BIONEERS 2022 ARTISTS (continued)

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Virginia Jourdan

I enjoyed art as a child and continued pursuing my passion and developing my talents through college. I attended the University of Washington where I honed my skills in painting, then went on to the Academy of Art University in San Francisco where I received my BFA in Illustration. I moved to New York and worked as a freelance Illustrator for commercial jobs before returning to the Bay Area where I began focusing on fine art to allow for more creative freedom. I am also an art educator. I continued developing my talents studying abroad, attending painting workshops in Italy and China. My artwork has been featured at exhibitions across the country and includes several commissioned portraits.

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Justice Renaissance

I chanced upon a once proud tree – All sliced and slaughtered on the shelf.

At Southern Lumber Company – I heard its voice and found myself.

Could I fulfill its destiny – To make its truth outlive its seeds? 

And did I dare accept its plea – To chronicle the history?

Of sacred songs of birds of peace – That nested deep within its reach.

Of sons of slaves whose eyes reflect – The memory of noose on neck.

Of troubled waters left to wade -From hell to hope to brighter days.

Once proud tree whispered to me – To help it stand strong and bold again.

Now I speak Woodwordz!


Soad Kader

I love looking – seeing and feeling different types of space, especially the change of perspective like looking down from a rooftop, mountain top or from an airplane. I enjoy the ambiguity and call to look more closely, to delight in the details and abstract qualities of the moment. Noticing colors, shapes, light or movement allowing me to linger, imagine, and connect to myself and my surroundings more deeply. Creating space and openness to observe before the filters of the mind decides it knows. My work explores how point of view, mindset, and quality of presence affect what and how we see, feel, and understand about our world.

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5 Tornadoes – Though the study of tornadoes and their link to climate change is challenged by incomplete data and weather variability, scientists are observing a clear trend. As the global climate warms, so does the intensity of thunderstorms that breed tornadoes. Tornadoes are now more numerous, more frequent, and denser in structure, according to C2ES. In “5 Tornadoes,” lush farmland receives the impact of a cluster of tornadoes. It is a transitional landscape, where vigor confronts tranquility.
Wetland Edge – Where wetlands and agricultural runoff and the open water meet, there is a moment when pollutants mix with small life forms, marine and marsh plants. The sudden contact with polluting substances creates a momentary flourishing of color and eerie magic before it dissipates, causing more sinister impacts.

Marian Keeler

As an architect, I worked with the built environment’s impact on human and ecological health. As a painter, I investigate how human activities impact landscapes, changing them from their natural and balanced conditions. My work centers around aerial imagery of industrial accidents, extreme weather, and scarred landscapes. Dye factory spills, hog farming effluents, agricultural run-off, and other environmental disasters form my reference imagery. Ironically these industrial accidents and spills often result in intense color fields-lush, layered, and profound in their range and depth of value. Working in the abstract expressive form to transmit movement and directionality, I use brushwork to provide an aerial view, flattened yet layered. I work primarily in acrylic, but also use charcoal, graphite, collage, and metal leaf. I’d like viewers to experience my paintings by being drawn into the surfaces by color and movement, gradually coming to understand their implications.

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Laura Loescher

Laura Loescher is an eco-artist and poet with a home base in the Bay Area and Ashland, Oregon. She gathers natural objects from our beautiful environment and creates Earth Altars – impermanent nature art. Her Earth Altars practice began in Spring of 2020, early in the pandemic. As she began re-orienting her life back then, she had a lot of time alone in nature and began creating designs with flowers, leaves, and seeds. She finds the practice meditative, grounding and delightful! Without planning or thinking about it, she lets nature speak to her and what unfolds is what you see in hundreds of different earth altar designs. 

Laura leads Earth Altars playshops for small groups and facilitates community healing events for larger groups. She sells and donates her art to raise funds for a variety of organizations and causes. She shares her art on social media, often pairing earth altars with poems or inspiring quotes. When she’s not making art and writing poems, she works as a leadership coach and philanthropic advisor.
Community resilience matters to me. My great hope is that by sharing my art online and through community events, I am  planting seeds of beauty and healing.

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Bao-Khang Luu

My practice has spanned the realms of dance, installation, interactive technology, and traditional media. I have garnered national television appearances (The Nate Berkus Show, Extreme Makeover Home Edition, Flea Market Flip) and media buzz (Surface, Inhabitat, Apartment Therapy) for my approach to upcycling in home decor. My latest work focuses on reclaimed materials or draws upon sustainability and environmentalism. I posit that everything has an inherent beauty and intrinsic value.

I  hold a BFA in Design (UT Austin) and MFA in Design and Technology (Parsons NY). I am a trained dancer, and I am certified in sustainable entrepreneurship (FIT NY).

I currently live and work in San Francisco after relocating from the Swiss Alps.

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Hummingbird Over the Ocean

Tomye Neal Madison

Creating visual Artwork provides self-expression that I can title.  When youthful, attentive in grammar school through undergraduate classes, I read books at home, and studied math at home.  I lived a sheltered life among 9 other siblings and two working parents.  Though my parents enjoyed putting their knowledge on crossword puzzles, I filled in time fascinated by making pictures.  Those images were universal.  Children jumping rope, chickens in a yard while I babysat them for a neighbor, a growing onion in a jar, etc. were pleasant images that related to many viewers.

 Well, after I moved from my family and Philadelphia in 1974, with my employable Graphic Art abilities, Fine Art skills, and a BFA from Moore College of Art & Design, I resolved to make a living in the San Francisco Bay area.  Choosing one of my names, Tomye is how I introduced myself.  There are many years that I honed a distinctive “style”.  My selection of subjects included facades of landmarks, hotel and event interiors, and working people doing everyday activities.  These images fill many sketchbooks and loose papers requested when I forgot to have a sketchbook.  Subsequently, favorable outcomes selling my watercolor illustrations included retailers Shreve & Co. in S. F., Petri’s in Sausalito, Expressions in Berkeley, Books Inc. in Alameda, etc. 

The effect of so many other mediums being exhibited in the S. F. Bay area by artists from many countries, caused me to realize, that resources include Artists.  I enriched my Art journey with other Artists as a member of Pro Arts, Center for Visual Arts, National League of American Pen Women, ArtTable, Artist Embassy International, etc.  This extraordinary community expanded my creativity to include writing poetry, making clay & glass sculptures, working with wood, pastels, collage, photography, etc.  I received awards, public commissions, grants, etc.

Using these various media in my visuals, became more purposeful as Artworks that depict deeper meaning for people.  This requires me to learn more, and stay attuned.  A Gouache painting about Aquifers, Fused glass with Gouache painting imagery that depicts the unhoused, up-cycling bottle glass into Artworks about our natural habitat, the latter the series presented here and other humane issues, are fabricated and presented to include my voice.


Claudette McDermott

Born in Hawaii, this San Francisco Bay Area Artist loves to Paint, Work with Glass, Pottery, Metal and experimenting with all forms of art. Most recently working with Encaustic Hot Wax (Beeswax and Damar Resin) and Tinted Resin pours (Adding Acrylic or other items to Resin) creating Art & Function works.

“I am Hawaiian, an Artist that Paints & creates Metal Jewelry, living in Sunny California. Enjoying life being a Mom, Wife, Sister, Aunty and Artist, I scoot around town on my beautiful blue Italian Scooter and take each day a step at a time. Painting when I can, I hang my work year round and enter Juried Exhibition in the SF Bay Area. I took part as a Solo Artist at the International ART EXPO New York, an amazing adventure. To experience setting up my booth from scratch, preparing & shipping my paintings, taking part in this show was priceless.

I look forward to new adventures and a continued Artful life, Partnering with local businesses when I can, and finding new ways to express my creative side. Mahalo!”

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Zac Morrison

Zac Morrison is a 5th generation Californian born in the Haight Ashbury district to one of the original hippies. His mother, Miriam Morrison, was a dancer and ethnologist who believed that the arts are the quintessential human expression. As a youth, he traveled to Taipei, Taiwan; Tokyo- Kyoto- Osaka, Japan and experienced the numerous artforms that his mother studied there. He lived in London and in Java, Indonesia, where he immersed himself into Javanese language and culture, especially the gamelan. These experiences continue to influence Zac’s work as he composes music and photographs. He takes every opportunity he can to attend weekly music and dance concerts and recitals.

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Ella Noe

I was born to Romanian parents in Israel and raised in South America. After moving from country to country all my life in 2003 I landed in San Francisco and made it my home.

My whole life I’ve connected to the world through my art. At first dance, storytelling, acting and poetry and later photography. Here in San Francisco, my images multiplied becoming grids, morphed into mixed media and came out the other side as paintings and drawings. 

In 2018, my visual artwork took yet another turn as it enmeshed with dance and expanded through poetry and tales. I started collaborating with artists from other media; dancers, musicians, story tellers, and through dialogue explored all that connects us in our search.

In March 2020 when the world went into lockdown and San Francisco boarded up its stores and restaurants, I started painting/collaging murals onto ply-wood…  One day owls showed up in my murals and I decided to follow. The joy I saw in people’s faces when they experienced the Mural Owls led me to create smaller, one of a kind Owl Collages for people to have in their homes… I keep exploring different ways to create Owls and spread more smiles around the world.

My diverse upbringing has given me the opportunity to work with youth from a wide variety of backgrounds and economic levels ranging from Bedouin children in Israel to adolescent orphans in Romania. Here in the Bay Area I have worked as a photography and art teacher for organizations such as MOCHA (museum of children’s art), MCCLA (mission cultural center for Latinx Arts in San Francisco) Mission Graduates and the Red Poppy Art House (where I have also been an artist resident). I participated in the San Francisco Studio School of Painting, Drawing, Photography and Mixed Media as a teacher assistant and studio and gallery manager for over 10 years, and lately I have been collaborating with artists of multiple disciplines and cultural backgrounds.

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Veronica Ramirez

I am the daughter of immigrant parents, Mapuche/Chilean-Mestizo ancestry. I was born and raised in the Bay Area and currently reside on Huichin Territory (Oakland, CA). I was formerly trained as a graphic designer and loved photography and paper making in art school. I have been leading public earth altar making (mandalas) for the past 20+ years. This art form is a ritual to me, including the gathering of natural elements. I do it for the connection, community and for the healing it brings.

I have always preferred to create with nature in my works and mandalas came naturally to me. I get the most joy when I’m doing them with people for a shared purpose whether it’s to create something beautiful together, celebrate life, remembering ancestors, a ceremony of matrimony, rites of passage, openings or completions, peace in the world or peace inside. No two are ever alike due to their unique intention, people who show up and the materials gathered for its creation. Mandala in Sanskrit simply means “circle”. The Tibetan monks make sand mandalas as a meditation for healing over the course of several weeks making intricate sacred designs. Navajo healers create them in ceremony to connect to the Spirit world to bring upon balance to an out of balance person, planet or situation – the Navajo word to indicate the sand paintings is iikaah which means “the place where the holy people come and go,”.

I remember the moment when it became a calling to make earth altars and where it would lead me was unknown, I just knew in that moment, I wanted to continue exploring this tremendously potent medicine that found its way to my path. An elder once shared with me that sacralizing our spaces with sacred art is so very fundamental to our revolution. I deeply feel this to be true and believe it’s true for our evolution as well.

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Recology San Francisco Artist in Residence (AIR) Program

All work was made during the artists’ residencies.

The mission of the Artist in Residence Program is to empower all communities to conserve natural resources by providing professional Bay Area artists and university students with access to materials at the public dump, a workspace, stipend, and ongoing opportunities to exhibit work in public spaces.

Through our programming, we work to amplify the voices of systemically marginalized populations, offer a community space for learning, and host a public education program that inspires children and adults to reimagine their role in creating a just and sustainable world.

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Alexandra Saunders

Alexandra Saunders is a multimedia Wildlife Conservation Artist in the San Francisco Bay Area working in colored pencils, graphite, pastels and oil paints. Her work is drawn from her love of the natural world and are intimate portraits examining the animals she feels connected to. As a child growing up, first, in the backwoods of Tennessee, and then, on the island of Java, her world was full of wonder, magic, and creatures of unimaginable wonder and beauty. She expressed this in her art and as a young student worked as a biological illustrator, receiving her Bachelor of Science degree at the University of California, Berkeley in Conservation of Natural Resources. She was the recipient of a Lawrence National Laboratories Fellowship and Internship working as a research scientist in Energy and Environment.

