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The First Annual Ernie Kim Memorial Award & Exhibition


    Inaugurated by the Richmond Art Center in 1999, the Ernie Kim Award included an exhibition in the 2000 square ft Main Gallery, a workshop and artist talk, and a stipend. The first year's Award was presented to sculptors Susannah Israel and Lawrence LaBianca, by Bay Area artist and educator John Toki. The exhibition and events were organized by Rachel Osajima, Executive Director at RAC.Ernie Kim, a distinguished Bay Area ceramic artist, served as Director of the Richmond Art Center from 1970-1980. Kim was also a well-beloved instructor and studio supervisor from 1962 - 1982 at the Center.

San Francisco Asian Art Museum:

Ernie Kim (1918–1997)  was born in Manteca, California, Kim originally attended Los Angeles City College to become a dentist. However, when the United States entered World War II, he left his studies to serve as an Army parachute lieutenant. As part of his occupational therapy after the war, Kim took ceramics classes through the Veterans Administration and found a new path. Kim became a ceramics teacher, teaching in the Palo Alto Unified School District in 1952, serving as the head of the ceramics department at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1956, and then directing the Richmond Art Center from 1970 to 1980. As an artist, Kim was praised for creating “quietly beautiful” vessels featuring “subtle manipulation of surfaces.” Having endured extreme isolation during his incarceration as a prisoner of war, Kim immersed himself in community throughout his teaching career. After his death, the Richmond Art Center created the annual Ernie Kim Award in his honor.

Chicken Feed, installation

        Images: Susannah Israel's massive installation                   Chicken Feed, three views in the RAC Gallery 

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