KPFA fair showcases artists at new site
Contra Costa Times
By Sarah Rohrs Correspondent
RICHMOND -- A Bay Area muralist who worked alongside Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo will get special recognition at the upcoming KPFA Summer Arts Fair in Richmond.
Emmy Lou Packard's art has inspired artists and activists for decades. Today Berkeley artist Jodi Mullen is giving her images a new lease on life.
Mullen will exhibit reprinted artwork from Packard's original linoleum block prints at the new arts fair.
The inaugural event takes place 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 20 and 21 at the Craneway Pavilion, 1414 Harbour Way South in Richmond. It replaces Berkeley's Live Oak Fair, which was discontinued this year. The new fair, like its predecessor, will benefit Berkeley progressive radio station KPFA.
Publicist Sally Phillips said the event follows on the success of the KPFA Winter Arts Fair, held for the first time last year with much success at the Craneway, an indoor venue that boasts panoramic Bay views.
The event is also a celebration of the summer solstice and the power of art, she added.
It will feature 200 exhibitors working in various media, including painting, sculpture, ceramics, woodwork, jewelry, glasswork, photography and unique gifts.
Fairgoers will find live music in the KPFA Lounge area, such as the Rusty Strings band, guitarists Pete Madsen and Teja Gerkin, plus Ben Kunin, a sarod player.
Art is the main highlight. Phillips said Mullen's art that puts a light on Packard's work is an exciting addition.
A strong member of the San Francisco mural movement, Packard also has strong Richmond ties, Phillips said.
The artist worked as an illustrator for a labor newspaper at the Kaiser Shipyards in the 1940s, near the same area as the Craneway Pavilion, Phillips said.
Packard excelled in activist art nearly her entire life, and lived and worked with both Rivera and his wife Kahlo.
Other activist artists showing work at the fair include two from Tibet and one from Nepal. Each is a contemporary painter who incorporates modern themes.
Tsherin Sherpa was formally trained in spiritual Thangka paintings before taking on current political issues, Phillips said.
He will be accompanied by artists Yuvak Tuladhar and Chungpo, who goes by one name. A portion of the sales of their art goes to Nepal earthquake relief.
The fair should also be a boon for Richmond.
Richmond Visitor and Convention Bureau Executive Director Beth Javens said the event is just one of many taking place in the city in June. She said Richmond is becoming a draw for artists and the fair will be a good way to showcase their arrival.
Craneway Pavilion General Manager Dana Stoehr said the fair and other events are serving to change people's perceptions of the city.
A free shuttle from the Richmond BART Station to the Craneway Pavilion will run continuously from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. both days.
Two day admission is $12; seniors and disabled pay $8; and ages under 18 enter free. For more details go to www.kpfa.org/craftsfair/summer.
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