News / artist reception

Artist Spotlight: Q & A with Michael McConnell

Michael McConnell is one of my favorite people, so I am always super excited to have his work in the shop. His latest exhibit You Are Here, opens Thursday, May 12th and runs through June 12th. The reception May 12th is from 5:30-8:30pm, featuring treats from Natty Cakes.  Check out the Q & A 

Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
I tend to be a very active person, always on the go. I own a small coffee shop/ retail space in the Mission District (Faye’s Coffee & Video) and help raise an 11 year old with my complicated Bay Area "family”. As if those things don't take up enough of my time, I try to have a steady studio practice where I've been exploring the ideas of domesticity.  

What inspires you?
I am inspired by the complexity and simplicity of relationships, whether it is examining my own personal human relationships of the past and present, or the way that if you put an orange next to an apple the reflective color effects both of their coloring. I see myself as very observant and I am constantly taking in things around me and being effected by them.  Often this overwhelms me a bit and so you'll find me zoning out or scrolling madly through my instagram feed that is also another source of inspiration. I love being able to see what my artist friends are up to on the east coast or building relationships through imagery with people I've never met.

Do you have any rituals when you are in the studio?
When I am in my studio I am often listening to music and drinking coffee. I frequently have more then one project going at a time and I bounce around between them.  I have 3 other studio mates and we often have lunch together and check in with each other on the progress of our work. I also am very messy, but I know exactly where everything is in my mess.


Do you listen to podcasts or music when working? What are your fav songs/playlists or podcasts right now?
I do not listen to podcasts or books on tapes in my studio, or ever really. I honestly have a hard time comprehending when someone reads aloud to me.  But I do listen to a lot of music, even though I consider myself musically challenged. What I mean by that is that I never know really what I am listening too. I'll let Pandora or Spotify randomly choose things or I'll listen to mixes that my brother has made me.  I am drawn to music that have good lyrics… i like the words. A few of my favorites that I'll use as a jumping off point are Monsters of Men, Frightened Rabbit, Mates of State and The Avett Brothers.


Do you have any advice for other artists?
My advice to other artists is just keep making work in your own voice. The art world is so crazy and I don't think there are any rules so don't try to make sense of it. Things happen when they happen. I was with a pretty substantial Bay Area Gallery for years, and after they closed I've joust been sort of drifting around. It would be great to at some point have the stability of a gallery (in LA hopefully) but until then I'll just keep making work.


What are your 3 favorite instagram accounts right now? 
Three instagram accounts that I love… that's hard because there are so many… but I really love Dailydoodlegram, knitboy1, and lindsayvictorialee.  I also follow some crazy taxidermists that I love seeing as well. 

Michael McConnell can be found on Instagram @poopingrabbit

and online at

kerri johnson
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An Artist Reception and Q&A with Tallulah Terryll

We're really looking forward to having Tallulah Terryll's art up in the shop beginning on September 27th! Please come by from 6-8 p.m. to welcome her to the Old Oakland and see her show, "Willow Paintings" (up through November 1). Tallulah is an old friend of Kerri's (the shop owner) and an amazingly talented artist. She uses handmade stencils, paint, and Chine-collé techniques to create stunning mixed media works with lots of color.

We visited her studio in August, and were excited to see what she's got in the works. It's always fun to go behind-the-scenes with local artists and see where the magic happens. Plus, she sent us off with some zucchini from her garden, and a bottle of homemade jam (what a peach!). Here's a Q&A with her so you can get to know her work better:

What are your works inspired by, and where do you get the ideas for your patterns?
I'm inspired by snippets from nature. I look for the small, repetitive building blocks. Almost all of the work in this show is based on a photograph of the cell structure of willow bark I found in a biology book that had been untouched in a library for decades.

How do you generate the patterns, and what materials do you use for your works?
First I make a drawing, usually directly on the stencil material but sometimes I transfer it onto the stencil material later. I cut it out using a surgical scalpel. I then use watercolor, acrylic and inks with the stencil with many brush techniques and layers onto a sheet of paper.

We hear you spent some time in Japan. Can you tell us about the eastern influences in your work?
I think the thing most people jump to compare my work to is the beautiful Japanese textiles, and that totally makes sense. Of course, I also really love the textiles from Scandinavia, South Asia, and the Middle East as well. What was really significant about Japan for me was how well made everything was. There is such great craftsmanship and such pride in it. 

What's your arts background?
I got my BFA from Cornish College of the Arts. It is a really tiny school in Seattle with fine art, theatre, music, dance and design programs. That is where I fell in love with printmaking. Then in 2006 I moved to Oakland, where I've been lucky to meet and befriend a great number of talented and inspirational artists.

We love that you're local. How can we support your work as an artist?
Come out to my shows. Get your friends to join you. Sign up for my email list. And, of course, if you feel so inclined, you could add some of my work to your collection!

Nicole Grant Kriege
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