art show

August/September Art show Julie’s Alameda


new work by Arty Johnstone
Recent plein air paintings focused on everyday life in the East Bay. Many of the acrylic on wood paintings began with live observation of subjects. Some finished in one sitting, others refined back in the studio while referencing photographs.

Arty Johnstone is a part-time barista (at Julie’s!), part-time paint sketcher. He roams the street on bike and foot looking for strong views. Originally from Tucson, Arizona, he has lived in Oakland for the last three years. Arty is available for commissions and live portraiture at events.

You can browse more of his work at:
I approach paintings like a hunter-gatherer setting out with my backpack loaded with the tools necessary to catch the elusive scene. While on a plein air hunt, I bring:
Primed wood panel
Tupperware palette (to keep the paints wet)
Grip of acrylic paint tubes
Several paintbrushes
Paint rag
Jar of potable water (it’s thirsty work)
Jar of paint water (doesn’t taste so great)
Cellular device (for audiobooks and photographing)
I am looking to craft a “there-ness.” To capture the scene as it is, as it feels to inhabit it at that point in time. I create these scenes in the hopes that it will stir a reaction of specific placement in the real world. Whether it was hot or overcast, noon or sunset. I strive to achieve a viewer response of “Oh yeah, I’ve been there before.” That being said, there is some trickery that goes into establishing the “mood” of each piece. If I was feeling pumped or groggy, content or overheated, these and other situational factors determine the color palette and the subject treatment.

Show runs through October 10th

June/July Art Show-Lisa Rigby


Julie’s Coffee and Tea Garden presents Forest and Fog, a new solo exhibition by Lisa Rigby. Forest and Fog is a collection of new paintings that recreate the haunting beauty experienced amongst the coastal fog and redwood forests of Northern California’s diverse landscape.

OPENING PARTY: July 14th 7-9pm
Show runs June 9th-August 7th


Lisa Rigby is an artist currently based in Oakland, CA. Originally from North Carolina, she moved to the Bay Area in 2016 to escape the harsh east coast winters and enjoy the abundance of nature year-round. The bold abstractions that previously defined her style gave way to lush and gestural landscapes after her west coast arrival. A graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, MD, Lisa has been exhibiting work professionally since 2008 in group and solo shows across Baltimore, Philadelphia, Greensboro and Oakland.

Artist Statement:

January 2016 marked a new chapter in my life–becoming a Californian. The months that followed seduced me with the natural beauty of the hills, forests and waters in which I am now immersed. Countless hikes yielded constant inspiration, which were followed by many dedicated hours in the studio, working nearby my fellow creatives. I am pleased to share my newest series in Forest and Fog, paintings which explore the diverse Northern California landscape, depicting rolling hillsides, majestic redwood forests, and the sensual fog that engulfs the coastal region in winter.

March/April Art: Marlene Winell


photographs by Marlene Winell

“Art is such a direct route to presence, and through this photography, I have found aliveness and serenity”


These photographs on paper and canvas are about the Zen of noticing – really noticing details of everyday life.  They consist of found images that are unusual and sometimes beautiful, but not often considered so lovely.  They are often missed because they are in contexts that are very ordinary.

Show runs March 11-May 4, 2016




May/June Art: Dale Dombrowski

drawing with mixed-media and collage




My work speaks to the moment I cross the threshold of my dreams and step into the studio to work. That studio could be a designated room, a kitchen table or a seat on the Larkspur Ferry.

I have been drawing from a very young age and I feel just now I am at the beginning of my creative journey. My drawing practice gives me the delight of observation and it also allows me to stay engaged with giving form to my dreams. My life as an illustrator and artist has grown out of my many experiences of various fashion / retail involvements during my life.

As a teacher / mentor I have always said to my students that it is important to explore and relinquish the idea of perfect outcomes. Too often we lose our creativity or hold ourselves back from full exploration of our creativity. We forget to play. When we are so concerned with making it look good or wanting it to be perfect we do not give ourselves the chance to fail, and allow our natural state of being to come to the paper, canvas or stone.

I have found my way through my work as my drawings have always given me the courage to go where I would let them take me.

The drawings in this show represent the beauty of the hand drawn line, the flourish and the sudden inspiration of color and gesture. In an age when so much artistry relies on the computer, this becomes a fresh approach to the viewer.

Dale Dombrowski graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology and did graduate study at Parsons School of Design in New York City. He has been a director of visual merchandising  (display) for two popular specialty retail stores, Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware. He was  responsible for the merchandising direction and store expansion/development for both companies. With a combined twenty year career in visual merchandising for both of these companies behind him, he came to teach at the Academy of Art University as a fashion department instructor in 1999. Dale teaches fashion drawing, fashion design, visual merchandising display. He lives in Oakland, California.

July/August Art: The Place I Want to Be

A Light Shower

The Place I Want to Be
oil paintings & pastel works by Carl Stieger

June 27-September 8th
Opening Party: Friday, July 11th 7-9pm

Artist Statement:

“My art is an attempt to combine the elements of an impressionist landscape with the energy and brushwork of abstract expressionism. I work directly on canvas or paper with no reference, intuitively using the paint to create depth and show movement throughout the picture. I try to create a space that the viewer can explore and experience in a way that is moving, but still feels real. My inspirations come from both the tangible beauty of the natural world, and the intangible but expressive power of music. It is a way to connect the external with the internal, and to convey things that words cannot express.”

Carl Stieger graduated from California College of Arts and Crafts in 1997 and have been living and painting in the east Bay ever since.

To see more of Carl’s work: