Friday, December 11, 2009

Holiday Fundraising Campaign and other updates

The closing party for Shaping Matter on November 21 included a performance by El Radio Fantastique and an art raffle. Lagunitas Brewery contributed beer and a good time was had by all. The gallery is now closed for preparations for 2010 exhibitions. See Call for Art for the spring show, Journeys. Our holiday fundraising campaign is underway. Even the smallest donation is helpful in presenting next year’s exhibitions. The ACF space and exhibitions are a gift to the community. Your tax deductible gifts may be mailed to Art at the Cheese Factory, P.O. Box 1117, Stinson Beach, CA 94970. You will receive back love and invitations to 2010 exhibitions and future call for art.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Closing reception November 21st

Click on image below to enlar
ge invitation

Featuring excerpts from a reprise performance of "Nocturne" by El Radio Fantastique, docent tours, beer and award winning cheese pairings, and an award winning Art Raffle!

Thursday, November 5, 2009



MARCH 12 - MAY 31, 2010

Postmark Deadline: January 4, 2010
Notification: by January 15, 2010

Entry Fee: $20 for processing
ELIGIBILITY: Artists living and working in any of the following Bay Area Counties:
San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Contra Costa, Alameda, and San Mateo and not enrolled in a school program at this time

Curators: Claudia Chapline, artist, gallery owner and Etta Deikman, painter

Exhibition Dates: March 12 - May 31, 2010
Deliver Work: February 27, 11-4 pm to gallery at 7500 Red Hill Road (Pt. Reyes Petaluma Rd)
Artists Reception: March 14, 2-4 pm
Curator Tour & Artists Talk: April 11, 2-4 pm
Closing Event: May 22, 2-4 pm
Pick Up Work: June 1, 10 am-Noon

Art at the Cheese Factory is a new, large, contemporary art venue in West Marin located at the Marin French Cheese Company’s large gallery and extensive outdoor space. Artists are invited to submit work on any aspect of travel internal or external, including physical or spiritual movement in time and/or space, on roads or trails, with guides, vehicles, in process, etc. Indoor & outdoor artworks in all 2D & 3D art media, including events and installations will be considered.

SUBMIT: DIGITAL IMAGES ONLY. JPEG files (1 MB) on CD. Images must be accompanied by an image list with title, date, size, and media of 3 examples of available work or of previous work representative of a proposal for an installation or event with drawings/details. Outdoor sculpture must be self-supported and able to endure 3-month outdoor exhibition on uneven ground with no maintenance requirements. Indoor artwork will be hung in the rustic 3000 square foot warehouse gallery with 9-foot high cement walls, florescent lights and wood beams overhead. Artists are responsible for delivery and pick up of selected work. No substitutions permitted. Art at the Cheese Factory does not provide insurance coverage for artworks. Sales inquiries will be referred to the artist. In the event of a sale resulting from the exhibition a donation of 30% to Art at the Cheese Factory, a nonprofit public benefit corporation, will be appreciated and used to help fund the next exhibition.

For entry form send SASE with request to Art at the Cheese Factory, POB 1117, Stinson Beach, CA 94970 or go HERE to print form online.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Donor's Circle Luncheon

Lia Lund serves tomato pie to Vickisa and Laure Reichek

Jim Boyce shows plans for future gallery
Mary Eubank hosts gallery tour of Shaping Matter

Art at the Cheese Factory had its first Donor’s Circle luncheon on October 23 lakeside at the Marin French Cheese Company. Jim Boyce and Kris Otis welcomed 22 supporters of the organization with wine and prize winning cheese. Mary Eubank, curator of Shaping Matter conducted a tour of the exhibition ending with a talk by artist Joe Fox about the sculptures that he created for the exhibition. Six picnic tables were set up by the pond for a delicious lunch prepared by Lia Lund and Kris Otis. It was a beautiful day in thanks for the people who are making Art at the Cheese Factory happen.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Reception for Shaping Matter 8/16

Approximately 200 people attended the opening of Shaping Matter on August 16th. This exhibition of new sculpture presents work by seven local artists whose alterations of everyday objects and materials open our eyes to beauty in the commonplace. Several pieces were constructed especially for this show. The artists took advantage of the long horizontal space of the old warehouse at Marin French Cheese Company.

Inverness artist, Peter De
Swart’s 60-foot long line of blue carpenter’s chalk, loose in a suspended wood ledge, is accompanied by wall pieces, also of wood containing blue or white chalk. His box constructions are shaped containers with compartments for the loose powdered chalk that colors the bottom of the box as it is moved for installation. The small compartments are reminiscent of old type cases or ancient containers for sacred writings. The shaped white boxes have interior steps leading to closed portals. In these the white chalk falls down the steps. De Swart makes sculpture with “its back against the wall. Matter without form. Powder, heaped, thrown, settling…the play of form against formlessness.” Yet these quiet forms evoke places such as Egypt or New York tenements. Also change, chalk is soft as ash.

Joe Fox, Fairfax artist, also works with suspended and extended lines. He creates drawings in space by wrapping and coloring undulating hose like materials. His studies of the nature of vision and his interest in contradictory forces inform his work. Balance Organ is a black rubber horizontally undulating circular line the diameter of a python that is suspended on steel pipes anchored to the floor. Neurotic Gesture is a wrapped garden hose colored with iron oxide pigment that powders the floor. This piece is suspended so that the undulation is in the vertical dimension. The line is a representation of the color of hemoglobin and refers to the iron our blood.

Madeline Nieto Hope
from Inverness, uses the trussed ceiling as well for two suspended multi-element pieces, one closed and one open in form. Wide white cotton strips form an opaque square. Lines of rubber
castings from paint lids form an open screen. The round castings have subtle colors from the mix of pigments in the lids used for the casting. The square comes up again in the framed boxed garments of Arianne Dar, Bolinas artist, that somehow echo the pallets of boxes in the rear of the warehouse. Outside Dar shows a white painted steel construction of an open box form that sits on the grass like a big lawn couch. Other works in and about the pond are the floating buoy gatherings by Madeline Hope and the wind sculptures by Rebecca Hazeltine from San Francisco. Fishing poles fly cast bird bones from her Estuary Series, honoring migratory birds.

On the path to the gallery there is a tower of altered books by Tim Graveson. This Inverness artist uses library discards. He takes stacks of sized, color, or thematically ordered books to his favorite places in Marin where he photographs them in the landscape. Inside the gallery there is a display of stacks and photographs and a short video explaining the artist’s process. Single words from each book’s title are printed on the ends of the book covers. Reading down a black stack, some of the words are: talk, story, act, poison, purple, enigma, underworld, timeline, and highways. On the sides the artist has stamped REUSE. A more traditional human element is provided by the carved driftwood sculptures of Cloverdale artist Carol Setterlund. Lazarus, on a wheeled platform at the gallery’s entrance, invites you to see new sculptures. Setterlund’s oversized heads and faces top circular and block columns with extensions of railroad spikes, wire, or giant hands. They are a perfect fit to the rustic character of the old warehouse gallery.

The Inverness curators of Shaping Matter, Mary Mountcastle Eubank and Zea Morvitz have organized a rare opportunity for viewin
g a group of large, inventive works by coastal artists. Fri-Sun, 11-4 through November 29

Excerpt from article by Claudia Chapline published September 3, 2009 issue of West Marin Citizen

Saturday, August 1, 2009


August 16 - November 29, 2009

Opening Reception: Sunday, August 16th - 2 to 4pm

Curators Tour: Sunday, Sept. 20th - 2 pm

Arianne Z Dar

Peter De Swart
Joe Fox
Tim Graveson
Rebecca Haseltine
Madeline Nieto Hope
Carol Setterlund

Curated by Mary Mountcastle Eubank and
Zea Morvitz

NEW Gallery Hours: 11 to 4 Friday, Sat. and Sun.

This exhibition is funded by the William and Claire Isaacs Warhaftig Fund

The artists in Shaping Matter engage the viewer in a whole body way, partly by their use of material and partly by the way the work moves or lives in the space. They shape materials ranging from found beach wood to recycled fabric and bike tires to cast off books. The work exists in this particular space in a way that ignites not only a visual conversation among the pieces themselves but would also create a subtle, physically engaging response from the viewer.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Women Invented Cheese an installation by Sharon Siskin

Women Invented Cheese, a site-specific project by Bay Area artist Sharon Siskin, was conceived for the exhibition Terroir: A Sense of Place. Since it related specifically to the Marin French Cheese Company, we decided to post more about this work that was removed from the gallery in June.

excerpted from Artist Statement:

For this work I have focused on the Marin French Cheese Company, the history and culture of hand-making cheese, and also the role of women in this practice.
My inspiration comes from a wonderful poster hanging in my kitchen, made by my friend Deborah Green in 1977. It celebrates the role of women as creative inventors of a variety of cheeses, such as Mrs. Poulet in England who invented Stilton, Marie Harel in France who invented Camenbert, and Hanne Nielson in Denmark who began Danish cheese making. In Northern California Clara Steele from Two Rock (later called Point Reyes) introduced the first Marin cheese in 1857 and began a century-and-a-half of tradition that has created some of the finest cheeses produced in the United States.

