Artist Talk and Walkthrough of "Light Matter" Saturday March 24th by Nicole Mueller

Please join me for an artist talk and walkthrough of my exhibit Light Matter this Saturday, March 24th from 1–3pm at the Pence Gallery! Come hear me talk about the process behind my installation "Forming Light," galleries as sanctuaries, dark matter, "light matter," and how art can help us navigate states of flux. RSVP requested, though the event is free and open to the public! 

Here is a link to more event details on Facebook: 

"Light Matter" Opens Friday, March 9th! by Nicole Mueller

 design by David Colson

design by David Colson

I am very excited to share news of my solo exhibit Light Matter, opening next Friday at the Pence Gallery in Davis, California. If you are local to the Bay Area, I invite you to attend! Here are the details: 

The opening reception will take place on Friday, March 9th from 6:00–9:00pm. The show will be on view through April 13th, and I'll be giving an artist talk on Saturday, March 24th from 1:00–3:00pm. All of these events are free and open to the public.

The Pence Gallery is located at 212 D Street, Davis, CA 95616 and is open Tuesday – Sunday from 11:30am–5:00pm. 

I'll be presenting an entirely new body of work, including large-scale paintings, collages, and a site-specific installation. 

For her exhibit Light Matter, Mueller envisions the gallery as a sanctuary with colorful “stained glass” works, including an immersive window installation, collages, and vertical, window-like paintings.  

Mueller activates the glass tower, a prominent architectural feature of the Pence Gallery, with a site-specific installation. She reinterprets the medium of stained glass with materials such as cut dura-lar and acrylic in suspended, organic shapes that reference natural phenomena like storms and hurricanes, or the more benign dappled light that filters through the trees into the gallery on a daily basis. She brings the longstanding tradition of stained glass with its connotations of spiritual or sacred spaces, into the gallery with impermanent materials, re-envisioning the gallery as a sort of chapel. In so doing, the artist compares the role and relationship of galleries to sanctuaries, particularly how a sanctuary can offer a space for reflection and possibility.

As colored light filters through to cast abstract shapes on the floor and walls, Mueller aims to give physical form to the abstract sensation of light, merge the tangible and intangible, and provide pathways for moving through liminal states that remain in constant flux.

Mueller’s works are both exuberant and complex, with shifting figure-ground relationships, vibrant color, and pockets of deep space creating pathways that weave in and out of compositions both dense and open-ended. Her process-based works are painted, cut, collaged, arranged and rearranged through an additive process of layering, with the resulting works existing in a perpetual state of motion in between chaos and cohesion. 

In this way, she makes manifest our inner desire for work that offers us space for reflection, reminding us of our own presence—and to be present—in the midst of shifting environments, and with a perspective that ultimately, expresses hope.

This show is supported by the Mark M. Glickman and Lanette M. McClure Artist Award, given to emerging artists producing innovative work within California. I am thankful to them for helping make this exhibit possible! 

Upcoming Solo Show, New Features, and Grant by Nicole Mueller


It's been a busy last few months in the studio, but I am very excited to share news of an upcoming solo exhibit opening in early March at the Pence Gallery in Davis, California called Light Matter.

I'll be sharing an official show announcement here soon! This will be my first solo presentation of new work in California, since moving to San Francisco last year, and will involve an entirely new body of work, including a site-specific installation.

Light Matter is supported by the Mark M. Glickman and Lanette M. McClure Artist Award, which assists emerging artists in the creation of new and innovative work in California. 


Along with revealing an entirely new body of work for the show, I've recently completed a number of new paintings in my East Oakland studio. You can always inquire about available large-scale works by emailing

  Flush , 72" x 52," acrylic, spray paint, collage on canvas, 2017

Flush, 72" x 52," acrylic, spray paint, collage on canvas, 2017

  Jolt , 68" x 48," acrylic, spray paint, collage on canvas, 2017

Jolt, 68" x 48," acrylic, spray paint, collage on canvas, 2017


I've made small works available online through Saatchi Art. Saatchi Art is one of the largest online platforms for independent artists and ships worldwide, allowing anyone to become a collector while supporting artists directly. These small-scale collages give me a chance to play with color, composition, and new materials, and each one is entirely unique. View collages 30" x 30" and smaller for sale here. 

