Rotating gallery improves our community through art

Rotating gallery improves our community through art

Rotating gallery improves our community through art
The Ygnacio Valley Library is among local sites showcasing work from Concord Art Association members. (John Nakanishi photo)

John NakanishiCONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (Nov. 14, 2023) — If you are an artist looking for a chance to display some of your work, consider becoming a member of the Concord Art Association (CAA).

One of the many benefits that members can take advantage of is the CAA Rotating Gallery, which provides artists with an opportunity to display in public locations. The rotation occurs quarterly, when new artists are given specific spaces to display artwork. Groups make these spaces available free to CAA, and members don’t pay any fees.

Renaye Johnson and Kim Lawson have been managing this project for the past five years, although no activity occurred during the pandemic lockdown of 2020. They have worked hard to connect local artists with public spaces to display.

“It is great to have public art available to everyone to view for free,” Lawson says. “Our artists get an opportunity to show their work, and the establishment gets new local art changed out every three months.”

Not easy to quantify

Art in public places serves a unique purpose that is not easy to quantify. It is not like a stop sign, the purpose of which is to warn people and keep streets safe. Or like a billboard that sends a message or markets a product. Nor does art provide structural functionality like a door or a window.

But artwork in public spaces enhances the attractiveness of the community. More importantly, it cultivates a cultural identity – especially if the artists live and work in nearby neighborhoods.

When local artists put down their innermost thoughts and feelings in expressive art and it is then exposed to the public eye, people can connect with it. It improves the mood of a public space and strengthens community pride.

Fifteen CAA artists are currently showing at various gallery locations. Artwork includes watercolor, acrylics, oil, casein, printmaking, multimedia, pen-and-ink, pastels and pencil. Artists put up and take down their own artwork.

You can view the current artwork rotation at these five rotating gallery locations:

  • Assemblymember Tim Grayson’s office, 2151 Salvio St., Suite P, Concord.
  • Concord Library, 2900 Salvio St.
  • Contra Costa Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office, 625 Court St., Room 100, Martinez.
  • Ygnacio Valley Library, 2661 Oak Grove Road, Walnut Creek.
  • Mt. Diablo Center for Adult Day Health Care, 490 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill.

The Rotating Gallery Committee is actively seeking new locations to add to the rotation. For more information on that or to become a CAA member, visit or email

John Nakanishi
John Nakanishi

John Nakanishi is treasurer of The Concord Art Association. He is an acrylic painter and a ceramic artist. When John isn’t creating art, he coaches soccer for East Bay Eclipse, a competitive soccer club based in Moraga. He is also an avid trail runner, enjoying runs from 5 miles to 50K.