Tag Archives: #artstudio

In Conversation: Adia Millett, Kate Eilertsen, and Twyla Ruby | August 20

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Join artist Adia Millett, Executive Director Kate Eilertsen, and Curatorial Associate Twyla Ruby as they discuss Millett’s experience in intermittent residency at di Rosa and the artist’s exhibition Force of Nature.


Adia Millett: Force of Nature presents new paintings, textiles and sculptural installations by the Oakland-based artist, created in response to di Rosa’s distinctive landscape. “The land at di Rosa,” Millett writes, “lush with soaring vultures, cracks in the decomposing earth, traces of snakeskin, and endless layers of shadows, arouse our creative minds to remember where we come from. The multitude of colors, changing like the direction of the seasonal smoke, reveals to us that with death comes new life.”

Ranging across diverse media, Millett’s practice is rooted in “taking things apart, removing, replacing, cutting, pasting, sewing and building.” Evoking “the mended shapes of an old quilt, or polygonal segments of a cathedral window,” the works suggest “the importance of renewal and rebuilding, not only through the artistic process, but also through the possibility of transformative change.” Human beings, like earthquakes, forest fires or floods, are also forces of nature.

Millett earned her BFA from UC Berkeley followed by an MFA from CalArts. Her work has been exhibited at institutions including the Studio Museum in Harlem; the Craft and Folk Museum in Los Angeles; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Atlanta; the Santa Monica Museum of Art; and the Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans.

Adia Millett, The Embers You Left Behind, 2022. Acrylic on panel, 60 x 108 in. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Play Pétanque at di Rosa | Ongoing

Gallery 2 Petanque Courts

Come play pétanque!

Now at di Rosa! Everyone is invited to play pétanque during your visit on our beautiful pétanque courts, a hands-on art installation by renowned Bay Area artist Paul Kos. 

Pétanque is a French boules sport that has played a role in his artistic practice for decades.

Kos’ relationship with the game played a role in the creation of his di Rosa masterpiece Chartres Bleu (1982-86)—and his site-specific installation Zizi Va (1994), a functioning pétanque court which has been newly refurbished for ongoing public use.

The di Rosa pétanque courts and equipment are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The two courts are located behind Gallery 2. Simply leave your photo I.D. with the gallery attendant in Gallery 2 to check out the equipment.

We invite you to bring a picnic and a bottle of wine and make a day of it.


Paul Kos’ masterpiece Chartres Bleu, 1982-86 (left) and pétanque boules. Pétanque is sometimes called “French bocce” ball. We invite you to give it a try!

Erik Scollon: Anything With a Hole… is Also a Bead | Now on View

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Erik Scollon—a fixture of the Bay Area’s avant-garde ceramics scene—invites us to reconsider that most conventional ceramic object: the bead.

In recent years, lockdown restrictions forced Scollon to practice on a new, more intimate scale, leading him to create thousands and thousands of ceramic beads. Slowly and meditatively, bead after bead was rolled by hand, pierced, fired and glazed. Then, through slow repetition and accumulation, they were strung and knotted into macramé panels. The resulting compositions are riotous fields of color and texture that scramble viewers’ perception of scale, distance, and resolution; inviting multiple modes of engagement and shattering conventional distinctions between painting, sculpture, and ceramic art.

About the artist

A committed educator, Scollon is an Associate Professor and Chair of the First Year CORE Studio Program at California College of the Arts. Moving between ‘sculpture’ and ‘ceramics,’ functional objects and aesthetically autonomous objects, social engagement and recorded performances, he investigates issues of education, access, taste, class, gender, and queerness.

Born in Rochester, Michigan, Scollon received his BFA from Albion College, and an MFA in Ceramics along with an MA in Visual and Critical Studies, both from California College of the Arts. His work has been seen at museums, galleries, craft fairs, design blogs, and gay biker bars. He is represented by Romer Young Gallery and he currently lives and works in San Francisco, California.

di Rosa at 25 + The Incorrect Museum: Redux | May 14

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Surrounded by the di Rosa collection at the entrance to Gallery 2… 

Join Executive Director Kate Eilertsen and Deputy Director Andrea Saenz for an informal and candid chat about di Rosas past 25 years, and an exciting preview of future plans. 

Afterward, gather for a toast and a curator’s walkthrough of The Incorrect Museum: Redux—a dramatically updated and expanded exhibition of di Rosa’s world-class collection of Northern California art. 


2 PM  

Welcome and di Rosa at 25 chat with Kate Eilertsen and Andrea Saenz


Toast to the next 25!


Unveiling of The Incorrect Museum: Redux and Curatorial Walkthrough with Twyla Ruby and Kate Eilertsen

4 PM


Plan ahead & Arrive early

Plan for about 30 minutes to park, check in at Gallery 1 visitor reception, and then make your way on foot or by shuttle to Gallery 2 for the program. 


Deborah Remington, Untitled, 1951, Oil on canvas, 28 × 30 in. (71.1 × 76.2 cm); Framed: 28 3/4 × 31 in. (73 × 78.7 cm), photo: Johnna Arnold, di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art.

