Events and Workshops 2017

Here you will find links to information about past events and workshops listed by year. We are still in the process of creating this archive.

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Holiday Sparkle Workshop

Saturday, December 16, 1 - 4 pm
Free for all ages. RSVPs requested

Add some creative time to your wish list. Join us for two sparkly projects with artist Kristina Young. Make your own snow globes for holiday decoration and colorful rock place markers for the table. Materials are included but bring family photos if you wish to include some.

Sarah Bush Dance Project.  Photo Credit: Sarah Bush

Sarah Bush Dance Project. Photo Credit: Sarah Bush

Tapestry: Art in Action

Saturday, November 18, 4 - 5 pm
Sliding donation: $10 - 20

Proceeds will be donated to Napa Valley Community Foundation Disaster Relief Fund for victims of recent wildfires.

Join us for an hour of dance and art interpretation with the artists from Thread Heads and special guest choreographer Sarah Bush. Sarah Bush Dance Project, known for their site-specific collaborative dance, will create short works inspired by the themes, artworks, and the arrangement of BAC’s current exhibition. Audiences will explore the art through short, guided activities.

Sarah Bush creates her inimitable style of movement by combining years of training in ballet, modern, hip hop, jazz, Afro-Caribbean, and contact improvisation. She received a degree in Dance Performance and Choreography from San Francisco State University, and has been a prolific performer in the Bay Area since 1997. She became the Artistic Director of Sarah Bush Dance Project (SBDP) in 2007 where she produced Rocked By Women which the San Francisco Bay Guardian called “an explosive expression of the power of an indomitable spirit and embracing courage”.

Book Launch: Immigrant Girl, Radical Woman

Thursday, November 16, 6 pm
Free and open to the public

Immigrant Girl, Radical Woman is a memoir by Matilda Rabinowitz with commentary and original drawings by artist Robbin Légère Henderson. Rabinowitz (1887-1963) immigrated to the United States from Ukraine at the age of thirteen. Radicalized by her experience in sweatshops, she became an organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World from 1912 to 1917 and wrote a regular column "On the Left" for the Socialist Newsletter in Los Angeles. Matilda's granddaughter, Robbin Légère Henderson illustrates Rabinowitz’s life and journey in black-and white-scratchboard drawings. This memoir challenges assumptions about the lives of early twentieth-century women as they rejected intellectual and social restrictions to seek political and economic equality.

Join Robbin Henderson (former BAC Director) for a reading and discussion of this incredible memoir. Wine and cheese reception to follow.

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Artists in Conversation: Thread Heads

Saturday, November 11, 2 - 4 pm
$10 / Free for BAC Members

Join us for an exploration of the latest trends in Bay Area fiber art. Moderated by Marion Coleman, one of theThread Heads jurors and an accomplished public artist who works with quilts and textiles. A number of the exhibition artists will contribute to the conversation. 

"It is refreshing to see artists pushing boundaries by presenting a diversity of themes, materials and techniques that make us think about what is possible and how threads can connect to tradition yet move beyond it." - Marion Coleman


Crochet Jam with Ramekon O'Arwisters

Sunday, November 5, 1 - 4 pm
Free and open to the public

Ramekon O'Arwisters started Crochet Jam in 2012. His social-art practice is rooted in a cherished childhood memory that's steeped in the African-American tradition of weaving in a calm and non-judgmental environment without rules or limitations. Crochet Jams engage the public to think differently about the role of art within community and the power of art within society. No experience necessary - no attempt made to dictate the creative process nor judge the finished project.

partially funded by the Zellerbach Family Foundation

Alexander Hernandez, Figure 004

Alexander Hernandez, Figure 004

Thread Heads: New Bay Area Fiber Art

Opening Reception: Saturday, Oct 21, 6 - 8 pm
Free and open to the public

Join us for the unveiling of this intricate show juried by Marion ColemanKaren Hampton, and Tali Weinberg

In the early 1970s, a craft revolution swept the country. It coincided with the burgeoning women’s movement, the gay rights movement, the back-to-land movement, and many other movements which were coalescing in the wake of the Vietnam War protests. Berkeley artists were at the center of this, and gave rise to groundbreaking work that challenged the traditional association of women with textiles in the domestic sphere.

The exhibition examines the current state of Bay Area fiber arts and pose the question: “What social and political circumstances are influencing the craft movement of the new millennium?” Artists include: Alice Beasley, Lia Cook, Alexander Hernandez, Lily Homer, Karrie Hovey, Renee Owen, Laura Raboff, Ruth Tabancay, LaQuita Tummings, Ama Wertz, Alice Wiese, and NIAD Art Center.