  Character Studies , 15" x 12," collage and mixed media on PVC panel, 2017

Character Studies, 15" x 12," collage and mixed media on PVC panel, 2017


I'm thrilled to share that my podcast Beyond the Studio was selected to receive an Alternative Exposure grant from Southern Exposure! This new source of funding will support us in producing "Beyond the Studio: West Coast Edition," where we'll interview artists about their professional lives and the impact of working on the West Coast. Listen to our recent conversations with Cara Ober, Cindy Cheng, and Micah E. Wood. And if you haven't already, subscribe to Beyond the Studio podcast on iTunes to listen to past episodes and be the first to hear about the release of Season Two! 



This fall I was featured by MOO on their design blog about "carrying your portfolio in your back pocket." I've used MOO to print postcards and business cards for years now, and love how they look just like miniature art prints. Check out the article here on MOO's blog



My work was also featured in Create! Magazine's September 2017 print issue no. 6. It includes dozens of artist interviews and features, and is available for preview on their website. The limited print edition is sold out, but you can purchase a digital copy of the magazine here



I have a handful of new projects lined up for 2018 already, that I look forward to sharing with you soon. And I'm always open to new collaborations—drop me a line if you think we should work together! 

Dogpatch Mural in Photos by Nicole Mueller

A few weeks ago, I wrapped up my biggest project to date—a 2100 sq. ft. 70 x 30 ft. mural in the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco.

My goal was to bring color and attention to an area in transition, as the mural stands poignantly as the last line of defense against the encroaching construction that starts at the waterfront, and continues to work its way back, absorbing the former industrial features that defined it.

It's also a celebration of this particular moment in time, a privately commissioned piece for the tenants of Buspatch, and easy to pass over, even from the sidewalk or street right beside it. 

More about how the mural came together shared here in an earlier blog post. I hope this will be the first of many large public artworks I'll get to work on here in the Bay Area and beyond.

Since the nature of this mural is temporary, we made sure to thoroughly document it with photo and video. Below is the story of the mural, in photos. I look forward to sharing final images of the mural completed, some aerial documentation, and a short video soon. 

 Photography by Dave Colson

Photography by Dave Colson

I would also like to extend my thanks to San Francisco PaintSource, Cresco Equipment Rental, and Center Hardware for their sponsorship and support.

Beyond the Studio: New Podcast on the Business of Art by Nicole Mueller

A new project I've been working on since the start of 2017, has just launched and is available for listening today on iTunes

Beyond the Studio is a podcast about the business of being an artist, co-hosted by myself and fellow artist Amanda Adams of Close Call Studio.

Beyond the Studio focuses on the behind the scenes work of visual artists—how they’re supporting and sustaining themselves and their creative work. It features candid conversations about their business practices, time management, financial planning, and how they’re navigating the unique challenges of making a living, creatively.

Artists are inherently resourceful, resilient, and ambitious, with a unique and diverse set of skills. We want to know how they’re connecting the dots in their own life, and demystify the process. We believe that by sharing these stories openly and honestly, artists will feel more empowered and become better equipped to live out their own creative life’s work.

I'd love it if you gave it a listen, and let us know what you think! We have been interviewing artists we know and admire, and can't wait to share more honest conversations with artists, makers, and business experts on the work that goes on beyond the studio. 

You can listen to our first three episodes today by subscribing to the podcast on iTunes, Soundcloud, or streaming here on our website

Sign up for Beyond the Studio's mailing list to stay in the loop about the show, and follow us on Facebook or Instagram to stay plugged in to the conversation! 

Thanks for supporting this new venture! 