Fort Phooey: Wiley in the Studio

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William T. Wiley (American, born 1937), Eerie Grotto? Okini, 1982, color block print on rag paper, 20 7/8 x 27 3/8 inches, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama, Association Purchase, 1999.6

August 20 – October 31, 2021

Step inside the studio of the late William T. Wiley. Fort Phooey: Wiley in the Studio recreates the sights and sounds of his iconic studio—a meeting place for generations of Bay Area artists—combining over fifty original works from di Rosa’s collection with archival objects on loan from the artist’s estate. The “Fort Phooey” part of the exhibition title is taken from a little-known work in the di Rosa collection titled “Fort Phooey Mandala.” Wiley created the mandala as a meditative exercise in his studio, and he also referred to his studio as “Fort Phooey.”

Wiley’s Marin County studio was perhaps his greatest work of art. Densely layered with words, images and objects that meandered into his work and back out again, it was nothing less than an immersive assemblage. “Being in the studio was like entering into a Wiley artwork,” explains curator Kate Eilertsen. “The effect could be dizzying. Every surface was covered with scrawled wordplay, found objects and other elements of his distinctive visual vocabulary.”

Inviting visitors into Wiley’s studio, the exhibition draws attention to the legacy of his artistic practice. “Wiley’s studio practice—rooted in Zen mysticism and an ethos of open-ended play—was imitated by artists ranging from Bruce Nauman to Deborah Butterfield,” states Eilertsen. “To understand his profound impact, it is necessary to grapple with the legacy of his practice as well as the work itself.”

The exhibition is both immersive and participatory, and will include such details as Wiley’s final painting he was working on at the time of his death earlier this year; his workbench; photographs of him with friends and family; works by artists who influenced Wiley’s work including Wally Hedrick; musical instruments he encouraged visitors to play when they visited; National Public Radio (NPR) live via radio; and objects such as chalkboards and dunce caps that often appeared in his two-dimensional and three-dimensional work. Visitors will be prompted to create their own artworks and add them to a community wall inside the exhibition space.

Related Events

Member’s Reception on August 20, 4:30-6:30 PM

Making Art with Everyone / Haciendo arte con todos on September 25 and October 23

Why is it called Fort Phooey?

“Fort Phooey” is taken from a little-known work in the di Rosa collection titled “Fort Phooey Mandala.” Wiley created the mandala as a meditative exercise in his studio, and he also referred to his studio as “Fort Phooey.”

Oliver Lee Jackson: Any Eyes | Closing Weekend February 18-20

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When asked about viewers of his work, Oliver Lee Jackson responds, “It’s for anybody’s eyes. Any eyes will do.” 

This exhibition presents—for “any eyes”—a selection of Jackson’s works in painting, sculpture, and mixed media. While recent retrospectives at the National Gallery of Art and Saint Louis Art Museum have brought renewed critical attention to Jackson’s paintings and works on paper, this exhibition highlights the true breadth of his practice, featuring previously unseen works in materials ranging from burlap, felt and paint to steel, wood and marble.

Guest curated by Diane Roby.

Exhibition press release.

About the artist

Oliver Lee Jackson’s artworks are in the permanent collections of The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Metropolitan Museum, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Detroit Institute of the Arts; New Orleans Museum of Art; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Portland Art Museum, Oregon; St. Louis Art Museum; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; San Jose Museum of Art; Seattle Art Museum, and many other public and private collections.

Since 1982 Oliver Jackson’s studio has been in Oakland, California.

About the Curator

Diane Roby has worked for artists and arts organizations since the 1970s as an archivist, publicist, communications director, and guest curator. She holds an MFA in sculpture from San Jose State University. She has worked with Oliver Lee Jackson for nearly forty years, and also manages the artworks inventory of the Lawrence Ferlinghetti Trust.

Oliver Lee Jackson, No. 17, 2018 (9.9.18), 2018, Oil-based paints, applied paper on panel. Courtesy of the artist and Rena Bransten Gallery.

Public Program

In Conversation: Oliver Lee Jackson and Diane Roby

February 12 | 3 PM

selected works

In a series of black-on-black paintings from 2013–14, images emerge from contrasting gloss and matte black paints with color undertones, sprayed over cut stencils. These paintings are not fully seen from any one view—imagery appears and disappears from different angles or in varying light, in a constantly shifting dynamic. Echoes of the stenciled forms also appear in the tapestries and paintings on view.

A triangular marble figure, in passive repose, is notched and studded with trails of red felt, suggesting simultaneously tender restfulness and the trace of bloody wounds, the mouth open—is it a grimace or a smile?

A figure pulling a heavily loaded cart has been an often-recurring image in Jackson’s work since the mid-1960s. Such “junk haulers” are seen in every community, carting off the detritus of society, throwaways that nobody wants or would claim. The cart is piled with figures, flowers, clothing, objects—people and things dismissed as not being of value. This figure, usually hatted and hunched under the weight of the cart, can take on mythical and archetypal stature—Sisyphus and the boulder, or Atlas bearing the weight of the world.