Our RESIDEnt teaching artists
Yolanda Cotton Turner
Yolanda attended California State University, Hayward (1988) to study music, and there, she was introduced to lithography where she instantly fell in love with the laborious, mind-bending, and magnificently serendipitous processes of fine art printmaking. She had the opportunity to study under the renowned Tamarind master Kenjilo Nanao and monoprint expert Linda Goodman. In 2013, after raising her family and moving back to her hometown of Oakland, CA, she found Bernadette Martinez at Artery Press who nurtured her re-acquaintance with the medium.
Yolanda’s current focus is mostly relief processes. Experimental by nature, she keeps her methods fresh while her focus keeps the subject consistently on urban culture, the power of nature, and other social, spiritual, and environmental inspirations. Her images as well as their depth of meaning are often layered and printed on handmade paper, mulberry, or cotton rag, using plexiglass in addition to wood, lino, and nature itself as a printing plate. She personally executes all the steps involved in the printmaking process, from developing the image, gouging, inking, and pulling the print by hand.
I am a social entrepreneur with 10 years experience in non-profit economic, small business, and tech education development. I am committed to creating a world grounded in equity through entrepreneurship, technology, and art. I am an expert in community development, teaching, and facilitation. I love spreadsheets and project plans :) I started Fresh to Def in January 2014 while working full time for a youth employment program in San Francisco. I found freedom within entrepreneurship, initially as a jewelry maker. Returning to my first love of teaching, I quickly fell into helping other women grow their side hustles into businesses that gave them more economic freedom to take care of themselves.
Fresh to Def accessories are handcrafted from cherry, maple and walnut wood. We combine wood with West African Ghanian Kente cloth and acrylic paint to bring out the beauty and richness of each material. We design, laser cut, and assemble all our pieces in Oakland, California. Our designs are rooted in feminist, African / Black patterns, hip-hop culture, and social justice themes.
Sen Mendez, also known as Queen Sen Sen, is a non-binary fat artist born and raised in Oakland, California. Currently teaching Oakland youth, Sen honors the ways art can be used to teach Oakland youth their voice using visual storytelling. Queen Sen Sen creates images of historical ancestors, celebrations of large bodies and visual storytelling as a way to dismantle systematic oppression among Indigenous, Black, Fat and Transgender bodies. Queen Sen Sen built their own art business sharing their journey using relief printing as a form of therapy to cope with CPTSD and Depression. Included in the 2019 Queer Ancestor Project Visual Exhibition, Queen Sen Sen displayed their new prints where they have been challenged to create images of visual storytelling, new carving techniques and express their large body taking up space using visual relief prints. Queen Sen Sen have provided visual workshops for organizations such as Wellness in Action, Peacock Rebellion and large companies such as Facebook. You can find Queen Sen Sen's online store at artbyqueensensen.bigcartel.com and Instagram page at www.instagram.com/Sencreatesart.
I have always loved looking at art; each piece is a conversation and an adventure. Several years ago, I started creating my own art. Since I am self-taught, each piece is an exploration. While I work in many mediums (watercolor, pen and ink, fiber, printmaking, and collage) I find the greatest satisfaction in experimenting with acrylics. My goal is to converse with the viewer through color and form. My work has been shown at many venues in the Bay Area, including Jingletown Art Studios, Arts Benicia, Richmond Art Center, Graton Gallery, Frank Bette Center, and Marin Museum of Modern Art. I am currently serving as a new Board Director of Arts Benicia, and also an active member of the Concentric Arts Group and Oakland Art Association. janstamosart.com
Lauran Weinmann (Studio Founder & Director)
Lauran worked in corporate communications for over 25 years, all the while dabbling in art classes and creative endeavors. The idea for Blank Page Studio has been brewing in Lauran's mind for 10 years, and in 2016 she decided to finally turn her idea into a reality. Lauran loves sketching, collage, book arts and water color doodling. She is also a baker, a magazine lover, and a mom to a great kid named Theo!