Jen Tough Gallery

Interview with Jeff Snell by Jennifer Lynn Roberts

Jen Tough Gallery

I was greeted at the door by Jack and Red. Jack is artist Jeff Snell’s dog, an adorable small black lab/beagle mix, who, after sniffing me and getting a few pets in, was content to fall asleep on the couch. Red was the houseguest, a Queensland Heeler with a penchant for playing ball and being entertained.

Jeff and I stood and talked about his latest work, which is featured in the a solo exhibition show “Stacks of Facts” at Jen Tough Gallery through September 20th, while Red continually dropped a tennis ball at my feet. I’d kick it nonchalantly and he’d bring it back. We repeated this sly play until Jeff eventually put the ball away, explaining, “He’ll be doing this all night.” After that, Red settled down and Jeff and I continued discussing his evolution over the last couple years.

In 2016, Snell was working on collaging together small ¼” strips of information that he’d put together using color and tone as his guide and place them horizontally onto vibrantly painted canvases. “I was using stuff that you wouldn't see in fine art, color-wise.”

Snell said he started off using strips of text, but soon moved on to incorporating images and adding more contrast. Eventually the strips grew larger in size. From there, he began to think about adding 3D elements and remembered the sculptures he made in college that were installation pieces.

 I read somewhere that you had experimented in working with cardboard in college and then you decided to bring it back.
When I finished those paintings I was thinking I want to make these big things again, but started making little mock ups. That's where that all kind of started. In college, I had a sculpture teacher, and I spent a whole year making a riveted steel sculpture and after I was done he came up, looked at it and- he's a man of very few words- he came up to me and said, "why don't you try cardboard," and that's all he had to say and it just blew my mind. I can cut this up with a knife, I can hot glue it and that just made big things happen fast. I started making these little sculptures that grew bigger and turned into wall sculptures - small 3D sculptures that ended up being adhered to a sub-straight that you could hang on the wall. I call them sculptures, but they're painterly.

And that became the Changing Landscape series? 

Can you talk about the shift from Changing Landscapes to the work you’re doing now?
These paintings are sculptural rather than sculptures that are painterly. So that's kind of a shift. At the time, when I started using these materials, I came from this sort of whimsical space in my mind, and now those ideas have sort of flurried away; it's much more stripped down, more about the formal elements and the structure and the act of placing things rather than objects as narrative. So that's a change. I almost had to do that 3D stuff to get to what I'm doing now. Before the 3D stuff I was doing flat painted surfaces and they had textures and they had different things going on but it was still paint on canvas. Now it's a combination of paint on canvas plus the sculptural elements. 

Why “Stacks of Facts?” 
Well, that's the name I call the show because I see a lot of these things that are stacks of horizontals. I would start with a painterly wash of stuff in the background and then start sculpturally piecing things together ... keeping it...leaving it a little rough, and it's cardboard and you see that, and I'm not trying to fool anybody and not hiding the fact that this is stuff that I either find or, like anything with the printing on the carton is obviously found cardboard, but if there's cardboard in these pieces in these strips that I'm actually putting my printed information on or painting these strips, I start with an acid-free white cardboard that I buy. 
Let's say the components are not carefully chosen, but they're very carefully placed. So it's like, I'm not saying I need to see an insect and I need to see something red here, I just have this pile of stuff and I'm going through and I work fast and there's a certain pace that really works for me that I feel comfortable in and letting something evolve fast and making quick choices works well if in the past I've done things that I've labored over and it kills it. And when I'm done, I'm done. 

In my opinion, when we, the viewer, looks at art, we take from it what we need and there's nothing specific, necessarily, that the artist is trying to say to us that we have to figure out. That said, what do you want to evoke in the viewer or walk away thinking about?
I think a couple of things. One is purely visual. There's this certain tonal quality, areas of rest and a lot of areas of contrast, so there's a pop there. I would love people to recognize this visual play and these cues that are happening within the piece where you're echoing something or letting something reverberate. I would love for people to pick up on different things- some humor, as well. I'll just throw out little bits and pieces of information and people can run with it and either expand on it or not and every narrative is correct no matter what someone comes up with. 

