For thirty-two years Emeryville Celebration of the Arts has
been a catalyst sparking creativity and community participation with an important event that showcases art made by artists who live or work in Emeryville. This year the record 165 works included in the exhibition represent a community as lively and talented as it is diverse.
William S. Burroughs said, “Artists to my mind are the real architects of change and not the political legislators who implement change after the fact”. This impulse toward change and the desire to be part of that change is very apparent in the exhibition.
To express themselves, artists are calling on every aspect of man’s ingenuity from traditional folk art to digital technology. They are celebrating a fragile, endangered nature with exquisite watercolors; using folk art traditions to commemorate victims of genocide; addressing the pressing issues of immigration and challenging the wisdom of militaristic approaches to diplomacy.
Each year two Bay Area arts professionals are invited to join me in jurying works for the exhibition. For the 32nd annual we are indebted for their patient and dedicated work to Ruth Santee, owner of Transmission Gallery - a professional contemporary art space in Oakland, and Tim Buckwalter, curator at NIAD – an important organization that is redefining how we perceive contemporary art by facilitating work by artists with disabilities in Richmond, California.
Emeryville Celebration of the Arts appears each year after months of planning and then disappears to re-surface in yet another donated venue with its own peculiar set of problems to be solved before it can be transformed into an exhibition space. At this writing, plans are at last underway for a permanent art center. Emeryville’s important arts community will finally be visible year-round with exhibitions, education and performing arts programs for everyone.
My heartfelt thanks to all of the volunteers who generously gave their time and energy to the creation of an exhibition space for the 32nd Annual Emeryville Art Exhibition.