Pursuing her Ph.D in Wildland Resource Conservation her research focused on orangutans and the effects the mining and forestry industries were having on their habitats. Life though, can throw curve balls; so it was that her path took a left turn into finance and the business world. It wasn’t until a family tragedy struck some 8 years later that she began visiting The Natural History Museum in San Francisco to reconnect with her love of nature, art and drawing. Her drawings became her personal grief journal both for the family members she had lost and the natural world she yearned to return to. It took another 20 years as the recipient of the prestigious Orangutan Republik Foundation’s Pongo Award for her dream to come true. As her good friends say, it took a world pandemic for her to step out of the business world and grant herself permission to immerse herself in the art world and draw and paint the natural world to her heart’s content. Today her days are composed of 8-10 hours a day drawing and painting the animals, their habitats, and the world she loves. To achieve her results she does extensive research on the animal and the habitat they are living in. Once she’s set the scene she starts by intricately drawing her subjects using just graphite. This can take her upward to 80 + hours and it is here that she begins to form a connection with the subject she is drawing, feeling the contours of their muscles, running her fingers through their hair or touching their skin, connecting with their essence through their eyes and breathing life into them. Sometimes these drawings will become the first step to recreating them and building up their structures using layer after layer of colored pencils. Sometimes she will continue and proceed directly to the canvas to paint them either in oils or pastels laying down thin layers of wash and then finally adding the details. Ultimately her goal is to create hyper realistic emotive portraits that viscerally connect the viewer with their beauty.

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Artemis Laura Schatzkin

What are the daily thoughts of animals, unaware of their being observed? This series of mixed media drawings on African animals explores this concept.

These drawing are based on many hours viewing live webcams in African nature preserves. Wildlife shows and films are very dramatic and often violent. In reality, most of the time wild animals are doing nothing much. It’s wonderful to watch an elephant leisurely drinking water, or a crocodile floating for hours. I appreciate the mundaneness of their lives.

Watching through the camera, I feel like a primordial eye in the sky, silently viewing from far away. Although I am removed from the animals physically, the watching them seems intimate and personal.

For each drawing, I study about the animals and try to understand what life is life for them. What does the crocodile see through their eyes, and from their very low viewpoint for such a large animal? Does the elephant feel its immense size and weight? I try to find a way into the animal’s mind, and from their decide how to draw them.

These animals range from Endangered to Least Concern, with most of them being considered Vulnerable. I’m viewing them in a very particular moment in time: they are not yet extinct, and technology we have lets me watch them from the other side of the world.

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The Geometry of Politics – the Politics of Geometry

Elizabeth Sher

Elizabeth Sher is an artist and filmmaker working in the Bay Area of California where she is the owner of

I.V. Studios: Art and Film for the 21st Century. She is Professor Emeritus of Art at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco and Oakland, CA where she taught Painting and Media Arts for over 3 decades.

Sher’s drawings, prints, paintings, and artist books have been exhibited at many university art museums and are included in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Art, The Fine Arts Museum of California, the San Jose Museums of Art, the Oakland Museum of Art, The Carnegie Mellon University Hunt Collection and the United States Embassy Collection. Sher has had solo exhibitions in the San Francisco Bay Area and nationally. Her films have been honored at film festivals nationally and internationally and aired on television in the US and abroad.

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Penny: the Documentary – Website | Facebook

Rituals of Remembrance – Facebook

Siana Smith

Siana earned her MFA in fine art from California College of the Arts, San Francisco, 2021. She completed her first year of MFA at SFAI. Her paintings have been in group exhibitions at The De Young Museum of San Francisco, Triton Museum of Santa Clara, CA, NUMU in Los Gatos, CA, New York Academy of Art, Diego Rivera Gallery of San Francisco Art Institute, Wattis Institute of California College of the Arts, and other galleries. Siana is a signature member of American Women Artists (AWA). She has a passion for public art and painted murals and utility boxes in San Francisco, Saratoga, and San Jose, CA. She currently serves as the chair of the Saratoga Public Art Commission.

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Street mural in front of Blackrock demanding the #DefundClimateChaos

David Solnit

I work with movements, communities, and artists, using the arts to protect people and the planet. Art is an essential storytelling tool needed to win positive change. I facilitate large-scale guerrilla street murals; blockading streets, and inviting community groups to design mini-murals of solutions using clay, tempera, and paint made from climate-wildfire charcoal. I create art–flags, banners, wheat-paste-up posters, puppets, and street theater– with groups and communities for strikes, marches, and blockades–in recent years with the Oakland teachers strike (Oakland Education Association), Fight for $15, Poor Peoples Campaign, Stop the Money Pipeline and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. I recently coordinated large-scale street art projects: 6 artists created giant 3.5×5.5 foot street art posters that were calling for #DefundClimateChaos; 20,000 posters were distributed to 650 groups and activists who pasted them on banks and displayed them in communities.

