Member Artists

Names are linked to their individual artist websites. Alphabetical order by last name.

Marsha Balian

Mixed media artist Marsha Balian admits great difficulty following instructions (unless she really has to).  She is self-taught and frequently invents her own techniques.  Her work often incorporates found objects including what might be scavenged from the floor of her studio.  Since invention doesn’t require strict adherence to rules, her art avoids what might be literal and attempts to engage the imagination of the viewer.  Humor is never far behind.

Marsha Balian’s artwork has been exhibited throughout the Bay Area, in many parts of the country and this summer was seen in an international collage festival in Slovenia.  It has also been seen in many publications both nationally and abroad.   She was featured in the October 2018 issue of Oakland magazine and is also one of the 50 female collage artists to appear in the book Collage by Women: Essential Contemporary Artists published by Promopress from Barcelona, Spain.

Deborah Benioff-Friedman

Deborah Benioff Friedman, is a mixed media artist and veterinarian living in the San Francisco East Bay Area.  She works with a variety of materials, often repurposed, with a special affinity for teabags, old ledgers, rusty wire and mulberry paper, creating pieces that reflect her attachment to things worn, discarded and rediscovered. 

Jules Campbell

Born and raised in Pembrokeshire, South Wales, Jules A. Campbell started her creative career as a graduate of The New College of Speech & Drama, London, UK in 1974 (now an affiliate of Middlesex University). Early on she taught English and established the Drama Department at Southaw Girls’ School in North London, UK.

Campbell moved to the States in the early 80’s and eventually turned her attention to the visual arts, studying at DVC where she took classes in painting, drawing, printmaking (monotype, etching, woodcut, screen printing), figure drawing/painting, watercolour, sculpture and metal arts. Throughout the last decade, she has been involved with both visual and performing arts organizations and has participated in many, many exhibitions and events. In 2015 Campbell became a founding member of GearBox Gallery in Oakland where she currently maintains a studio exploring the beauty and grit of the urban environments she embraces as an inspiration.

Harry Clewans

Harry Clewans is largely self-taught and has had his studio in Oakland since 1983.  He has exhibited extensively in California, nationally and abroad. He has been awarded the James Phalen Award for printmaking and a fellowship at the Kala Institute of Art. His art consists of unique large scale woodblock prints made by a system of assembling hundreds of prints together to form the larger image. His art work is in the collections of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, the Mills Collage Art Collection and the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life (Judah L. Magnes Museum).

Linda Ellinwood

“Walking through a landscape, I am constantly attracted to the remains of the germination process found on the ground: seed pods, leaves, branches. Over years I have collected and stored them in an antique seed cabinet. Taking cues from the materials themselves, I combine them in such a way that you might question if they occurred naturally or were finessed. The process is organic, elements connect with each other and become distinct in their own right, intrinsically intimate, beautiful, haunting, humorous. I hope these pieces kindle an appreciation for the exquisite natural objects that surround us.”

Dennis Hanshew

“At its best while working on a painting I am transported to another realm where all intrusions are nullified and I am simply ‘in the painting.’ The process for me is always one of finding order. It is a balancing act. A line or shape demands another, and that another, and another, back and forth until the composition reaches its conclusion, when all is in order and balanced. It is both an intuitive process and a cognitive one. It is a dance between intense observation and the physical act.”

Dennis Hanshew

Dennis has a BFA Degree in painting and drawing from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, has exhibited widely in the State of Hawaii and has paintings in the permanent collections of the Hawaii State Foundation On Culture And The Arts, the Honolulu Mayor’s Collection and many private collections in Hawaii and elsewhere. He now lives and works on his art in West Oakland, California. Most recently, Dennis has returned to the figure and portraiture in a monochromatic palette. By limiting his palette to shades of black, white and gray and some metallic pigments, the elements of design are more visually apparent. These paintings are oil on canvas or oil on wood panel. The portraits are psychological studies and there is a melancholy inherent to all of these paintings; a beauty and sadness reflective of our time

Phyllis Lasché

Phyllis grew up in an itinerant family, living in Europe, Asia, and all over the US. Once on her own,she earned a BS and MS in Nursing, and practiced critical care nursing for many years. After moving to a ranch in the San Francisco East Bay hills, she focused on her lifelong passion for art, earning her BA in Studio Art from Mills College in 2000. When she is not hiking the hills or hanging out with her donkeys, she is in her studio.  

Phyllis’s paintings reference shifting states of air, water and earth.  She applies multiple layers of beeswax and oil pigments to panel or paper, working the colors and shapes with tools and solvent until they intertwine into a holistic matrix.  On the edge of specific figuration, these abstractions reflect her sense of awe for the intricate life-supporting dynamics of our natural world.

TaVee McAllister Lee

TaVee McAllister Lee works in the arena of installation, combining various paper elements into intimate collages of a free nature. Relying on “consumer” papers. i.e. those that are readily available to most everyone in our culture, like magazines, gift-wrap, and wall papers, she constructs poetic, non-linear commentary focusing on themes of vulnerability, loss, connection and the relationship between current consumerist demand and a future vision of the ecological consequences.

Born in South Dakota, TaVee McAllsiter Lee grew up mostly in Oklahoma, after a stint in Laos as a little girl. She attended Oklahoma State University as an architectural engineering student and went on to study at the Kansas City Art Institute, earning a BFA in Painting and Printmaking there. Eventually she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and now maintains an East Bay studio in Martinez. Over the years she’s been the curator, director or coordinator for many, many exhibitions, as well as a founding member of GearBox Gallery, with a lengthy exhibition record of her own.

