Jen Tough Gallery

Introducing the Artists of The Ladies Room!

Jen Tough Gallery

The Ladies Room: An all-women art event popping up in San Francisco’s Dogpatch

1599 Tennessee Street, San Francisco, CA / Weekend three of San Francisco Open Studios

Event Hours:

Friday Oct 25: 6:00-9:00 Opening Reception / Saturday Oct 26: 11:00-8:00 / Sunday Oct 27: 11:00-6:00

The Ladies Room is an intimate, highly curated art show in a large pop-up gallery space featuring 18 exhibiting women artists, chosen from a pool of applicants by Danielle Krysa, The Jealous Curator. Danielle is an artist, podcaster, and author of 4 books, the latest being: A Big Important Art Book, Now With Women.

The Ladies Room was created to give an exhibition and market platform to women artists for promoting and selling their work outside of the male dominated art market. Each selected artist will be given an equal amount of exhibition space for installing numerous works, and each artist will be present to discuss their artistic practice and exhibited artwork with visitors throughout the event.

Read more about the event HERE with links to the artist’s websites.

John Yoyogi Fortes: Kit pa ça lé Bayou! / “Don’t let it pass/go Bayou!”

Jen Tough Gallery

October 05 - November 17, 2019

Opening reception: Saturday, October 5, 5:00-7:0

Jen Tough Gallery is pleased to present the solo exhibition by gallery artist John Yoyogi Fortes at our Benicia gallery, October 05 - November 17, 2019. This will be the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery, having been in numerous group exhibitions in our Benicia and San Francisco spaces, as well as Art Santa Fe 2018 and Art Market San Francisco 2019.

John Yoyogi Fortes was born in a taxi on Yoyogi Street in Tokyo, Japan, and is a Filipino-American painter based in Sacramento. This exhibition will focus on work and ideas explored at his residency at the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans in the early spring of 2019. While John’s work has consistently had themes of identity and culture, upon learning that Filipinos had settled in Louisiana after escaping Spanish ships in the 1700’s, his work shifted to deeper explorations of Filipino life related to the bayous near New Orleans.

This new body of work is deeply personal, but not precious, and has darkly humorous undertones. In an installation consisting of a series of new paintings, numerous drawings and sculptural assemblages, John’s eclectic choice of materials, from water buffalo hide, plastic Mardi Gras beads to red beans and rice, reflects further explorations of culture specific to location, community and history.

Gina Tuzzi: Facebook Artist in Residence

Jen Tough Gallery

Gallery artist Gina Tuzzi recently completed an artist in residency at Facebook headquarters in the Bay Area. Once there, she created a gorgeous mural titled, “The River She Carries Me”. It depicts the native Northern California landscape done in her signature candy colored palette. Congratulations, Gina! Learn more about the Facebook AIR program here:

Women in the Abstract Two

Jen Tough Gallery

Women in the Abstract 2

July 13 - August 15, 2019

Opening Reception: Saturday, July 13, 6:00-8:00

An invitational group exhibition featuring some of the best women artists working in abstraction.

Artists include:

Carol Dalton, Terri Froelich, Rebecca Katz, Lita Kenyon, Katy Kuhn, Jamie Madison, Sharon Paster, Sara Post, Maryann Steinert-Foley, Toby Tover, Louise Victor, Mira M White, Diane Williams, Sawyer Rose, Lisa Pressman and Diane Varney

Pulp Opening June 1

Jen Tough Gallery

Pulp: Works Involving Paper

June 01 - July 11 | Opening reception: Saturday, June 01, 7:00-9:00

Artists Include

Erin McCluskey Wheeler

Melissa Mohammadi

Darla McKenna

Jenny Phillips

Pavel Acevedo

Larry Mullins

Michael Cutlip

Juan Carlos Quintana

Malia Landis

Tamera Avery

Nyame Brown

Carol Dalton

Katie McGann

John Yoyogi Fortes

Lita Kenyon

Michael Shemchuk

Art Market San Francisco 2019

Jen Tough Gallery

Join us at at Art Market San Francisco! We’re in booth 630


Fort Mason Center - Festival Pavilion
2 Marina Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94123