I read a quote, and I just looked it up before you came, by Einstein. One of the most beautiful things we can experience is the mysterious. I'm just paraphrasing, but the crux of all meaningful art and science is to approach something that way and look for the mysterious and if you sort of give up on that approach, then you know, life is dead. So there's something mysterious in all of these. Do I want to be there or not? Is it scary or is it kind of fun or…People are all going to have different reactions and feelings and see different things.
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed. - Albert Einstein

So there’s no specific theme to “Stacks of Facts?”
No because I've stripped all that down to the bare elements of visual impact. It's more about that, more about me enjoying the process and just being honest with myself on where this is taking me and who knows a couple of years down the road where that will take me.

I admire someone who can work on a series of painting for 20 years and doing a very narrow concentration of work but they just delve into that really deeply and I'm doing that but my concentration is a lot wider, I'm allowing myself to meander a little further.
Is that a conscious choice? The evolution from the political statement in Changing Landscapes to what you're doing know, the stripped down, more about process-
No, it's just how it's always been. A lot of times these are unconscious decisions; we just follow what feels right. I could do a ton of work on current politics, we all could, you could write until you die just about one week's worth of news, but I'm going to leave it to someone else because I really think people can look at things and they can add politics, they can add sex and violence wherever they see it.

What I'd like to see is something rough, but it has everything I need. It's a lot more exciting to me than typical landscape. There's a lot of run-of-the-mill work out there that just bores the hell out of me. There's not a lot of art that I see that I like.

What artists do you like?
It's always tough to just pick a few artists that ...but you know, Mark Bradford had a show at MOMA several years back that blew me away and he was just doing these really large paintings and he insisted they were paintings, but they were essentially collages. They're built up layers of information with textural bases and then he would sand down and expose these different layers and they had a real feel of arial maps at least that current body of work, he started somewhere else. So there you go. It's morphing, blurring the boundaries between painting and objects. I admire work like that.

There are some people who are doing work that's just kinda out there like Howard Sherman. He's literally doing these clusterfuck pieces on the wall of ripped and painted paper, and I mean some of these things look hideous and some are stunningly beautiful. And he's just doing it. There's work that's a little challenging to most people that I admire. And I when I go to museum or gallery show I really take it in and get burned out really fast. Sometimes I don't want too many influences and just try to get what's in my brain out.

What surprises you about what you're doing right now? What have you learned new?
I don't know if it surprises me, it's sort of an obvious thing, sometimes no matter what genre you are creating, you have these things that you try to accomplish, but they're elusive and you know what you're doing wrong, but you don't know what to do right to find it. So when I do things, I find that my best work is simple. I stop when I'm 70% there. I take the dogs out or something, and I come back and I'm like, screw it, it's done. So the simpler I am, the less I think about it while I’m working on it, the less I care about the end result, as long as I'm in a zone, then it works out. But that's easier said than done.

I just hope that when people see this show, they appreciate just the directness and the honesty and boldness and the energy of the fact that I'm not taking it so damn seriously- I'm very serious about my art but I'm not- let's face it, I'm making paintings, not saving lives-
It's not precious-
It's not precious and that's very poignant because I've always said, this stuff is not precious and that's something that really bugs me when you see artists that say, oh I can't part with that, I can't sell that, I can't get rid of that, my work is so precious to me, it's my baby. That tweaks me when people are like that. That's just a stumbling block that's just an attitude that's gonna keep you from growing.

Do you listen to music while you work?
All the time. I'm listening to everything from Charlie Parker to Tool. I listen to mostly beebop and Jazz. I love fifties and Sonny Rowlands and Charlie Parker and all the classics in jazz, especially sax and then I really like Deaftones and Radio Head and Perfect Circle and rock. I'll put it on shuffle. That's what I like, a jumble, it's not the same thing all day long.  

