Art of the African Diaspora Satellite Exhibit
Selected works by Stephen Bruce, Raymond L. Haywood, Anna W. Edwards, Arthur Norcome & Jazmyne Woffard-Jones
January – March 2024
We are honored to be part of the 2024 Art of the African Diaspora exhibit. In partnership with the Richmond Art Center, the long-running Bay Area program supports artists of African descent through representation, professional development, and the building of a creative community. Since the inaugural exhibition in 1996, the Art of the African Diaspora has presented the work of emerging and established African American artists and, in the process, built a creative community of artists and art lovers.
Join us in welcoming these talented artists to our office gallery at 1820 Solano Avenue in Berkeley. We are open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to gallery visitors. Please call 510.528.5820 to reserve a time to stop by and enjoy their work.
Thursday, February 8, 2024
5:30 – 8 p.m.
1820 Solano Avenue
Join us to celebrate the work of Stephen Bruce, Raymond L. Haywood, Anna W. Edwards, Arthur Norcome, and Jazmyne Woffard-Jones with wine, food, good conversations, and a brief talk with the artists.
Bring friends. Share the word.
Many thanks to our event partners at Theopolis Vineyards and Ann’s Catering.
Stephen Bruce is genuinely overjoyed to be making art after decades spent supporting other artists and working in retail management. “For years, I was an artist representative, consulting on presentation and development. Some encouraged me to focus on my own creativity, but I felt that my time to become an artist had past – that my creative spirit had not been revealed and developed as a child,” says Bruce. In that sense, his problem was the opposite of Picasso’s famous observation, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
But one memory stuck with Bruce, as the call to express himself grew more insistent: “I used to make copper bracelets as a child. They kept turning green. My father gave me a lecture and explained that oxidation is merely acids affecting the surface of metal. As an adult, I just thought it through backward: What if I introduced an array of acids to the metal? Could I manipulate oxidation and control the resulting effects of color and pattern, and texture? I wanted to explore that nexus of art and science.”
Bruce’s gentle humility coupled with an unusually disciplined work ethic has much to do with his success: “My biggest artistic influence is the greatest artist ever, Mother Earth. Every artist is imitating her. My seascapes are inspired by the beauty of the ocean, perhaps an aerial view from the sky. My abstracts, an attempt to mimic the colors and patterns of some geological formations. And my landscapes are my best efforts to capture the feeling of a fleeting moment in a sunset, a sunrise, or on the horizon.”
Raymond L. Haywood
Raymond L. Haywood is an Afrofuturist Abstract Expressionist Painter and Sculptor in Berkeley California. He received his BFA from the University of California at San Diego and his MFA from San Francisco State University. He has over a decade of teaching experience from high school to community college. Raymond is currently a high school Construction Technologies Instructor at Freedom High School in Oakley CA. He is also a retired journeyman carpenter, knowledgeable in residential and commerical construction for the past four decades. He has taught a wide variety of art related subjects: painting, printmaking, theater set design and construction, textile design and Art History at the Junior College level.
Raymond is known for his abstract expressionist mixed-media paintings that often include paper collage, drawing, and hand-crafted paper stencils. His dynamic cowrie symbol paintings from 2020 explore the African Diaspora through variegated color and texture. He became a member of the art collective Mercury Twenty Gallery in downtown Oakland CA in 2021. His 2022 exhibition at the Mercury Twenty gallery in Oakland CA, “ENVy of Desire”, introduced his abstract expressionist sculptures. Utilizing vibrant color and patina rich surfaces illustrate Mr. Haywood’s signature painting style. Raymond is committed to Abstract painting and sculpture and has focused on these media for the past decade exclusively. His artwork evokes ethereal landscapes which resonate with his audience through emotions archived in our physical bodies.
Anna W. Edwards
Anna W. Edwards lives in San Leandro, CA. Anna grew up in New York City and lived on Sugar Hill.
The Sugar Hill Neighborhood is a small enclave north of Harlem. She attended CCNY and The New School.
After moving to California, she balanced corporate life with the desire to express herself creatively. She studied floral design and started Holiday Faire, a floral design business. Anna later began painting and studied painting with Takeshi Nakayoshi. Her work in acrylic, mixed media and collage have been influenced by Ed Clark, Richard Diebenkorn, Bob Rauschenberg and Antoni Tapies.
Her Sugar Hill neighborhood had a plethora of famous musicians and artists. Edwards says, “the neighborhood, the music and the musicians helped to influence my art when I started painting some twenty-five years later. The urban landscape has been my focus, because cities have always held a special fascination for me, acquired from traveling, which started up and down the east coast from Buffalo to Richmond with Grandmother Edwards, and continuing across the US and abroad. Connecting to the music, the musicians, environs and the people of Sugar Hill and beyond are a constant source of inspiration for me.”
Anna has had a number of solo and group shows in the Bay Area and across the country. She is in the collection of the African American Museum of Dallas, Texas. She is also in corporate and private collections throughout the United States and abroad. For over five years, she ran Anna W. Edwards Fine Art Studio and Gallery in San Leandro. Presently, she paints at her studio, Anna W. Edwards Fine Art, in Oakland, CA.
San Leandro Arts Council Board member from 2008 – Present
San Leandro Downtown Association 2010 – 2020, board member in 2014
San Leandro Arts Association
San Leandro Arts Commission (former member)
Anna was also a member of Pro Arts for over 25 years, serving on the board for four years. She has experience running a gallery, has volunteered as an art docent at both the Oakland Museum of California and The Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, and participated as a juror for the Alameda County public art selection for Juvenile Hall in San Leandro.
Arthur Norcome is a California-based painter who creates abstract watercolor paintings. His work is an investigation of control vs chaos by using blocks of color and bold strokes to add structure and stability to the mediums’ desire to run free. His work also explores watercolors’ natural luminosity.
He earned his BFA in illustration from the California College of Arts and Crafts and his years of illustrations and logo design are a prominent influence on how he uses shapes, colors, and lines within his work. He has recurring yearly shows with the Art of the African Diaspora and the Invisible Atelier and is regularly shown in other venues within the San Francisco Bay Area.
Jazmyne Woffard-Jones (b. 1997 African-American) is a black visual artist located in Alameda, California. Her educational background is in photography, a medium she mostly uses in her pieces. Woffard uses photochemical blue printing to create much of her work. Other mediums include print and papermaking. Typically, Woffard uses materials from inside her home for inspiration and occasionally items in the world that she comes across. The handling process of the material allows Jazmyne to explore new meanings. Through this process, she is fascinated with transforming objects into new forms through ripping, tearing, smashing, and documenting the results through images and/or printmaking. Woffard also deeply enjoys experimenting with the composition of objects and creating works of art that shift from abstract expressionism that play on lighting and color shift techniques. Woffard graduated from California College of the Arts and has exhibited in multiple shows and galleries.