Part of being a Public Art Advisory Committee (PAAC) member is discovering local artists.  Last week, I had the opportunity to visit the Richmond art studio of Stephen Bruce.  The downtown houses a treasure of colorful artworks that echo the patterns found in the natural world.  As a full-time artist, Stephen Bruce’s expertise can be found in his innovative acid paintings on copper.

Stephen Bruce.

According to Stephen Bruce’s website: “Though he has only been showing work since June of 2006, his acid paintings on copper have already been seen in over 20 TV shows, such as (House, Revenge, Big Bang Theory, Law & Order LA, Californication) and movie sets (Iron Man 3, Horrible Bosses, The Avengers and The Social Network) to name a few, selected to decorate the 2008 Sunset Magazine Idea House and garnered art festival accolades.”


The prolific artist is a community leader.  Stephen Bruce is part of the nonprofit group called the Red Umbrellas.  The organization facilitates exhibits in public spaces such as plazas and parks throughout San Francisco.  In addition, his art has been showcased in the renowned The Art of Living Black exhibition at the Richmond Art Center.  Bruce’s work can be found at The Bazemore Gallery, Joyce Gordon Gallery, Thelma Harris Art Gallery, Wild Holly Gallery, and Artisan Custom Framing.


Stephen Bruce: “My biggest influence is the greatest artist ever, Mother Earth.  Every minute she is producing a new masterpiece.  Some are etched into the canvas we call Earth.  Most are washed away with time.  Their beauty can be so subtle that many don’t even take notice, while others are so spectacular, we revisit them again and again.  She is prolific, but humble.  Her significance is present in every piece I create.”


Richmond is fortunate for Stephen Bruce.  The goal is for artists to create and thrive.  With last year’s passing of the Percent for Art in Private Development Ordinance, opportunities will increase.  However, artists need consistent and meaningful support.


Thank you to artists such as Stephen Bruce that inspire the work of the Public Art Advisory Committee.