#DefundClimateChaos Street Art Kit | Instagram

Charlene Steen  

Charlene Steen is an abstract acrylic and monotype artist. A graduate in Art from UCLA, with a master’s degree in art history, she taught art and art history at California State University Long Beach, UCLA, and Van Nuys High School. She was also an art critic for Artforum Magazine and a number of newspapers. Her work has been exhibited at the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, Napa Expo (First Prize Winner), Benicia Arts, Las Laguna Gallery, Novato City Offices Gallery, Sacramento Fine Arts Gallery (People’s Choice Award), Healdsburg Center for the Arts, Art Escape – Sonoma, O’Hanlon Center for the Arts – Mill Valley, Main Street Arts – Martinez, Art Cottage – Condord, Crocker Museum (virtual), Lindsay Dirkx Brown Gallery – San ramon, Mare Island Art Studios, Orinda Library gallery, Quest Unitarian Church – Novato, Bezos Restaurant – Novato, and is in a number of private collections. She is scheduled to have solo shows this fall at the Napa Library and at the Gallerie Valerie in Crockett.

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Ruth Tabancay

Ruth Tabancay’s passion for science led her to study microbiology in college. Following a stint as a hospital laboratory technologist, she went on to medical school. After 11 years in private practice, she left medicine to study art. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley; UCSF School of Medicine, San Francisco; and California College of the Arts. Her work has been exhibited regionally and nationally including the Textile Museum, Washington, D. C.; Museum of Craft and Design, San Francisco; and World Financial Center, New York City. She is a member of Mercury 20 Gallery in Oakland, California. Her work is in the collection of the Oakland Museum.

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Ana Teresa Fernández

Sea-level rise poses a threat to many shoreline communities, including my own. On the Horizon is intended to instigate curiosity and agency around climate change through an immersive and alluring temporary installation. Freestanding, six-foot-tall acrylic cylinders, filled with seawater, are placed in a maze-like fashion along shorelines during low tide. The six-foot-high, twelve-inch-square pillars reference the human body. During low tide, visitors are surrounded by—and see their images refracted through—these bodies of water. The rising tide sinks the pillars, creating the illusion that they are submerged, and they reemerge from the sea as the waves recede. Lights placed at each base, operated remotely, are lit at sunset, illuminating the water within each column. At the conclusion of the performance, the water is siphoned out and the pillars easily removed from the shoreline.

Ana Teresa Fernández’s work explores the politics of intersectionality through time-based actions and social gestures, translated into masterful oil and gouache paintings, installations and videos. Operating formally at the intersection of land art, performance and history painting, the artist mines 21st-century feminism, post-colonial landscapes, and the psychological barriers to empathy. Born in Tampico and based in San Francisco, she earned an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute; her work has been collected by the Denver Art Museum, Nevada Museum of Art, and the Kadist Art Foundation, among other institutions. In January 2022, her video and complete suite of photographs in the project Borrando la Frontera (Erasing the Border) (2011/2021) was acquired by the Blanton Museum of Art, the University of Texas, Austin for their permanent collection.


Elizabeth Truglio

Elizabeth Truglio is an upcycle artist and has been working exclusively with hard-to-recycle items, such as soft plastic, for the past five years. Approximately 90% of a piece is made from recycled or previously used materials.


City Bird – This one-winged Crow can be placed on the base in three different ways – each with a different mood and meaning. She is a serious bird, but still can’t help but to steal lipstick.

Gregory Vernitsky

I started in Odessa, Ukraine with oil painting; later switched to wood carving and assemblage of found objects. I am a Member of Artspan, Participated in SFOpen Studios from 2011.

Shortlist of exhibitions and publications:

  • ArtSpan Exhibitions at SoMart Cultural Center. 2013 – Juror’s Choice Award.
  • National and International Exhibitions: Masquerade and Nocturne at Arc Gallery, Elements at Marin Society of Artists, Windows and Doors at Sebastopol Center for the Arts and Out of Darkness at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum in Hamilton (OH).
  • Solo show at Far Out Gallery.
  • Juried group shows at Arc, Studio, SFWA, Jennifer Perlmutter, The Space, Desta, Art Attack, Live Worms, Modern Eden, and other galleries.
  • Online publications and shows at Repurposed, 7 x 7 Magazines, Sculpture Fix and Manhattan Art International.

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Bioneers 2022 Conference - A Window Through
Bioneers 2022 Conference - A Window Through