On Tuesday, March 5th, 2019 I’ll be giving an artist talk at The Oxbow School, in Napa, California. It’s free and open to the public, and I’d love it if you could join! I’m honored to be included in The Oxbow School’s roster of visiting artists this spring, which has a longstanding legacy of hosting artists such as Wayne Thiebaud, Deborah Butterfield, Ann Hamilton, among others. The lecture will take place at 7:00pm at the Culinary Institute of America Theater, which is just down the street from the school. More information on the talk and directions can be found on The Oxbow School’s website. Hope you can join us!
I’m very excited to share the Season 2 release of my podcast, Beyond the Studio: West Coast Edition, which just launched on December 20th, 2018. My co-host Amanda Adams and I have been interviewing artists throughout the country since we started the podcast in 2017 about their career paths and how they’re building and sustaining their lives as artists. You can listen to all our past episodes on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, or on our website https://www.beyondthe.studio
At the end of last year we received an Alternative Exposure grant from Southern Exposure to produce Beyond the Studio: West Coast Edition. This season will focus on artists living and working along the West Coast, in places like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Oakland, Portland, Seattle, and San Diego.
We are so excited to share the inspiring stories and conversations of over 20 West Coast artists! I hope you’ll give it a listen!
Earlier this year, I moved my studio from East Oakland to Hunters Point Shipyard Artist Studios in San Francisco, and opened my studio for the first time in October. San Francisco Open Studios is the largest city-wide open studio event of the year, drawing hundreds of people out every weekend. Hunters Point is one of the largest artist colonies in the country, with over 200 artists working throughout the converted shipyard. I was thrilled to finally participate, and to share my studio, new work, and works in progress with so many new friends and art lovers. Stay tuned for news about the next open studio event in late spring. Here are a few images from Fall Open Studios.
In September, I created an installation for Rhythmix Cultural Works’ Love Our Island Art Walk in downtown Alameda, CA, as part of their “Radical Beauty” series. Love Our Island Art Walk is an art-centric creative placemaking project that utilizes public art, storefront art installations, and music performances to activate Alameda’s historic downtown districts.
I was given a 40 foot long stretch of windows to work with over the course of two weeks, and created a translucent painting that spanned the length of the vacant storefront. This project gave me an opportunity to combine my painted works with my “stained glass” window installations using colored vinyl and dura-lar. Introducing light was a completely new challenge, and I’m grateful to Rhythmix Cultural Works for providing the opportunity for such a big experiment.
Afterglow, Dura-Lar, acrylic, spray paint, colored window film, 6' x 40' (dimensions variable), 2018
Nicole Mueller activates the corner storefront with a wraparound installation for this pop-up exhibition within a vacant building in downtown Alameda. Best viewed at night, when the interior transforms the piece by creating a lightbox effect, the piece layers clear and colored films to create a translucent, light-filled painting.
Merging traditions of stained glass with contemporary abstract painting into a site-specific collage, the piece is made of clear sheets of dura-lar, painted with acrylic and spray paint, layered over transparent colored vinyls that mimic stained glass, cut into bold, graphic shapes. Together the films act as a filter, slightly opaque in some areas while letting more light through in others.
Mueller’s paintings, which are typically dense and layered, become airy and nearly transparent here when activated with light. 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 flux. While her paintings revolve around an interplay between color and light, this piece “Afterglow” represents a new move that brings together the simple, colored shapes found in her window installations with her process-based paintings, introducing light as a new ingredient into her collaged compositions.
In connection with this series on “Radical Beauty,” Mueller aims to beautify an otherwise unimagined storefront, capturing the attention of passerby by presenting an unexpected experience in a public setting, and with her piece “Afterglow” to offer an expression of optimism filled with both color and light.
Last summer, not long after I had moved to San Francisco, I took on my biggest project to date—a 2100 sq. ft. outdoor mural in the industrial neighborhood of Dogpatch. A mix of commercial warehouses and waterfront shipyards, Dogpatch is in the midst of a rapid redevelopment. The mural marked my first time bringing my studio outdoors, and working on a piece of this scale. Bringing in bold blues and yellows to reflect the palette of the neighborhood, the mural existed to bring beauty and color to an area in transition, but the project was short-lived. The building has since been demolished, but today the mural lives on through this incredible video shot by two talented friends and videographers, Mike Gaynor and Justin Carlson.
They did an amazing job capturing the mural's process and the essence of Dogpatch. I'm so excited to share it with you here!
The mural, titled "Overlook in Blue," was entirely self-initiated and self-funded, and made possible with the support of my neighbors within the transient community of Buspatch, local businesses Center Hardware, San Francisco PaintSource, and Cresco Equipment Rental.
More photos of the mural can be seen here in an earlier blog post.
Another thank you to Mike Gaynor and Justin Carlson for their film and video work, and to David Colson for the title sequence and photography.
Recently, I was invited to paint a mural at the new Salesforce Transit Center in San Francisco, as part of the ArtSpan Transit Center Mural Project. The Transit Center is a new hub for transportation, retail, and green space in the heart of downtown San Francisco. Myself, along with 37 other ArtSpan artists, were selected to transform the empty storefront windows throughout the ground floor retail spaces by painting semi-permanent murals. The Transit Center itself includes permanent public art displays by Jenny Holzer and Julie Chang.
I completed this mural project in only two days, and finished the mural live during the Grand Opening Block Party on Saturday, August 11th, 2018.
I am extremely grateful to have had this opportunity, and to ArtSpan for facilitating the project. The paints and materials for this project were generously donated by Art Savoir-Faire using paints from Sennelier's abstract series.
If in San Francisco, you can visit the mural in person, located off Minna Street, in between First and Second Streets.
If interested in a possible mural commission, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
My recent exhibit Light Matter came down earlier this spring from Davis, California. If you missed seeing the show in person, here is a gallery walkthrough in photos. Light Matter explored ways color and light can be used to create portals and pathways, how painting can help us navigate states of flux, and how galleries can become like sanctuaries.
This show involved my most ambitious installation to date, and it was such a privilege to take over the Pence Gallery's main gallery space in order to realize it.
Read more on the show below.
Here are some details of my piece Forming Light, a sculptural installation of blue and yellow acrylic pieces, laser cut and hung from the ceiling.
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.
Light Matter was supported by the Mark M. Glickman and Lanette M. McClure Artist Award, given to emerging artists producing innovative work within California.
For inquiries on available works from the show, please email email@example.com
Last month, I created a series of paintings using BEHR's 2018 color palette. Fellow San Francisco creative Chloe Roth teamed up with interior designer Erin Hiemstra (of Apartment34) to redesign her new home, which included a partnership with BEHR paint. As a focal point for her living room, Chloe asked me if I'd be willing to create a painting using BEHR's new color palette. A mix of neutrals and bold accents, I thought it'd be an interesting challenge (I never give myself color restrictions)! And because I always work on multiple paintings at the same time, I turned it into a series.
You can see a glimpse of my painting in Chloe's home below, and a reveal of the other two paintings (they are also available for sale—email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with inquiries).
The reveal of Chloe's home transformation, and the final painting, can be seen here on Apartment34's blog (also on Domino magazine). Keep an eye out for a full behind-the-scenes studio tour:
Nocturne Shade (Behr II), 62 x 62 in., BEHR paint on canvas, 2018
In The Moment (Behr III), 62 x 62 in., BEHR paint on canvas, 2018
For inquiries on the two paintings shown above, please email email@example.com
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!
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.
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!