Alexandra Blum
Painter / Printer, Studio, San Francisco

Hello Alexandra, please give us an introduction on who you are and where do you come from.
I grew up in Ithaca and Brooklyn, NY and moved to San Francisco in 1997. I have an MFA in Printmaking from Washington University in St. Louis and a BFA in Painting from Cornell University. Exhibits include “Four Artists” at Ligne Roset, “The Day of the Dead” at the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, CA “The Eye of the Storm” at Markham Vineyards, Napa, CA, and “Chicano Visions” at the De Young Museum. I was the August artist in residence at the De Young Museum in San Francisco in 2010. I has taught at Drew School since 1996. I also have taught at a wide range of institutions including community centers, at risk youth summer programs, and special events and workshops at the de Young Museum and SFMOMA.

How would you describe your art? 
I work in painting, printmaking, and mixed media. Since the birth of my daughter Cecile I have turned more and more to small scale gouache paintings finished on cradled wood boxes. These boxes are like treasure chests and memories of childhood and appear as objects reminiscent of books. My themes are now around life, nature, and the environment. Series have included weather systems (Paxton Gate Show 2011 "weather"), animals, and mythological creatures such as minotaurs and mermaids.

What is your first memory with painting/ drawing?
I remember laying down on my stomach near my cat in my dad's studio drawing.

Is there any artists or people you met in life that inspired you in any way?
My work is inspired by my daughter Cecile, father Zevi Blum, stepfather Sal Cammarata, and husband Calixto Robles, and childhood memories and dreams. I just saw Isabella Roselini's Green Porn which was pretty inspiring. I love the work of Sargent, Henri Rousseau, Francis Bacon, Audoban, and Sally Mann.

It's been 17 years that you work in this studio in Castro. Is there a story you can tell us?
When I first moved here I was helping a guy reclaiming a screen in the Mission Cultural Center and I mentioned how I wished I had a studio and he offered to split his immediately- super lucky and Rich Nyhagen is still a dear and inspiring friend and artist!

When did you move to San Francisco and why did you choose Mission District to live?
I moved here after graduates school in St Louis and chose the mission which 17 years ago was a vibrant, diverse, and artist rich district.

Describe SF in 3 words.
Sunny, windy, changin.

What's you favorite place to eat in San Francisco?
El Toro.

Tell us about your perfect Saturday.
Swimming early, spending time with Cecile my daughter, going to studio, and eating dinner with Calixto and Cecile.

What are you favorite places in town when you want to relax?
The studio, the apartment, inside reading a book, and all of the parks!

You can find more information about Alexandra on her website 
Her work make beautiful gifts so you're more then welcome to visit her studio during the Holiday Sale, Sunday December 8th, from 1 to 4pm. (661 Castro Street, San Francisco)
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