Del Sol String Quartet

Richmond Art Center Residency


The Residency by the Del Sol String Quartet, organized in partnership with the Richmond Art Center, has been made possible with support from Chamber Music America through its Residency Endowment Fund.


As the Richmond Art Center reaches the milestone of its 80th anniversary in 2016 it will be assembling an exhibition looking at some of the artists who have shown in the Art Center over the decades. These artists will have been asked to also invite artists whom they have taught, encouraged, mentored, or simply admired. With these relationships we see certain affinities between artists, a commonality of interest, attitude, mood, agenda, even humor. In regarding these works it becomes possible to discern patterns of palette, shapes and textures, rhythms and tempe, volume and space.

Taking these elements as keys to understanding the foundation and structure of the art or the music, three sessions will focus on three approaches to expression. Finding parallels in art in the exhibition and the music performed, the students will have the opportunity to make art engaging some of the same elements in projects geared to the musical manifestations of these elements.


Saturday, September 24, 2:00 PM

“Why Patterns?”

Music by Terry Riley and Daniel Bernard Roumain: Loops and repeating patterns.

In our First Session we will look at pattern and repetition, taking note of how a painter like Squeak Carnwath uses shape and strong color together or contrasted with muted colors- to define and order space. In listening to the first concert of the music of Terry Riley, students will be able to extract the compelling strength of repeating pattern. In making a series a paintings, students will individually and also collaboratively with parents. Exploring the idea of repetition of movement as well as music, looping and rhythmic line, punctuated dots and dashes, and collaboratively interwoven patterns, students will see how the patterns emerge and take form.

Initially using paint with a palette limited to primary colors and then expanded to secondary and tertiary, the shifting weight of color will echo the students’ experience of the music.


Saturday, October 8, 2:00 PM

“What’s Your Story?”

Music by Gabriela Lena Frank, Lembit Beecher and Huang Ruo: Person, identity and creation.

In the Second Session we will take the work of Hung Liu as a point of departure for an unfolding of personal history, ideas of portrait and identity, and the power of art and music to create the beauty, hold memory, and draw on that energy to inspire. The music of the second concert will open a world in which students can enter and expand to render their own vision of home, dream, family, or self. In contrast to a linear narrative, students will be guided to think in layers, multiple perspectives, and spiraling space. A symbolic use of color and the development of symbols will be presented as building blocks for a personal codex. Students will first work individually on a small -scale personal piece and then collaboratively with an associated prompt.


Saturday, October 22, 2:00 PM

“How Did You Make That?”

Music by Ruth Crawford Seeger, Steve Reich and Anthony Braxton: Process and improvisation.

The Third Session will leave the wall and examine the work of two artists: Yvette Deas and Mildred Howard. Both follow process to add layers of richness and meaning to their work, In the paintings of Deas, the surface of popularized scenes of the American Dream as promoted in mid-20th century T.V. yields to the underlying reality. Collaged news photographs of the period’s police clashes and civil rights demonstrations seep through to the surface to disrupt the myth. Mildred Howard uses the printmaking technique of chine-collé to layer historical images with composite figures to set up dichotomies of freedom and slavery.   Viewing the bits and pieces lend shape to a greater form will stimulate the impulse to push beyond the first view. Listening to the final musical program in the series, the students will explore how they can make each pass through a part of a process which becomes more than the sum of the parts.

Using brush with paint, collage elements, and then the line of the pen, each iteration of color, shape, pattern reveals a deeper resonance, a closer space. Launching from the two-dimensional into three-dimensional to push the colors, shapes, and patterns into deep space will open students to the intrigues of pushing an idea, a theme, a vision, always further.


The Richmond Art Center serves the community with a changing calendar of exhibitions, public talks and symposia, classes for adults and children at the Richmond Art Center, art classes in the schools, library, and community centers, and professional development for art teachers in the schools. The Richmond Art Center holds a vision to expand the cultural experience of students to include music and the confluence of music and the process of making visual art. This grant would afford the opportunity to present students, most of whom have not heard classical or contemporary music, with the direct live experience of chamber music and the stimulating impact of music on art-making as well as the concentration art-making lends to the listening of music.

© Del Sol Performing Arts Organization • Photos by RJ Muna