What is your arts education and background?
I went to Maryland College of Art in Baltimore BFA. I thought about going to grad school was accepted into NYU for sculpture, but didn't go. I traveled instead. At the time I just couldn't stomach having $50,000 debt and now it's probably three times that. I made that decision, and I always wonder how that would have affected my life differently but then again, I've done so many different things since then unrelated to art that I wouldn't have even touched, I know so much more than if I just had done art.
What are your interests outside of art?
Being outdoors, experiencing nature. Just experiencing the wonder of our planet. Every day's different, every bit of weather and light. I see light everywhere I go and how it's framing things and coming through things and bouncing off of things. These visual treats that are just out there for the taking.  I like to camp, dirt bike riding is a big thing for me. I love to ride dirt bikes-
Where do you ride?
After these fires, I don't know now, because Mendocino National Forest was my place. That was my favorite. That was the go-to, so now it's gonna be like a moonscape, which will be interesting.

You can see “Stacks of Facts” through September 20, 2018 at Jen Tough Gallery, 942 Tyler St Suite E, Benicia, CA 94510

Read the blog post here:

Erin McCluskey Wheeler "Something Catches" Reception

Jen Tough Gallery

Join us Saturday, September 1, 6:00-8:00 for an artist reception for Bay Area artist Erin McCluskey Wheeler, and her solo exhibition, Something Catches.

Erin McCluskey Wheeler is known for her bright tropical-colored works that employ a meticulous assemblage of found papers often bound together with looping brushstrokes. With both an abstract and graphic style, Wheeler's works are sometimes symbolic or whimsical, and play with ideas of nostalgia and visual memories in a narrative context. Wheeler has a BA in studio art, and a BA in art history (magna cum laude) from Beloit, and an MFA in writing from California College of the Arts. Her work is widely collected as both prints and originals. This is her first solo exhibition at the gallery.

"The way things work
is that eventually
something catches". 
Jorie Graham

There is always a place to begin. Sometimes it’s a page from a magazine, or a postcard from my grandmother’s travel collection, or a small, unfinished collage that feels like it can grow. I build color stories — pulling from sketchbooks and my piles of papers — photographs, solid colors, painted and printed on papers. Then I think about form as I put the papers down next to each other, finding colors and lines that connect. My forms and facility with white space come from my training in Japanese brush painting; what I know about composition and building curves comes from looking closely at and endlessly repeating the shape of tree branches, the bend of grasses, the contours of rocks. Sometimes I paint and draw over the papers, editing with white paint and matching colors with gouache; sometimes the papers, cut and glued, are enough as they are. 

For the last year, and concurrent with making the work in this show, I have been teaching art classes to adults at a community art center — many are approaching art-making for the first time or after a long pause. It’s made me think a lot about my process, how I start, how I know a piece is done, and how I work with paper and paint. I am extremely grateful for my students’ questions, their ideas, their ways of approaching making art, their commitment to studying and making art, and how much I have learned from them. This show is dedicated to them — my current, past, and future students at the Center for Community Arts in Walnut Creek.


Another Gallery Space + San Francisco Pop-Up Exhibitions

Jen Tough Gallery


We're thrilled to announce we are opening our second gallery space in the Benicia Arsenal, just steps from our original space. This new space will host additional exhibitions, workshops and events in it's lofty space with doors that open to a beautiful patio and fountain. Stay tuned for details! 




Coming late autumn 2018, we will be having our fist pop-up exhibition in this gorgeous space in San Francisco's Dogpatch neighborhood, just a few blocks from Minnesota Street Projects. Stay tuned for details! We cannot wait and look forward to this new opportunity!

Don't miss the best opening of the year!

Jen Tough Gallery
Background image: "Watermelon" by Erin McCluskey Wheeler

Background image: "Watermelon" by Erin McCluskey Wheeler

The Summer Show

JULY 28 - AUGUST 23, 2018



Art Santa Fe, July 12-15

Jen Tough Gallery

Art Santa Fe was incredible! We had a gorgeous booth center court (by the bar) that got a lot of attention for both JTG artists and Opus Art Collective artists. Three Jen Tough Gallery artists won awards, chosen as "best in show" by judges from the Santa Fe art and design community. Award winners include Julie Brookman (encaustic seascapes), Jenny Phillips (minimal graphic encaustics), and Carol Dalton (book assemblages). We had several sales, including collective artist Dan Goldberg, who sold his painting "Poetess" to a couple from Denver. We'll be back next year!

