COVER | Marisa Diaz
Self-Portrait (acrylic on canvas, 2019). Marisa Diaz, U.S. Army, 2005-present, painted this self-portrait as part of the Arts and Culture Commission of Contra Costa County’s ABOUTFACE program. It is part of an exhibition, ABOUTFACE, on display at the Richmond Art Center. The large-group exhibition brings together for the first time more than 100 self-portraits from veterans who have participated in the ABOUTFACE program since 2015. Collectively, the pieces form a unit that represents the varied stories of veterans transitioning from military to civilian life. In 2015, the Arts and Culture Commission and the Physical Rehabilitation Service at Veterans Affairs Health Care in Martinez developed ABOUTFACE to improve the lives of California’s veterans through arts programming. ABOUTFACE engages veterans through painting workshops focused on artistic skill development and self-expression in two-day workshops team-taught by a teaching artist and a qualified therapist with a veteran coordinator present. Workshop activities include meditation, peer discussion, sketching each other, and painting a final self-portrait. A special reception and artists’ talk is set for 2-4 p.m. Sat., Aug. 10. The exhibition hangs in the Community Gallery through Aug. 16. www.RichmondArtCenter.org.