibiting the amazing work of these local artists,” said Andrea Jones, Director of San Mateo County Partnerships at CZI. “We’re looking forward to our continued partnership on community-led events and programming like this one in our Community Space, which helps support a more diverse, inclusive, and vibrant community in San Mateo County.”
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 grantee partners CZI has provided funding to 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 artists featured in this exhibit are:
Jose Castro (also known as Castro) grew up in North Fair Oaks, San Mateo County, He seeks to inspire community members to embrace their roots through artwork that celebrates cultural diversity and shared history.
Elizabeth Gomez is a professional artist born and raised in Mexico City, residing in the Bay Area since 1991. Her art searches for images that convey a somewhat utopic coexistence between humans (usually women) and their environment: an ecology that ultimately does not exist.
Winsor Kinkade is an artist and community mental health social worker. Viewing art as a therapeutic process that aids in healing trauma, Kinkade has been working on oil paintings that feature different people’s hands.
Pedro Rivas Lopez uses art as a way to speak truth to power and uplift oppressed voices to amplify social change. At the age of five, his journey as an immigrant pursuing his Dreams began. From selling oranges at street corners, to picking watermelon in the fields, Pedro worked his way to find himself writing and directing plays and creating artistic opportunities for communities across the Central Valley and the Bay Area.
Manuel Ortiz is a sociologist, visual journalist, and professor with more than 18 years of experience in issues concerning social justice, migration, and environment in many different countries. His photography will focus on the migrant essential workers in San Mateo County who are usually invisible.
Maria Sanchez has been creating art for over 25 years and is an advocate for art as therapy. Her painting style is intuitive, primitive and contemporary.
Laurie Satizabal is a graphic designer and illustrator influenced by organic shapes, mostly from different types of plants. She also draws inspiration from bold layouts complemented by hand lettering and typography.
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 local communities. Our mission is to 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