Melissa McGill: Memories of Water ~ Reception Sat June 23, 5:00-7:00

Jen Tough Gallery


Jen Tough Gallery is pleased to announce artist Melissa McGill's first solo show at the gallery. McGill, whose home and studio are based in Las Vegas, Nevada, works primarily with water based mediums in both large and small scales. Working intuitively, her graphic works are bold and expressive pieces where the process is evident and revealed through gestural brushstrokes and luscious dripping color. Her work is both graphic and refined, with an extremely mature sense of restraint within her strong and harmonious compositions. Influenced by her background in graphic design and the natural world around her, this exhibition explores the remnants and marks created from both water and time. McGill's strong, color-drenched abstractions are extremely popular with her thousands of online followers, and is an exhibition not to be missed.  

Artist Statement: Personal landscapes on raw canvas and paper. Memories of Water is a collection of paintings influenced by the sedimentary formations of The Great Basin and the marks left behind by a millennia of water which is no longer there. The painting process mimics nature through pouring, scraping and mark making.  Acrylic medium washes stain the canvas, creating depth as the layers build. Informed by a passion for color, and influenced by the Arroyo's of the desert, the rivers and creeks of The Pacific Northwest.

Reflecting the joy of movement, my process involves my whole body, large strokes of colour poured or scraped across the canvas punctuated with graphic lines to guide the eye and balance the composition. I build up my paintings in a very organic way. Working primarily with acrylic paints allows me to work intuitively. Marks and movement are added with pastels, graphite and spray paint.

B. Robert: New Beginnings

Jen Tough Gallery
Hopeful  , oil on canvas, 60x52, 2018, $5900

Hopeful, oil on canvas, 60x52, 2018, $5900

B. Robert: New Beginnings

JUNE 08 - 21  

Opening Reception: 

SATURDAY, JUNE 09, 5:00-7:00

Bethany Robert is a Los Angeles based artist known for her large scale abstract expressionist pieces. Her work employs bright colors on airy white backgrounds that reference a playful street aesthetic and style. A favorite of interior designers, Robert's work is featured in numerous upscale spaces worldwide as well as numerous primetime television shows. Her background in fashion, travel and the music industry have all heavily influenced her distinctive style. Her pieces feature refined designs built with expressive strokes of bold color pulled together with a natural sense of composition. This is Bethany's first solo exhibition at the gallery.

Preview of show and available work can be seen on the gallery website

Julie Brookman: Saudade

Jen Tough Gallery

Julie Brookman: Saudade

May 25 - June 07  |  Opening Reception: Saturday, May 26, 5:00-7:00

Jen Tough Gallery is pleased to present Bay Area artist Julie Brookman's first solo show at the gallery titled, "Saudade". Julie's aquatic works are achieved by using layer upon semi-transparent layer of encaustic wax, creating a glassine like surface that mirrors the ocean's surface. Brookman focuses on repetition of movement to allow the paintings to form intuitively, and of their own volition. Her extremely popular work is collected and adored for this unique surface quality, her endless fascination with pounding surf, tranquil waters and rolling waves. Don't miss this incredible show featuring Julie's most recent explorations in wax.

"Julie Brookman has given her recent paintings the title, Saudade. Though this Portuguese word is notoriously difficult to translate, the English word, nostalgia, may come closest. The two ideas that seem to crop up in all definitions of Saudade are 1. a yearning for something in the past, and 2. a keen awareness of ephemerality. I take the time to parse this word because so much of the energy that is in Brookman’s paintings seems to flow from these ideas. She has found a way to freeze the pounding surf, to make time, and sea foam, stand still, and in the process of looking at the results we are somehow made aware of the impossibility of the task at hand, for the more we stare at the hypnotically complex and unendingly irregular patterns of waves, the more aware we are that to watch something in the act of becoming, or of dissolving, is only to remember what it looked like a moment ago, which is to say that seeing is an agency of memory.

The most recent of these paintings turn away from the surf, and it’s collision with the land, and abandon any obvious direct referents in favor of mystery; these latter paintings could conceivably be construed as the surface of metallic planets, or as vast oil slicks, but on the wall they present themselves with an authority that requires no further gloss.

