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Berkeley has a colorful history of cooperatives. This May, the long-standing Arts & Crafts Cooperative, Inc. (ACCI) celebrates a milestone.
Berkeley has a colorful history of cooperatives, from the Consumers Cooperative of Berkeley (est. 1939) to the Cheese Board Collective, Missing Link Bicycle Cooperative and more. This May, the long-standing Arts & Crafts Cooperative, Inc. (ACCI) celebrates a milestone. From May 2 to June 2, 2019, the ACCI Gallery features “60 Years of ACCI Gallery: A Retrospective.” The exhibition will showcase work from notable artist members, past and present, and historical documents and artifacts chronicling ACCI Gallery’s legacy as a vibrant Berkeley arts destination.
“This is an amazing time for the gallery,” says Anthony Torrano, ACCI Gallery director. “The organization has such a rich history and deep connection to the local community, and ’60 Years of ACCI’ serves as an incredible touchstone to the gallery’s enduring legacy.”
“60 Years of ACCI Gallery” kicks off a year of exhibitions that will illuminate the quality and scope of arts and crafts from ACCI members. Coming events will spotlight photography, painting, jewelry, ceramics, and even “food as art,” bringing ACCI Gallery back full circle with its Gourmet Ghetto setting. All are invited to an opening reception on Sat., May 11 from 6pm to 9pm to see the exhibit, learn more about Berkeley’s longest-running co-op, mingle with artists, view and purchase works of art.
ACCI Gallery is located in the heart of North Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto and has the distinction as the oldest arts and crafts cooperative west of the Mississippi. Incorporated in 1959 and established in its present location since 1960, the gallery occupies a jewel of a two-story brick building on Shattuck Avenue that was once a French laundry. Today ACCI Gallery is a vibrant, buzzing hub for more than 120 emerging and established artists to display and sell their arts and crafts. The organization claims more than 3,500 members over the years, including notable artists such as Anthony Holdsworth, Bob Stocksdale, Jerry Carlin, John Lewis, Leroy Parker, Kay Sekimachi, Susan Brooks and Tony Natsoulas.
Early members liked to call the organization the “Art Co-op,” and throughout the course of its history ACCI has served its members as more than as a gallery to show and sell their work. “Living a sustainable life as an artist and craftsperson is challenging, to say the least,” says Kirk McCarthy, president of the ACCI Gallery board of directors. “The ACCI community provides a way for creatives to share ideas and energy, and learn how to survive and with a few breaks, succeed as a working artist.”
Set between Pacific foothills and the San Francisco Bay, Berkeley is a spirited city that has grown from its counterculture roots to become a hub of intellectual and cultural diversity, with a thriving arts scene and outsized culinary influence. For more information, see www.VisitBerkeley.com. Visit Berkeley is the destination marketing organization for Berkeley.
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