Artists We Admire: Bay Area Edition

Art is at the heart of everything we do. In a studio environment, it’s nearly impossible to think about anything else.

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As much as we love engaging in our own creative process, we live in an area with a vibrant and diverse cultural scene -- one that is worth exploring and supporting with gusto. Getting out of the studio to engage with other artists and their work inspires us to push our boundaries as we make and create. We’re sharing our list of “Artists We Admire” in hopes that you might also go out and be creatively energized by some of the wonderful, thought-provoking works being made right here in the Bay. While in no way comprehensive, consider it a little love letter to the Bay Area, and a few of the local artists and galleries that inspire us.

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Creative Growth // @creativegrowth

Among the many excellent galleries in Oakland, few tug at our heartstrings like the public space at Creative Growth Art Center, a non-profit that serves artists with developmental, mental, and physical disabilities. This month’s “Abstraction” exhibition shows off exemplary paintings, sculptures, and drawings from its studio artists and pushes us to consider what it means to be an outsider in the art world.

Tony Pedemonte,  Untitled (TPe 096) , mixed media, 31 x 23 x 15 inches, 2014.

Tony Pedemonte, Untitled (TPe 096), mixed media, 31 x 23 x 15 inches, 2014.

Find Creative Growth at: 355 24th Street in Oakland, and at www.creativegrowth.org. “Abstraction” is on-view through March 13, 2019.

Brett Flanigan // @brettflanigan

Viewing abstract painter Brett Flanigan’s kaleidoscopic works feels a little like listening to a jazz record. His pieces suggest a rhythmic and surprising variation on a theme, and exhibit a certain improvisational quality. We are always excited to see the Oakland-based artist shown in galleries and public spaces throughout the area.

Brett Flanigan, De Selby, acrylic on stretched canvas, 72 x 72 inches, 2017.

Brett Flanigan, De Selby, acrylic on stretched canvas, 72 x 72 inches, 2017.

Find Brett’s work at: Pt.2 Gallery from March 9 - April 5, and at brettflanigan.com

Linda Geary / @lindageary

In her own words, Linda Geary's abstract paintings are “inspired by material processes of transformation and reinvention.” Her use of vivid color may conjure the energy and brightness of city life, but the works often explore darker themes: the cycle of life, what it means to be visible or hidden, and what those things suggest about power in the world. In addition to cultivating her own practice, Linda is also the Chair of Painting at CCA in SF.

Linda Geary, Patch #5 2018 gouache, watercolor pencil, glue on paper 11 x 9.5in

Linda Geary, Patch #5 2018 gouache, watercolor pencil, glue on paper 11 x 9.5in

Find Linda’s work at: lindageary.com

Guerrero Gallery / @guerrerogallery

Nestled in a side street in SF’s Bayview neighborhood, Guerrero Gallery is one of our neighborhood’s hidden gems. The artist-driven gallery shows a wide range of contemporary works, from paintings and drawings to textiles and installations, and they continually surprise us with their inventive programming, including their current show, “Skyline Friendly Organizations”, which closes on February 16.

Malcolm Kenter,  AG Pharmacy / Storage , enamel and latex on wood, cement, metal, glass, plastic, sand, 27.5 x 18.5 x 27in, 2017.

Malcolm Kenter, AG Pharmacy / Storage, enamel and latex on wood, cement, metal, glass, plastic, sand, 27.5 x 18.5 x 27in, 2017.

Find Guerrero Gallery at: 1465 Custer Avenue in San Francisco, and at guerrerogallery.com

Magic Magic Roses / @magic.magic.roses

During the coldest, rainiest part of the year, what could be better than a good record and a hot cup of tea? For a cozy night in, we recommend Magic Magic Roses, whose soft, meditative sound is like a warm sweater for your mind.

Magic Magic Roses, Photography by Margaret Austin for Studio Table

Magic Magic Roses, Photography by Margaret Austin for Studio Table

Find Magic Magic Roses at: magicmagicroses.com/

Muzae / @muzae

To see the most visible example of Oakland-based painter Muzae Sesay’s work, head outside. His new mural with the Museum of African Diaspora, "I Love the Moon We Share", now graces the exterior of St. Vincent De Paul Society’s headquarters on the well traveled corner of 8th and Howard streets. Muzae’s star has been on the rise, and his bold, graphic works are on view in galleries around the world. From February 14 - April 6, he will have pieces in Forever, A Moment: Black Meditations on Time and Space at SOMArts in San Francisco.

Muzae Sesay, A Moment of Passion. Acrylic, oil pastel, and graphite on canvas. 20"x11"

Muzae Sesay, A Moment of Passion. Acrylic, oil pastel, and graphite on canvas. 20"x11"

Find Muzae’s work at: SOMArts from February 14 - April 6, and at muzaesesay.com

Stephen Satterfield / @whetstonemagazine

Food writer and Whetstone Magazine/Whetstone Media founder Stephen Satterfield is always provoking us -- to think about the origins of our food, that is, and to contemplate the ways in which our food is intertwined with social justice and environmental health. The truth about food is frequently uncomfortable, but Stephen is like an approachable professor who pushes us to consider the facts with elegant prose and clear ideas that make it worth the challenge.

Wild Grapes  by Whetstone Magazine.

Wild Grapes by Whetstone Magazine.

See Stephen’s work at Whetstone Magazine or The Alice Collective in Oakland on February 15th. RSVP here for a preview of Whetstone Media’s “Wild Grapes” and Whetstone Magazine No. 4 .

Gabriela Camara // @truchaybacalao

If you’ve ever wondered whether or not food should be considered an art form, look no further than Gabriela Cámara’s Cala Restaurant in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley neighborhood for proof. This seafood-forward Mexican restaurant uses local, sustainable Bay Area ingredients for its beautiful and delectable dishes, and proudly employs formerly convicted members from the community.

Little Gems & Domingo Rojo by Cala Restaurant

Little Gems & Domingo Rojo by Cala Restaurant

Find Gabriela’s work at: Cala Restaurant, 149 Fell St in San Francisco.

Written by: Michelle Wei and Victoria Chao

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