The creation of the paintings involves more elemental processes than the usual picture requires. Brookman works in encaustic, a medium of ancient provenance which involves hot wax as a binder for pigment. The paint must be heated at various stages of application in order to make it able to be brushed and manipulated. In addition to heating pans of color on a hot plate, Brookman employs a variety of torches to heat and re-heat the surface of the painting. Aspects of the process are inherently uncontrollable, and instead require an ability to allow the painting to unfold on its own. Drastic changes can occur over large areas quite quickly, so the artist must be alert to nuances of timing as she wields her industrial torch in great sweeps across the surface." —Michael Pauker

Rebecca Crowell: Inner Nature ~ Opening Reception Saturday, May 12

Jen Tough Gallery


Jen Tough Gallery is pleased to announce the solo exhibition of Wisconsin and New Mexico based artist Rebecca Crowell. World renown for her ethereal, moody abstractions, her book on cold wax medium, and exceptional teaching ability, this is Rebecca Crowell's first solo exhibition at the gallery, having been in two other group shows, "Wax" and "Women in the Abstract", both in 2017.

Known for her richly ethereal paintings that recall the natural world through an earthen surface and palette, Crowell's work begs for closer, more intimate examination. Depicting both distant landscapes and a studious recollection of natural surfaces, the work creates a sense of calm and transcendence. In this body of work, many of the paintings reflect her emotional response to travel and sense of place.

She currently lives in and works in Wisconsin and New Mexico, is represented by numerous galleries in Europe and the United States, and is the author of the book Cold Wax Medium: Techniques, Concepts and Conversations with Jerry McLaughlin. Crowell is widely sought after for her teaching expertise, and her work is in both private and corporate collections worldwide.

"Certain kinds of landscapes feel like home to my soul. These are places that are rugged, wild, and vast, yet they move me to an inner quiet and sense of peace. In them I feel a deep connection both to the place and to my truest self. When I’m in these places I spend time alone walking, exploring, photographing, and looking. I experience moments that evoke the essence of the place where I am, and these lead to strong sensory and emotional memories. In the studio, these memories influence my choices of color, texture, line and shape. My images are also the result of response to materials and process, free association and following intuitive impulses.

Wild locations that have had an impact on my work include western Ireland, where I am a Fellow at Ballinglen Arts Foundation, and northern New Mexico where my husband and I have a winter home. I’ve also spent significant time in northern Sweden, the Catalonia region of Spain, northern Italy and the North Island of New Zealand. Painting satisfies a basic need for me-- a channel to my inner self, a reflection of these meaningful experiences, and a path to new discoveries. I’ve been painting professionally for over 30 years, and remain challenged and energized by my process. I work with a balance of spontaneity and careful editing, moving back and forth from intuitive flow to thoughtful analysis. My aim is to achieve structural integrity and strength through the accumulation of quiet passages and nuanced surfaces. I build up multiple layers of paint mixed with cold wax medium. Sometimes the layers are thick and textural, other times they are thin veils of color. The layers are selectively scratched, eroded and dissolved, an approach that reflects natural processes of the rugged places I love". — Rebecca Crowell

Since earning her MFA in painting from Arizona State University in 1985, Rebecca Crowell has led a life focused on painting. When she is not traveling for teaching or for artist residencies (in such places as the Catalonia region of Spain, northern Sweden, and coastal areas of Ireland) she works almost daily in her studio in rural western Wisconsin. She draws significant influence from these residencies and travels, as well as from her surroundings at home.

Rebecca Crowell is known for her innovative painting techniques involving cold wax medium and mixed media, and is represented by a number of fine art galleries in various locations including Dublin, Ireland; Chicago, Illinois; Telluride, Colorado; Atlanta, Georgia; Vallejo, California; Door County, Wisconsin; Tucson, Arizona; and Columbia, Missouri. Her representation with Gormleys Fine Art in Dublin has recently led to international exposure, including several European art fairs.