Thread Heads is partially funded by a grant from the Zellerbach Family Foundation.

Nancy Willis,  Haider and Layla's family , 2017

Nancy Willis, Haider and Layla's family, 2017

With Liberty and Justice for Some
Opening Reception: Saturday, Sept 23, 6 - 8 pm

Seeking Refuge: Saturday, Sept 23, 4 pm
Free and open to the public

Join us for the opening of this political and compassionate exhibition co-curated by artist Monica Lundy and gallerist Walter Maciel. View over 150 portraits of individuals who came to the United States as immigrants. Speakers from the benefitting organizations CERI - Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants and YAZDA - A global Yazidi Organization will be presenting their visions of a more welcoming world. 


Annual Exhibition and Art Auction

Saturday, September 2, 6 - 8pm
Free and open to the public

Final bidding takes place Saturday, September 16th at the Main Event

Collect! is our largest annual event featuring a stunning exhibition and silent auction with work from some of the most exciting Bay Area artists. Funds from this event directly support our youth and adult classes, artist development workshops, concerts, lectures and exhibitions. This is your chance to support a vital arts organization with 50 years of community service.

This is the place to be and be seen. Get the first look at the auction exhibition and the chance to mingle with the artists. Enjoy specialty cocktails and desserts. Plan your strategy for bidding on your favorite works or take advantage of buy-it-now pricing.


Costumed Life Drawing
with Liv & Chiu art studios

Saturday, August 19 from 2-5pm
$10 BAC Members / $20 Non-members

Join us for a day of fun gesture drawing. Gain a better understanding of the elements that make up the human figure and how to artistically portray them. Costumes add an exciting dimension to a standard figure drawing session. Model and drawing boards provided. Bring your own paper, and drawing tools. 

Space is limited, please reserve in advance.

BAC Professional Practices:
Portfolio Review Day

Sunday, August 13, 11 am – 5 pm

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Berkeley Art Center in conjunction with representatives from Bay Area galleries, colleges and arts organization will review artist work, offer feedback and answer questions about the professional art world. This is an amazing opportunity for both artists, and local curators and galleries to view and discover new emerging artists. Participants will spend 15 minutes with their reviewer. Bring a laptop to show off your website and images. Don't forget business cards and CVs.

Portfolio Reviewers
Kristen Brehmer, Johansson Projects
Maria Jenson, Executive Director, SOMArts
Lonnie Lee, Curator, Vessel Gallery
Willis Meyers, Co-founder, Aggregate Space Gallery
Donna Napper, Director of Sales, Chandra Cerrito Contemporary
Maria Porges, artist and writer, is an Associate Professor at CCA
Kara Smith, Assistant Curator, di Rosa
Jan Wurm, Curator, Richmond Art Center


Mix & Match Marionettes
with Green Art Workshops

Saturday, August 12 from 1 - 3pm
open to all ages. suggested donation $5

Forage found images from calendars, greeting cards, and magazines to find the elements for your assemblage. Play with “cut-up” and collage techniques to create your own one-of-a-kind hybrid dancer.

Green Art Workshop is a hands-on, eco-conscious program that brings teaching artists into Bay Area classrooms and community centers. Participants create imaginative personal and collaborative projects as they re-envision everyday discarded materials. 
Click here to learn more about them.

Weekly Concerts
with Gautam Tejas Ganeshan

Saturday mornings in July, 10 am to Noon
All ages welcome, suggested donation $10-20

Start your weekend with a stimulating sound experience. Enjoy a performance by Gautam Tejas Ganeshan, a passionate singer who applies his knowledge of Indian carnatic music to the creation of new music; "bringing a local twist to this centuries-old sound."
Stay for the whole set, or come and go. This is a casual, inclusive audience.

Ganeshan has performed widely in the Bay Area since 2004, including at SFMOMA, SFJAZZ, the Asian Art Museum, Hertz Hall at UC Berkeley. He has given workshops at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Stanford Jazz Workshop, as well as guest lectures at UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz. He is the founder and director of the Sangati Center, a nonprofit chamber music concert series that has hosted more than 400 public chamber concerts in San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley since 2006.

Resistors: Artists in Conversation

Sarah Rice. Protestors climb on top of a semi truck at the ports as part of Occupy Oakland's general strike in Oakland.

Sarah Rice. Protestors climb on top of a semi truck at the ports as part of Occupy Oakland's general strike in Oakland.

Thursday, July 20, 6pm
$10 / Free for BAC Members. 