Irene Nelson

Irene Nelson is an abstract painter living and working in Oakland, California. In the studio, she creates spontaneous instinctual compositions using a predetermined color palette. The paintings and their symbols take on meaning to the extent that the viewer discovers an essence based on their own relationship to the forms and color. 

After a successful career in graphic design, Nelson dedicated herself full time to her lifelong painting and photography practices. She works in varying media, from paintings that mingle acrylic paint with collaged personal photographs to monoprints on paper, which she discovered during her residency at Kala Art Institute in Berkeley.

Her works have been featured in various solo and group exhibitions in the Bay Area since 2009 including Gearbox Gallery, Oakland; Jen Tough Gallery, Vallejo; Arthouse on R, Sacramento, O’Hanlan Center for the Arts Gallery, Mill Valley; Kala Art Institute; Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley; and Sanchez Art Center, Pacifica. Her works are held in various private collections around the Bay Area.

Ruth Santee

“I embrace narrative. After all, human beings are storytelling creatures.” R.Santee

California based artist Ruth Santee has an out of the ordinary way of cutting to the core of our humanness. Insects, animals and even plants adopt human narratives in her unique compositions of drawing and collage of found papers. Santee creates imagery that could have come from a quirky children’s book, while other times they seem more like pages from a secret diary.

Ruth Santee studied with artists David Barbero, Doris Cross, Joel Fisher, Pegan Brooke and Mark Van Proyen. She received her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute.  Her work can be found in the permanent collections of the University of Oregon/Eugene, the David Brower Center and the US Forestry Service.

Patricia Sonnino

Patricia Sonnino takes a contemporary approach to abstraction. Various spaces with individual artistic languages inhabit her colorful layered works on wood panel. Hard edges meet and zoom off into soft ones, shallow spaces swerve into deep, and opaque colors collide with the luminous. The juxtapositions of these arrangements of diverse, self-con- tained spaces resemble a “still life” in flight.

Sonnino is living and working in San Francisco. She holds a MA and BA in Architecture from Washington University in Saint Louis. Sonnino has taught design at the Boston Architec- tural Center and been a visiting artist at Fort Lewis College in Colorado and the University of Birmingham in the U.K. She has been awarded residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, Johnson Vermont, the Willapa Bay AIR, Oysterville Washington, Playa, Summer Lake, Or- egon, and Penland in the Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina .

Sonnino exhibits nationally in solo group exhibitions including pwith Gearbox Gallery in Oakland California, Slate Gallery in Tahoe, at Max Occupancy Art Projects located at the Mystic Hotel in San Francisco, at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, at the University of North Carolina in Asheville, North Carolina, and the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art in Novato, California.

Gina Telcocci

Gina Telcocci is a sculptor and installation artist with studios in Oakland, California and Barranco, New Mexico. Her work has been exhibited widely across the US, in Mexico, and South Korea. Public commissions include Potrero Hill Library, San Francisco, CA, Walnut Creek Library, and University of New Mexico/Los Alamos. Telcocci has won grants and awards from the Pollock Krasner Foundation, Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, and the City of Oakland. She received an M.F.A. from the University of Colorado/Boulder.

An inveterate scavenger, Gina incorporates urban detritus and found objects, as well as organic materials in her sculpture. Her artwork relies on abstract elements of form, structure, pattern, and surface. Humble materials are intrinsic to both the emotional tone and the ideas embodied in the work. Daughter of a jazz musician and backyard environmentalist, Telcocci’s sculpture is an improvisational response to the complexities of the human relationship to environment.

Jamie Treacy

Jamie Treacy is an Oakland, California-based  visual artist and art educator. He received his BFA at the University of Michigan and his MFA from CCA (both degrees in painting and drawing).  He also holds a Single Subject Visual Art credential and a Career Technical Education credential in Arts, Media and Entertainment. Jamie’s artwork is imbued with themes of eco-justice, speculative fiction and exo-biology. He creates bodies of work in acrylic painting, drawing and mixed media cut paper. His philosophy as an art educator is that all youth deserve access to a high-quality free arts education, and that creative inquiry is fundamental to solving the most pressing problems of our future. Jamie is the recipient of the William H. Lewis Watercolor award and an Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation fellowship. Jamie’s work has been exhibited in the California Bay Area, Canada, Mexico and Japan.  He currently serves as the Director of the Visual and Performing Arts Academy at Skyline High School in Oakland.

Diane Williams

Diane Williams is a master painter who uses intuitive color, bold brushwork and monumental scale as a vehicle for the voice of the strong feminine to weave nature’s story across time.

Multiple layers chronicle what is concrete and what is illusive; erasures remind us that nothing is permanent, yet everything leaves an impression. The calm, vast space of the canvas allows a story to be told through generations.

​Her paintings invite the viewer to enter uncharted territory; a world where women and elders are revered as holders of our collective intuitive lineage and where listening to one’s intuition is the highest form of prayer.

Diane states, “My creative proces is a dance between chance, conscious decison and risk. I make a mark then respond to the mark, never certain where the process will lead. I begin with an intention which is what guides my process”.

Diane’s color palette is inspired by living in Jamaica and Costa Rica. Her love of mark making comes from studying calligraphy in China. What sets her apart from other artists is more than 40 years of experience coupled with a deep belief in art’s ability to heal. In this troubling time of Corona Virus, her online courses are reaching students far and near, helping them cope with fear and social isolation.