"Crowell's works are abstracted from nature: they are personal responses to the visual forms, colors and atmospheres that have surrounded her in a variety of locations. There are vestiges of representation in Rebecca Crowell's work, but it is a type of representation that has been refined and re-constituted through her artistic sensibility and through her emotions." —John Seed, 2014

My Ireland ,  48"x24" oil on panel

My Ireland, 48"x24" oil on panel

This Weekend: Benicia Open Studios + Carol Dalton Reception

Jen Tough Gallery

Benicia Artists Open Studios will take place on Saturday & Sunday, May 5 & 6

Saturday, 11 am to 7 p.m.
Sunday, 11 am to 5 pm.

Benicia Open Studios is Arts Benicia’s most highly attended annual event with more than 4,000 visitors! Well known for its vibrant artist community, each year scores of artists open the doors of their studio spaces throughout Benicia’s Historic Arsenal District and all over town, providing a unique glimpse into their creative world.

Visitors can ride a SolTrans Shuttle free of charge between the arsenal and downtown and explore artist studios on Jackson and Tyler Streets in the arsenal, see glass blowing, tour galleries and other venues on First Street, speak with artists about their work, watch demonstrations, and purchase original art.


Carol Dalton: Written In The Sand

APRIL 27 - MAY 10, 2018 |  OPENING RECEPTION SATURDAY, MAY 05, 5:00-7:00

Carol is primarily a painter, also working with mixed media, collage, and printmaking.  She starts with collaged and pigmented paintings on board, and scores, scrapes, and abrades, and marks, creating rough textured surfaces.  Washes of pigment are added, distilling the surfaces and infusing them with a powerful and balanced presence.

Recent works are concerned with environmental and communication issues.   Dalton’s sensitivity to her materials and her regard for her subjects, brings depth and authenticity to the pieces.  She inspires non artists and artists alike with a layered beauty and intensity to her work.

Carol studied at the Santa Barbara Art Institute from 1971-1974. She has shown in the Bay Area for many years since moving there after art school, and has work in museum, corporate, and private collections. She maintains an active studio practice in Benicia, California.

Carol Dalton: Written In The Sand

Jen Tough Gallery

APRIL 27 - MAY 10, 2018


Carol is primarily a painter, also working with mixed media, collage, and printmaking.  She starts with collaged and pigmented paintings on board, and scores, scrapes, and abrades, and marks, creating rough textured surfaces.  Washes of pigment are added, distilling the surfaces and infusing them with a powerful and balanced presence.

Recent works are concerned with environmental and communication issues.   Dalton’s sensitivity to her materials and her regard for her subjects, brings depth and authenticity to the pieces.  She inspires non artists and artists alike with a layered beauty and intensity to her work.

Carol studied at the Santa Barbara Art Institute from 1971-1974. She has shown in the Bay Area for many years since moving there after art school, and has work in museum, corporate, and private collections. She maintains an active studio practice in Benicia, California.

Susan Stover: Reveries + Reliquaries

Jen Tough Gallery

Opening Reception: Saturday, April 07, 5:00-7:00

Reveries and Reliquaries is composed of paintings and sculptures that recall an ethnic sensibility and geometric organization. Adapting processes that are traditionally used in the production of textiles, Stover uses materials and techniques that recall a collective history with the completed painting and forms revealing themselves in the making. Stover explores the meditative qualities of repetitive labor involved in stamping, stitching and constructing, along with how these created objects and textiles are tied to identity, status and religious beliefs in various cultures.

The exhibition features an entirely new body of work for the artist, including small freestanding sculptures and large and medium scale mixed media wall pieces incorporating encaustic wax. The majority of these new works have a similar color palette, primarily white, grey and muted earth tones creating a quiet and meditative installation and grouping.

Susan Stover received an MFA from CCA in Oakland, and a BFA from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, with both degrees concentrating on textiles and painting. She has shown extensively across the US and is known for her teaching and workshops given in her studio.

Lisa Rosenstreich: Material Investigations, Opens Friday, March 09

Jen Tough Gallery

Join us for the solo exhibition of Ukiah artist Lisa Rosenstreich, opening Friday, March 09 with an opening reception Saturday, March 10 5:00-7:00. 

