News / local art

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
Read more

DIY project- Hand painted Tabletop Signage

DIY project- Hand painted Tabletop Signage

kerri johnson
Read more

Mills MFA Fundraiser Event

Mills MFA Fundraiser Event Friday, February 7th 6-9pm...Don't miss the fun!
kerri johnson
Read more

Shop Hop Holiday Party- December 21st 6-8pm

Shop in style and relax with some bubbly and nibbles while you Hop from shop to shop. 
kerri johnson
Read more

Bay Area Makers Spotlight: Jess Wainer and Rachel T. Robertson

 A quick Q&A with Bay Area glass artist Jess Wainer and designer Rachel T. Robertson...

kerri johnson
Read more

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
Read more

Early Fall Arrivals... A Sneak Peek!

There's a slight breeze blowing through Old Oakland today, and while it's still warm and sunny out, there are some leaves on the ground and Fall is in the air. And you know what the coming of Fall means... new goodies in the shop! Some new merch is already starting to roll in, and we want you to be the first to hear about them. Here are a few of the things that have come in that we're especially excited about:


Earrings from Amano Studio! We first spied these charming adornments at a hip little boutique in Silver Lake, and had to have them for our shop. Turns out they're made right nearby in Sonoma. Our faves are the cast metal crystals.

Beautiful new bear prints from Michael McConnell. Michael really put his BFA in printmaking to good use with these prints, and drew on his love of watercolors as well.

Cards, wall art, and calendars from printmaker and illustrator Rigel Stuhmiller. Don't let your desk be calendar-less in 2014.

Letterpress maps by the hubby and wife team at Quail Lane Press. These beauties are pressed and watercolored by hand in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

So many lovely things! Come and see us at the shop and we'll show you around.



Nicole Grant Kriege
Read more

New Art Up at the Shop! Thanks to Kala Art Institute

We're really excited to have Andrea Voinot from Kala Art Institute curating a selection of works here on the walls of our shop for the month of July! In case you're not familiar with Kala, they find talented artists who work in all different mediums, help them to develop their skills through residency and fellowship programs in their amazing studios, and exhibit their work to appreciative audiences. They also hold a bunch of inspired art classes for locals. Here's a Q&A with Andrea to give you more of a sense of what they're up to.


What's hanging on the walls at Marion and Rose right now, and how does it represent Kala's work?

An eclectic mix of works by Kala artists Amanda Knowles, Kathryn Clark, Nora Pauwels, Emily Payne, Lisa Solomon, and Seiko Tachibana. (It wasn't intentional, but I just realized they're all women!) These artists work in a variety of media including traditional and digital printmaking, mixed media, drawing, and embroidery. 

What's the Kala Art Institute all about?

So glad you asked! Kala has been around for almost 40 years, and it was started by two printmakers – Archana Horsting and Yuzo Nakano – as a place for artists to come and work in a supportive and encouraging environment. We're located in the old Heinz Ketchup Factory on the corner of San Pablo and Ashby in Berkeley. Our artists have 24 hour access to the building, and are given total freedom to do whatever they want with our collection of arts equipment.

Downstairs we have a wonderful gallery with rotating exhibitions. Enrique Chagoya's show "Freedom of Expression" just ended, and next up is a show featuring works by our current Fellowship artists. We also offer classes to the general public, and educational programs for school children. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. There's always something interesting going on at Kala – lectures, kids camps, calls for entries, etc.



What are your artists-in-residence working on right now?

So many different things…  One of our fellowship artists, Clint Wilson from Canada, just built a kayak in our classroom! It's part of a three year project called Finding Morris, and you can read more about Clint in this interview in SFAQ. Once he got the boat all put together, he screened William Morris' "Strawberry Thieves" pattern on the top and inscribed excerpts from John Ruskin's writings from the 19th century on the hull. To top it off, he attached his watercolor easel to the front so that he can paint while at sea.

At the beginning of July, another of our fellowship artists, Margaret Leininger, led a free Indigo Dye Potluck. And there's always great work being done in the studios where we have equipment for both traditional and new print processes including intaglio, monotype, woodblock, lithography, screen printing, letterpress, black and white photography, digital photography, design. large format printing, and digital video editing.  


How can locals get involved with Kala?

The best way to hear what we're up to is to get on our mailing list, which you can sign up for on our website: We're constantly posting information about new classes, lectures, exhibitions, residencies, and family art days.

Nicole Grant Kriege
Read more