Fair Hours

Thursday, April 25, 2019 | 6:00PM – 10:00PM

Public Hours:
Friday, April 26, 2019 | 11:00AM – 7:00PM
Saturday, April 27, 2019 | 11:00AM – 7:00PM
Sunday, April 28, 2019 | 12:00PM – 6:00PM

Tamera Avery: Hell's Valley

Jen Tough Gallery

Opening Reception: Saturday, March 23, 5:00-7:00

Exhibition runs March 23 - April 25, 2019

Jen Tough Gallery, a contemporary Bay Area gallery located in the historic Benicia Arsenal, is pleased to announce the solo exhibition of gallery artist Tamera Avery titled, Hell’s Valley. Avery,  who lives and works in San Francisco, recently was awarded first place in the prestigious Crocker-Kingsley competition. Her recent exhibitions include Split Screen, with Deborah Oropallo and Andy Rappaport at Gearbox Gallery in Oakland, The Summer Show and Art Santa Fe with Jen Tough Gallery, along with New Lands and Wild Things, both San Francisco popups.

In this series of brave and almost human-scale self portrait paintings, Avery places herself in the ponds of Hell’s Valley, an area of rugged cliffs and sulfurous hot springs in Japan, where Macaque Monkeys enjoy steamy baths. This series of revealing and highly personal works defy the cultural norm of invisibility for middle-aged women. Avery’s series challenges the viewer to gaze and explore her constructed narratives, evoking a level of discomfort while seemingly stating, “I am here”.

This will be the first solo exhibition for Avery at the gallery, and will run through April 25, 2019.

Sara Post: Other Places

Jen Tough Gallery

Sara Post: Other Places opened Friday, February 16 and runs through March 21, 2019.

Reception: Saturday, February 23, 6:00-8:00 with the artist speaking at 7:00

We will be live streaming the artist talk beginning at 7:00 on Instagram. Follow us @JenToughGallery

“Abstraction is, for me, a natural language. It’s concentrated and challenging, mysterious and opaque. I love its ambiguities, that it often creates more questions than answers.” —Sara Post 

Sara Post,
a California abstract artist, began her artistic career as a ceramicist and then moved to printmaking and painting. With the in-depth skill developed from being a lifelong artist, Post’s paintings depict plane and form in rich, abstracted compositions created with impeccable craft. Her confident palettes and broad plane-like compositions are reminiscent of the modernist masters, utilizing both refined line and bold shape to evoke both time and place. This solo exhibition is a culmination of her ongoing investigations of the abstracted landscape and natural surrounding environment.

Tamera Avery has won First Place in the Crocker-Kinglsey Competition

Jen Tough Gallery
Winter's End  , Oil on Canvas, 84" x 68"

Winter's End, Oil on Canvas, 84" x 68"

Gallery Artist Tamera Avery was awarded first place in the very prestigious Crocker-Kingsley competition, juried by David Pagel, art critic at the Los Angeles Times. So honored to work with her!

We will be exhibiting Tamera’s work in our next San Francisco popup WILD THINGS, Feb 8, 9 and 10 @ 1599 Tennessee St, reception Sat Feb 9, 5:00-7:00

“Every two years the Kingsley Art Club sponsors the Crocker-Kingsley Competition to choose the best of emerging and established California's artists. Partnering with the Kingsley Art Club in sponsoring this, the 79th biennial Crocker-Kingsley Competition, 2019, is Blue Line Arts of Roseville.

From the over 1900 entries, Pagel has selected 80 finalists whose works will be exhibited in the gallery of Blue Line Arts (until February 23) and from these, has selected the five winners of the Crocker-Kingsley Prizes.

From March 3 - May 5, 2019, five works selected from the finalists by the Crocker Curators will be on exhibit at the Crocker Art Museum.  

