Reception at SFMOMA Artists Gallery Thursday, June 20th by Nicole Mueller

I invite you to join me for a reception at SFMOMA's Artists Gallery in Fort Mason Center in San Francisco on Thursday, June 20th from 5-7pm. I'll have two paintings included within a group exhibit, including the one pictured below. The gallery is located along the waterfront in Building A, within Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture. The exhibit will be on view through the end of the year, and the gallery will be open by appointment only. Here are the details of the reception:

Thursday, June 20th, 2019 from 5-7pm
SFMOMA Artists Gallery

Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture
2 Marina Blvd, Building A
San Francisco, CA 94123


ArtPoint Artist-in-Residence and Private Studio Tour by Nicole Mueller

I am excited to share news that I am one of four inaugural ArtPoint Artists-in-Residence this year. ArtPoint is a group of young professionals that supports the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the de Young and the Legion of Honor. Their members enjoy exhibition-related lectures, gallery parties, and museum galas. As an ArtPoint artist-in-residence, I’ll be participating in upcoming events and help with future programming aimed at connecting ArtPoint’s members with the local artist community here in San Francisco.

In case you missed Spring Open Studios at Hunters Point Shipyard Artists, there will be another opportunity to visit my studio for a Private Artist Studio Tour & Reception, hosted by ArtPoint, on Saturday May 18th, from 2pm–5pm.

Join me and ArtPoint for this exclusive tour of the work spaces of a select group of artists within the Hunters Point Shipyard, including my own. During this private event, guests enjoy a tour of the artists' studios, which are usually open to the public only four days a year.

The day begins with an introduction from Shipyard Trust for the Arts (STAR), the non-profit that supports the HPSA. Guests then enjoy a self-guided tour of the artists' studios, with exclusive one-on-one access to the artists and their artwork. Following the tour, guests will convene in my studio in Building 125 for a private reception.

Don't miss this unique opportunity to experience the largest artist community in the country right in San Francisco's backyard!

This event does require purchasing advance tickets through Eventbrite. I hope you can make it!


Spring Open Studios Saturday & Sunday, May 4th + 5th by Nicole Mueller

Please join me for the 2019 Spring Open Studios at Hunters Point Shipyard Artists in San Francisco, Saturday May 4th and Sunday May 5th, from 11am–6pm each day. I’ll be opening my studio along with over 120 other artists throughout the shipyard that weekend. This is only the second time I’ve opened my studio since moving into the shipyard exactly one year ago. I’m excited to be a part of this tradition, now in its 30th year, and will have new work available and numerous works in progress to share. The shipyard is located at 451 Galvez Ave., San Francisco, CA 94124 and my studio is in Building 125. Hope to see you there!


Artist Talk at The Oxbow School Tuesday, March 5th by Nicole Mueller


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!

Beyond the Studio: West Coast Edition Launch by Nicole Mueller

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

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!


Support for this season comes from Southern Exposure’s Alternative Exposure Grant Program, in partnership with Facebook’s Artist-in-Residence Program and The Andy Warhol Foundation.

San Francisco Fall Open Studios by Nicole Mueller

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.


Love Our Island Art Walk in Alameda, CA by Nicole Mueller

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.

Support for Love Our Island Arts Walks come from the California Arts CouncilCity of Alameda Public Art Commission, the Downtown Alameda Business Association and Rhythmix 2018 Sponsors.

Afterglow, Dura-Lar, acrylic, spray paint, colored window film, 6' x 40' (dimensions variable), 2018

Photography by JZLim Photography

Photography by JZLim Photography

Photography by JZLim Photography

Photography by JZLim Photography

Photography by JZLim Photography

Photography by JZLim Photography

Photography by Dave Colson

Photography by Dave Colson

Photography by Dave Colson

Photography by Dave Colson

Photography by Dave Colson

Photography by Dave Colson

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.

"Overlook in Blue" Mural Video by Nicole Mueller

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.

Mural at Salesforce Transit Center by Nicole Mueller

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.

Photography by Dave Colson

Photography by Dave Colson

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

"Light Matter" Exhibit by Nicole Mueller

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