Moderated by Ken Light, this panel talk will look at the history of Social Movement Photography, linking the Bay Area to a long and proud tradition of citizen activism. Other panelists include Nacio Jan Brown, Noah Berger (and others TBD).

Ken Light has worked as a social documentary photographer for over forty years, has been featured in numerous publications and exhibitions. He is the author of eight books including his most recent, Valley of Shadows and Dreams. 

Imagination Gathering
with David Cook

Saturday, July 15 from 5 - 8pm
Free and open to the public  

Berkeley ceramic artist David Lee Cook gifts his unique ceramic cups to those who have supported him in various aspects of his life. He infuses the mugs with a special blessing "whenever and wherever you drink from it, your imagination will be aroused."

For this event, he invites all those who have been given a cup, to join in an Imagination Gathering - bring their cups, and share with each other, and with the public, what is happening in, with, and from their imagination. 

Light refreshments will be served.

Rubber Stamp Carving with Elaine Chu

Sunday, June 4, 1 - 4pm

$20 BAC Members / $40 nonmembers 


Learn how to carve your own rubber stamps, using linoleum cutting tools. Then, print a set of unique cards and sew a pamphlet with bead embellishments. 

Berkeley-based Elaine Chu has a flourishing career in graphic design and also runs her Etsy shop at EGChuHandcrafted. She received a degree in Graphic Design at University of the Arts in Philadelphia and also teaches piano.


Saturday, May 27, 1-5pm
Free for all ages


Join BAC neighbors and friends in celebrating the 50th Anniversary of this beloved local treasure. Activities in Live Oak Park and BAC will feature something for everyone - food, crafts, performance and live music by The Hollar and The Larry Stefl Group. Since 1967, BAC has been a creative hub for the city and a resource for artists, students, families and residents. Reunite with past & present BAC exhibition artists and raise your glass to another 50 years of art in Berkeley.

LIVE MUSIC begins at 3pm

The Larry Stefl Group with New Orleans style trumpet and flugelhorn player Jim Broadstreet, Jim Davidson on melodica, Larry Stefl on guitar and vocals, Wayne Samdahl on bass and Ray Little on drums.

The Hollar's Kevin Radley is singer-songwriter who draws on the rich American musical landscape of blues, country, soul and the occasional country holler.

The day's events will also include:
Face Painting by Paisley's Painted Faces
Banner making and installation with artist Kristina Young
Food trucks (bring cash) SUP! Street Food and Pop Pop Paletas 
and Interactive story telling by The Literary Fair

sponsored by Josh Oliver & Azar Zavvar and VIVID SEATS

Artists in Conversation

Saturday, May 20, 4pm
Free for BAC Members / $10 Nonmembers

Join the artists along with exhibition curator DeWitt Cheng for a fascinating conversation about left-leaning surrealism and art-making in the Trump era.

DeWitt Cheng is an artist, collector, freelance art writer, educator, and curator based in San Francisco. His articles have appeared in such publications as Artweek, Art Ltd., Artillery, ArtNews, East Bay Express, East Bay Monthly, Sculpture, San Jose Metro, Stanford Daily,,, and

Unity Mandala Workshop with Salma Arastu

Sunday, May 7, 1 - 3pm

$20 BAC Members / $40 nonmembers

Ages 18 +


Join your friends and neighbors in creating a group mandala with artist Salma Arastu. Arastu brings together traditions and imagery from many cultures and religions to unify people in collaborative projects. She will begin by sketching out the structure of the mandala and each participant will fill in their own circle with symbols and artwork of their own.

Salma Arastu brings together Eastern spirituality and western techniques of painting

She has exhibited widely, won several awards and residencies, and has published poetry and papers on the topic of art and spirituality.

Wine and Watercolor with Wendy Soneson


Sunday, April 9

3 - 5pm $20 BAC Members / $40 nonmembers (must be 21 years +)


Do you love to paint and drink wine? This is the perfect pairing for you. The luminous fluidity of watercolor pairs well with images of grape clusters and voluptuous wine glasses. Instructor Wendy Soneson will demonstrate grape and glass painting techniques as you sample a few hand-picked wines from a local wine shop. (Some watercolor experience helpful.)

Artist Wendy Soneson has been painting murals, costuming theater productions, and writing essays for decades. She has taught at the art for 35 years, publishes a newsletter called Watercolor Weekly and has a  Master of Education in the Arts in Human Development, from Lesley University. She lives in the Bay Area, working with elders and teaching watercolor.