Famous winners of the Crocker-Kingsley Competition in the past include Robert Arneson, Kathryn Uhl Ball, Elmer Bischoff, Fred Dalkey, Robert Else, David Gilhooly, Ralph Goings, Gregory Kondos, Roland Petersen, Mel Ramos, Ruth Rippon, Jerald Silva, Fritz Scholder, and Wayne Thiebaud.”

John Yoyogi Fortes Awarded Joan Mitchell Foundation Residency

Jen Tough Gallery
The Wait of Fear, Acrylic, pencil, oilstick, glitter, enamel pen, acrylic spray paint and collage on canvas, 72” x 66”, 2018

The Wait of Fear, Acrylic, pencil, oilstick, glitter, enamel pen, acrylic spray paint and collage on canvas, 72” x 66”, 2018

Congratulations to gallery artist John Yoyogi Fortes for being awarded a Joan Mitchell Foundation residency for 2019. John was amongst only 32 artists named for this prestigious residency in New Orleans.

“The Joan Mitchell Foundation is pleased to announce the 32 artists who have been awarded residencies at the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans for the coming year. All of the artists will be provided with private studio space at the Center, which sits on a two-acre campus in the historic Faubourg Treme neighborhood, along with a stipend, communal dinners, and opportunities to participate in programs that actively engage both the professional arts community and the public. Additionally, those artists traveling to the Center from outside New Orleans are provided with on-site lodging and financial support to transport necessary materials and works. The Artist-in-Residence program was developed as an extension of the Foundation’s support of the local arts community in New Orleans following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and has become a vital realization of artist Joan Mitchell’s vision to provide artists with the necessities of time and space to create their work.” Joan Mitchell Foundation

Reception this weekend (LIVE DEMO): Michael Shemchuk + Learning Curve

Jen Tough Gallery

Join us this Saturday, January 12, 5:00-7:00 for two receptions: the solo exhibition of Michael Shemchuk’s “Surface Tension” in our original gallery space, and “Learning Curve” a group show curated by Michael Shemchuk in our project space.

Shemchuk’s reception will include a live demonstration of the artist’s unique work process, involving a 16 foot trough he constructed in the center of the gallery. Attendees will be able to purchase work created from this unique process involving water, layers of paper, pressure and gravity. For more info, please see the gallery website:

Last Week for Entries: Flora + Fauna

Jen Tough Gallery

Flora + Fauna: Call for Entries

Invited artists include: Sali Swalla, Sharon Paster, Andrew Faulkner, Skyler McGee, Suzanne Long, Nance Miller, Maryann Steinert-Foley, and Katy Kuhn

Show runs February 16 - March 21 / Reception Saturday, February 23

We’re rounding out our show of invited artists and looking for works with flora and/or fauna in theme, concept or subject for this group exhibition opening February 16. Artists are encouraged to submit unique, innovative and challenging works, as literal interpretations of theme are not necessary for inclusion. All media (except installation and performance art) considered, including three dimensional works and photography.


  1. Purchase your $25 entry fee HERE

2. Email us at: with 3 medium resolution images of your 3 entries, attached to your email (not imbedded in the body), and a link to your updated website

3. Provide proof of entry fee purchase: a PDF or JPG pic of your receipt, attached to your email along with your images

4. Make the subject line of your email: “FLORA + FAUNA”

5. Deadline: January 10

note: please send all of the above in one email to avoid any misplaced email information or attachments. Thank you!

Details: Submissions without proof of entry fee purchase or insufficient info will not be considered. Sorry, but there are no refunds on entry fees for any reason. Any work sold during exhibition timeframe will be subject to a standard 50/50 commission split with the gallery. Artists responsible for all shipping and delivery to and from gallery. Gallery insures all work while in gallery custody for artist’s share of commission. Open to local, domestic or international artists.