New Mural in Dogpatch, San Francisco by Nicole Mueller

 Poster designed by Dave Colson

Poster designed by Dave Colson

I've begun my first outdoor mural in San Francisco! And I'm thrilled to be working out of my own neighborhood in the Dogpatch (at the intersection of 19th St. and Illinois St.).

While I’ve painted many murals in the past with my former Baltimore-based business Blue Lined Designs, this is the first mural that aligns with my studio work. I hope it will be the first of many!

 by Dave Colson 

by Dave Colson 

I haven’t been in San Francisco very long, but I’ve got a lot of love for Dogpatch. It reminds me of Baltimore, with its big industrial buildings and local pride. Many are getting torn down or renovated in neighborhood redevelopment, including the building where the mural will be.

The story of how this project came about is pretty serendipitous. A neighbor posted on NextDoor about a “short-lived mural opportunity.” On our block was a vacant building that would soon be torn down for a mixed residential building to go up in its place. They obtained permission to temporarily turn it into a vibrant and colorful focal point on the block, and I jumped on the opportunity.

Besides being a personal experiment for me (I’ve never done a painting of this scale!), another aim of the project was to celebrate and memorialize these spaces and defining symbols of Dogpatch, as they stand today. Across the street from the mural wall, facing the Bay, construction is already well underway on a public waterfront park, and a complete redevelopment of Pier 70, an old shipyard and industrial center.

 Dogpatch, San Francisco 

Dogpatch, San Francisco 

What I also didn’t realize at the time is that the parking lot buffering the wall and fenced off from the street (dubbed Buspatch) was home to a group of folks who have been living “off the grid” in the middle of downtown San Francisco—in a self-sufficient system of buses—just one of many empty lots and buildings they’ve reclaimed and transformed over the years and around the U.S.

A transient mural, in the middle of a transient community, and neighborhood. 

Though the mural is public by nature, by painting it I was essentially being invited into their home. Any sense of discomfort I had over invading their space or privacy was only met with generosity—from helping to troubleshoot the scissor lift, use their solar power to charge the spray gun, offering food and lunches, and giving me water from their tanks to paint and clean with. Though the nature of all this is fleeting, I can't thank them enough.

This project also became an opportunity to connect with the local businesses that make Dogpatch what it is. With 2100 sq. ft. of wall, and no budget to back the project, I was going to need some help. 

I’m proud to say that all of the equipment, paint, and supplies for the mural are being generously loaned or donated by local businesses—which says so much about the character of the community. A heartfelt thank you to Center Hardware, San Francisco PaintSource, and Cresco Equipment Rental for making this at all possible. 

We’re taking lots of photo and video documentation, with help from a few friends, which we’ll share in a photo documentary and short video once the mural's complete. We'll also be documenting the building's demolition, whenever that day comes. 

 by Dave Colson 

by Dave Colson 

Follow along on Instagram for more progress and behind the scenes. 

Emerging Artist Award and New Work Available by Nicole Mueller

 by Dave Colson

by Dave Colson

 by Dave Colson

by Dave Colson

Now that I've had a few months to settle into the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco, and set up working in my East Oakland studio, I wanted to share a few announcements from California!

Our transition to the West Coast has been full of ups & downs that come along with uprooting a life and moving cross-country, and the continual challenges of navigating a career as an artist (more on that to come), but I am grateful for the connections and opportunities I've already experienced here in California. 

I am humbled to be the recipient of the Mark M. Glickman and Lanette M. McClure Artist Award, newly established to "support the creation of innovative artwork by emerging artists in California." 

I'll be presenting a solo show of new work at the Pence Gallery (no affiliation to our VP, thankfully!) in Davis, CA in early 2018. I'll be sure to share details closer to the dates, along with other shows between now and then.

I am also offering a sale on the three new paintings shown below, as a thank you for following and supporting my work! 

They'll be 50% off until May 1st, 2017, and available here exclusively in the SALE tab above. 


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