Sunday, March 19 2017
1 - 4 pm, FREE and open to all ages

Join us in beautiful Live Oak Park for a day of community, music and art making. Berkeley High School Jazz performance at 3 pm. Snacks and beverages provided. Bring your own picnic lunch!

Art-making stations: 
Flash Floral Lettering with instructor Leila Singleton
Ornamental capital letters — known as drop or initial caps — have been used for centuries to adorn everything from religious manuscripts to magazine editorials. Graphic designer Leila Singleton, who will teach you to hand-draw a capital letter of your choice, complete with rustic botanical flourishes, in just 20 minutes.

In-a-Pinch Pots with Holly Coley
Learn to make the oldest form of pottery, the pinch pot. No experience necessary! Create your own pot or animal out of air dry clay with Bay Area artist Holly Coley.

Semaphore Selfies with Reenie Charriere
Semaphore uses a system of colored symbols to communicate. Families may create their own words using these symbols or they can make their own designs using pieces of plastic, tape and markers. Snap a pic with your flag for the ultimate selfie!

Sponsored by: Josh Oliver & Azar Zavvar

Media partner: Bay Area Parent

GLAS Animation Festival

11 am - 5 pm, March 2 - 5, 2017 

Berkeley Art Center will be hosting a pop-up exhibition of animation art installations as part of this city-wide festival. Films will be presented at Shattuck Cinemas and panel discussions at the David Brower Center. 

GLAS Animation Festival takes place March 2 - 5, 2017 in the historic city of Berkeley, California, just a quick ride away from San Francisco. GLAS Animation Festival includes a complete short film competition program as well as retrospectives, special curated programs, Q&As, behind the scene screenings and panels, animation installations and more. GLAS Animation Festival unites the animation community with the Berkeley and Bay Area community, sharing great and unique animated works from around the world. 

Artists in Conversation
Fine Lines and Other Fictions

Thursday, February 23, 6 pm
FREE for BAC members / 
 $10 non-members, RSVP requested

Join the featured artists selected from BAC's 2016 Artists Annual for this outstanding group exhibition curated by Renny Pritkin, Chief Curator at The Contemporary Jewish Museum. Artists Minerva Amistoso, Janine Brown, Mikey Kelly, Mark Seely, Sally K. Smith, Stephen Whisler, and Yelena Zhavornkova will walk us around the show as they comment on their art practice and process. Questions from the crowd are encouraged. 

Artists tell stories either directly or by opening channels in the viewer’s perception. Painters Mikey Kelly and Janine Brown strip things down to studies of lines and shapes inspired by the calming capacity of meditation. Yelena Zhavoronkova finds repose in black and white compositions of natural elements. Other works by Sally K. Smith and Mark Seely tie history to a place or an object, while photos by Minerva Amistoso serve to fight fictional stereotypes around immigrant populations. Stephen Whisler’smissile images show how the escalation of weapons tells a story of a possible future. 

Experimental Drawing Workshop
with Sonja Hinrichsen

Sunday, February 5 from 1 - 4 pm
Open to all ages. Sliding scale: $5-$20

 Artist Sonja Hinrichsen will lead a drawing session in order to create a large-scale collaborative piece as well as smaller compositions you can take home or give as gifts. A simple pen gesture will evolve into diverse patterns and systems. Each hand gives the pen stroke a distinct personality. No drawing skills necessary! The larger work will be cut up into smaller pieces and framed or incorporated into collages and cards. Experiment with shape, sizes, and formats - let your imagination go wild?

Sonja Hinrichsen is an Oakland based artist who examines urban and natural environments through exploration and research. Her work manifests in immersive video installations and interventions in nature. Her participatory project “Snow Drawings” engages communities worldwide. 

Jump Start Your Art Career with Mary Edwards


Saturday, January 28, 2017 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
$20 members / $40 non-members

BAC begins 2017 with Mary Edwards' "Jump Start Your Art Career". This popular workshop is for emerging and established visual artists who want to figure out the next steps in an art career. Topics include: 

  • A summary of art world trends in the Bay Area and across the United States
  • Guiding principles to follow, no matter where you are in your career
  • Four levels of exhibition opportunities, and how to identify the best ones for you
  • A list of "Do's" and "Don'ts" when looking for a gallery
  • An overview of resources for visual artists (websites, magazines, Bay Area art centers, professional associations, etc.) 

Mary Edwards is a Career and Life Coach for artists, based in Marin County. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and received her coach training from the College of Executive Coaching. She has taught workshops for artists throughout the Bay Area, and has written articles for national art magazines, including Professional Artist, Studios, and Artists & Makers. Currently she is completing a book titled "Left Brain Skills for Right-Brained People".