New Workshops: Sara Post + Louise Victor

Jen Tough Gallery

Landscape+Architecture: Abstract Experiments with Pigment Sticks, Oil Paint, Wax and Paper with Sara Post

A 3-day workshop with lunch included each day / $475.00

Landscape and our relationship to it is a powerful theme in contemporary abstraction. The Benicia Arsenal offers a unique combination of landscape—sky and water worlds, and architecture, massive buildings and boats.  Inspired by the land and our architectural interactions with it, workshop participants will use beautiful materials to focus on color and placement of abstract elements in order to express powerful thematic ideas. We’ll blend and combine soft pigment sticks with oil paint, wax and other mediums. Working on paper provides options not available on other surfaces while allowing flexibility and permission to break new ground. Economical and effective presentation ideas for finished work will be demonstrated. Open your imagination and come ready to explore and enhance your own artwork with “strategies to create miracles”.


A New Lens: Working with Abstraction with Louise Victor

Two full days of instruction with lunch included both days. / $330.00

We briefly trace the history of abstraction, beginning with Hilma von Klint, who was the first abstractionist, through Kandinsky, Mondrian, Gorky and the Abstract Expressionist to modern abstraction.

Through drawing experiments, we learn how to find forms and structure for our abstractions. There are several techniques for doing this, which I demonstrate. Participants will experiment and play with these methods over the two days, leading to a firm development of a personal formal vocabulary. 

We also discuss the ways in which we can describe space and movement within the abstraction. Using different techniques such as: overlap, negative space, texture and color, the two days culminate by painting vibrant, exciting abstractions with solid structure and intention.

We’ll start by an introduction and discussion/slides/photos, followed by demonstrating different ways of achieving abstraction: cut and paste, different perspectives and scale, following the line, drawing the negative and working within a structure.


Jen Tough Gallery is Now Representing Melissa Mohammadi

Jen Tough Gallery
Melissa Mohammadi_0002.jpg

Jen Tough Gallery is thrilled to announce our partnership and representation of San Francisco Artist Melissa Mohammadi. Known for her intricate mixed media botanical narratives, Mohammadi references motherhood, femininity and the natural forces inherent in all living systems. Often appearing to float weightless as collected specimens in a contained space, her work implores closer examination and quiet contemplation.

Mohammadi’s work is available in our limited edition line of print line, available on our website or in the gallery. Look for a solo exhibition in late 2019 or early 2020, along with inclusion in group shows, popups and art fairs.

Born in Danbury, CT, Melissa Desmond Mohammadi currently lives and works in San Francisco, CA.  She earned a BFA with a concentration in painting and printmaking from Rhode Island College (Providence, RI) and an MFA from Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX). She has enjoyed the generous support of awards including Meadows Scholarship Award, the Cerrino Fellowship, and the Rigsby Grant. Her work has been exhibited nationally. She lives, works, and roams with her husband and three mostly auto-didactic children, who explore their education at home and all over the country.

“I create places to float with, to surrender to - healing reservoirs, deep sea gardens. Somewhere between seductive color washes and meticulous linework, and an impenetrable surface is an invitation to be suspended in a new space. 

The rigorously decorative world in my paintings is inspired by 15th and 16th century mille-fleur tapestries, Persian manuscripts, and Renaissance ‘Cabinets of Curiosities’ or ‘Wonder Rooms’. I create subtle biological impossibilities - succulents growing alongside shade-loving ferns and corals in the deep sea - in the same way ‘Wonder Rooms’ acted as a microcosm or memory theater. Time spent with a manuscript painting is a rhythmic bob between crisp vellum, reflective gold, and precise ink. My work on paper is similarly an enticement between crisp thick papers and powdery pastels, hiccupped washes and fluid ink lines. 

Lush and inviting, these spaces reimagine the natural world, highlight and celebrate diversity - and create immersive and contemplative spaces of respite.

I am also inspired by visions of a personified, deified landscape I had while giving birth to my daughter. I labored in conversation with the Great Mother while she lifted up mountain ranges, thrust palm trees far from her surface, opened wide-mouthed volcanoes.

Now, I draw the progressive and tiny acts of labor in the structure of pine cones, mollusc shells, coral and ferns that remind me of the tiny, repeated pulse of mothering.”