Lisa Rosenstreich’s mixed media work explores both abstraction and figuration. Obsessed with color and pattern, she works in oil, cold wax, acrylic and collage. Her work reflects an interest
in the natural world and human interaction. Utilizing a vivid, subjective color pallet, she constructs images through the building of layers of paint and paper, often constructing and deconstructing a surface many times before the final composition emerges. Ranging in size from 16” x 16” to 50” x 122”, this series of paintings and collages focus largely on formal aspects of shape, color and line; in part inspired by her experience teaching fundamental art and design concepts to students. Rosenstreich is an Assistant Professor of Art at Mendocino College in Ukiah, CA where she teaches painting, drawing, design, and art history while also managing the college’s art gallery.

Opening Friday, February 23: Tangential

Jen Tough Gallery

Mark Ashworth, Ridj Johnson and Jenny Phillips



A small group invitational featuring three Bay Area artists whose work plays with line and form in varying media. Mark Ashworth's work focuses on colorful and bold shapes that fluidly fill his large canvases full of motion. Ridj Johnson's at once delicate and bold shape and line work tell almost tribal stories with their patterns and repetition. Jenny Phillips work is quiet, serene and minimalistic, focusing on hairlike strokes in encaustic wax. This show is not to missed if you're interested in current Bay Area art trends.

Gallery Hours: Mon-Thurs open 10:00-7:00 for private viewings; Friday 1:00 - 6:00; Saturday 11:00 - 7:00; Sunday 11:00 - 6:00. For a private viewing, please contact Karadan@JenTough.Gallery

Grand Re-Opening and Opening Reception: Lisa Pressman, "The Heart of It"

Jen Tough Gallery

Solo Exhibition
Lisa Pressman: The Heart of It
February 09 – February 22, 2018

Jen Tough Gallery, 942 Tyler Street, Benicia

Opening reception: February 10, 5—7pm

Jen Tough Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of The Heart Of It, a solo exhibition of works from New Jersey-based American abstract painter Lisa Pressman, on view at 942 Tyler Street in Benicia from February 09 – February 22, 2018. Opening reception is February 10, 5-7pm. This will be the artist’s second showing at Jen Tough Gallery with work previously in the group invitational exhibition, Women In The Abstract in 2017.

Pressman’s vibrant, moody work explores transformation and movement, using vessels, windows, doors, and imagery relating to the inside/outside metaphor. In The Heart of It, Pressman turns inward, focusing on where the work comes from, “turning the outside noise down and tuning in to the inside.”

The exhibition features new work alongside previous in which Pressman has created and used abstract imagery of transport in order to suggest the passage from “human vibrancy and entropy.” In the catalogue for Passing Through, John Seed comments, “Pressman is attracted to the personal and the familiar, which she recasts into explorations of mood and color. Working in series, she creates families of imagery that share thematic points of departure while generating individual works that are discrete and distinctive”

Lisa Pressman was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey in 1958. She earned her BA in Art from Douglass College, Rutgers University and her MFA from Bard College. Her work focuses on a visual synthesis of stored and personal memory.

Gallery Hours: Mon-Thurs open 10:00-7:00 by appointment; Friday 1:00 - 6:00; Saturday 11:00 - 7:00; Sunday 11:00 - 6:00. For more information, please contact

California Inked: A Survey of Works from the California Society of Printmakers

Jen Tough Gallery

Curated by California College of the Arts Professor and master printmaker Thomas Wojak, this show highlights both friends and society members. Artists include: Jonathan Barcan, Barbara Foster, Mark Johnsen, Sandra Kelch, Robin McCloskey, Michelle Murillo, Carrie Ann Plank, Luz Marina Ruiz, Robynn Smith, Jack Stone, Toru Sugita, Colleen Sullivan and Thomas Wojak. Image above, "Map" by Robin Mccloskey

Opening reception Saturday, Dec 9, 5:00 - 7:00

Join us for Art San Diego! Sept 29 - Oct 1

Jen Tough Gallery

Visit us at booth 210 this year at Art San Diego!

Discover Art San Diego—a contemporary art show in the heart of southern California featuring an international slate of artists and galleries. The show features over 500 leading contemporary artists, museum exhibitions, Art Labs, events, and Art Talks focused on collecting. Now in its ninth year, the four-day event attracts over 15,000 high-net-worth collectors. Join us for an unforgettable four days of cutting-edge art, entertainment, and special events. Link here.