visual arts

Curator’s Statement

There is no doubt that the most important element in any exhibition is the art itself. This 29th year of the Emeryville Celebration of the Arts is no exception. In fact, this is perhaps the most exciting Celebration of my five-year tenure as curator.

But there is more to all of this than meets the eye. There is a back story. An exhibition of this size and scope does not simply “pop up”—although perhaps it is the original! This gypsy existence would not be possible without the enormous enthusiasm and cooperation of the entire community. Specifically this year I want to mention as an example of the great contributions of the business community, Roger Bash and his crew – Juan Lopez and Miles Inouye—who once again installed our aged and temperamental temporary walls with cheerful skill.

There are probably more practicing artists per capita living and working in Emeryville than in any other bay area city. Yet, with the exception of the very fine Bullseye Gallery devoted exclusively to art glass, Emeryville has no permanent venue for art.

Given the wealth of talent and creativity in Emeryville there is no doubt that it is time for a permanent art space. Not only as a home for the Celebration of the Arts, but as a year round venue for art and arts education.

Given the administrative talents of Sharon Wilchar who has guided the Celebration for 29 years and devoted countless hours to her dream of a permanent art space, there is no doubt that she would be able to take such a project to a successful completion.

Given the degree of enthusiastic backing and volunteerism from every sector of the community for the Celebration of the Arts, there is no doubt that a permanent art venue would enjoy the same support. In the words of the great African American poet, Langston Hughes, “… nothing lights a fire like a dream deferred.”

Kathleen Hanna




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