Announcing Our First Workshop in MX, with Michael Shemchuk

Jen Tough Gallery
smamx layers.jpg

Registration now open! Join us in San Miguel de Allende June 23-29 for a once in a lifetime class with Micheal Shemchuk (“Shem”), where you’ll dive deep into mixed media, paper and paint while in one of the most inspirational and artistic cities in the world.

Shem, known for his multi-layered mixed media works on panel, is a Bay Area artist with decades of experimental art making. A career dating from the 1980’s includes photography, installation, painting, mixed media and a commitment to art mentoring and instruction.

One of the country’s most sought after instructors, Shem is full of enthusiasm, support and boundless creative energy. Shem is known for signature bold abstracted mixed media works with paint and paper on panels that involve a process of layering and revealing, creating both intricate and graphic compositions. He is fearless in his approach, and generous in sharing his skills and knowledge with student lucky enough to study with him.

Act fast because his workshops often sell out quickly!


Michael Shemchuk: Surface Tension

Jen Tough Gallery

Michael Shemchuk: Surface Tension



SATURDAY, JANUARY 12, 5:00-7:00

Jen Tough Gallery is thrilled to announce the solo exhibition of gallery artist Michael Shemchuk, “Shem”. Shem as been in numerous shows at the gallery including Earthly Evidence with Mark Eanes and Carol Dalton and numerous art fairs. We recently launched a new line of prints of Shem’s work which we introduced at Art San Diego in October, and are available in editions under 25.

Michael Shemchuk’s (Shem’s) long awaited solo exhibition at the Jen Tough Gallery opens January 5th and runs through February 13th.

An artist reception and live performance will be held on

Saturday, January 12th, from 5:00 to 7:00.

Shemchuk, known for his multi-layered mixed media works on panel, is a Bay Area artist with decades of experimental art making experience. A career dating from the 1980’s includes photography, installation, painting, mixed media and a commitment to art mentoring and instruction. The installation will be an active real time process where simple materials (paper) are affected by the physical properties of saturation, pressure, time, evaporation and heat.

The artist will construct a 16’ shallow trough to enclose the materials and contain the saturation process. This activity renders gorgeous, intricate abstractions that are organic and unpredictable. This will be an engaging experience for attendees to witness this collage technique first hand. The artist will offer the opportunity to purchase a section of the active artwork upon completion.

“This will be an engaging experience for attendees to witness this collage technique first hand. The artist will offer the opportunity to purchase a section of the active artwork upon completion.

“I have been experimenting with this process since January 2018. This idea was encouraged via a conversation with Jen Tough when I revealed that I had done a similar project in 1983 at the Twin Palms Gallery in San Francisco, though I had not attempted anything like it since. Jen was greatly supportive and challenged me to revisit this process. Since our conversation I have been doing just that. It is truly inspiring, infectiously motivating, and deeply grounded in process.”

Michael Shemchuk

New! Limited Edition Prints from Gallery Artists

Jen Tough Gallery
Micheal Schenchuk_online.jpg

Museum Quality Prints in Limited Edition

Free shipping for a limited time to collectors within the continental US

Jen Tough Gallery is pleased to announce our new line of limited edition, museum quality prints by gallery artists. Each print edition is limited to a run of only 25, printed by a San Francisco fine art printer on heavy rag paper, hand numbered and signed by the artist.

Gina Tuzzi + Sugar High held over

Jen Tough Gallery

Held over! Gina Tuzzi’s “Pele and the Sensual world” in our gallery space, and “Sugar High” in our project space are both held over thru January 04!

NEW LANDS: A San Francisco Popup / Oct 26-28

popupJen Tough Gallery

Join us during San Francisco’s Open Studios Weekend for our first popup exhibition in the Dogpatch neighborhood, featuring some of the country’s best up and coming artists.


1599 Tennessee Street, San Francisco, CA 94107


Fri, Oct 26, 11:00-6:00 | Sat Oct 27, 11:00-8:00 | Sun Oct 28 11:00-6:00


Saturday, October 27, 6:00-8:00 (at closure of Open Studios)