Women Invented Cheese re-examines the 144-year history of women’s role in cheese making at the Marin French Cheese Company. Adelia Lichau, who worked there for 62 years, graciously offered her deep knowledge of its social and labor history, bringing stories to life for this project.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


On June 21 at the closing reception of Terroir: A Sense of Place, Jim Boyce and Kris Otis (Cheese Factory owners and Art at the Cheese Factory sponsors) presented a bouquet of flowers and kudos to Patricia Watts for her outstanding role as curator. Everyone present celebrated the successful 3-month run.

The enthusiastic response to this exhibition of 28 bay area artists was a strong confirmation of the ACF vision. Three thousand visitors to the gallery expressed their interest and made significant donations to further our goal of 3 - three-month exhibitions per year. An additional 10,000 visitors enjoyed the outdoor sculptures and 4 participatory events. We even had an artist in residence for one week. Congratulations to all the artists who showed their work in this successful exhibition.

Claudia Chapline, President, Art at the Cheese Factory Board of Directors


ACF has received a grant from the William and Claire Isaacs Wahrhaftig Foundation, in memory of Judith Hoffberg, for funding the summer 2009 exhibiti
on, Shaping Matter, to be curated by Mary Eubank and Zea Morvitz.

ACF has a part-time, seasonal, employment opportunity (August through October 2009, and also spring, summer, fall of 2010) as follows:

VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR FOR NONPROFIT ARTS ORGANIZATION - working with curators for volunteer, docent recruitment and training, backup gallery sitting in old barn gallery, weekend exhibition liaison between public, board of directors, artists (Friday/Saturday/Sunday 11-4). $10 per hour. Contact: Claudia Chapline,, or (415) 868-2308.

lter Orion MIDDLE: Sonja Hinrichsen BOTTOM (L): Josh Keyes BOTTOM (R): Mari Andrews
TOP: Installation shot with Ann Weber foreground, Sharon Siskin (L), James Gouldthorpe (R) on walls.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Terroir is closing soon and we are wanting to spread the word, to invite those who have not yet seen the show, to attend:

Closing Reception
Sunday, June 21st, 3-5pm

This is
a "potluck" gathering, so bring some food/wine and a hand instrument if you like. We will celebrate solstice together before taking down the show. There will be free beer from Lagunita's and complimentary Rouge et Noir Schloss cheese and bread donated by the Marin French Cheese Company.

Themes of handmaking have shone brightly at Art at the Cheese Factory. Visitors to the factory, not always knowing that they are coming to see mostly conceptual contemporary art are usually intrigued with several art works in the show. Surprisingly a very simple piece by Oakland artist Lea Redmond entitled "Care Label," has inspired the most interaction in the gallery. A map of the world mounted on foam core with a table holding pins and scissors to cut your clothing label off, which you then pin on the country that it was made in. As you can see above, Asia is the winner for Californian's. Although, the USA and Central America is also fairly filled. Participants were then invited to replace their label with one created by the artist that makes statements about fair trade and honoring the earth (right).

Another work by Sarah Klein who performed The Bread Project at the Terroir opening in March also had a very popular installation in the gallery. A book with drawings made while baking and images from the bake sit next to a small refrigerator with containers filled with San Francisco sourdough starters, which are available for visitors to take home to feed/share/bake.

And, for the first week of June, Sonja Hinrichsen was artist-in-residence at the the cheese factory where she created an installation of embroidered leaves with words describing the surrounding lands sewn in the native language of upper Marin Miwok. Entitled "Miwok Means People," Hinrichsen spent several days researching and embroidering words like kotis, which means Black Oak. Also, lokla = valley, umpa = acorn, menani = yellowjacket, etc. On Saturday, June 6th, she then gave a talk and invited participants to visit her site work and add there own words in english. One person in the group, a botanist, identified the plant (Acanthus mollis), which is represented at the top of Corinthian columns, a native of Greece.

If you are interested to add your own words, yarn and needles are provided in the gallery at the front desk, as is the list of Miwok words that describe the terroir of the Marin French Cheese Factory.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sonja Hinrichsen to give presentation of her work Saturday June 6th at Noon in the ACF Gallery

Join Bay Area artist Sonja Hinrichsen for a presentation of her site work performed during her residency at the Cheese Factory the first week of June. Hinrichsen has studied with Joan Jonas in Germany and completed her MFA in New Genres at the
San Francisco Art Institute.

She has performed over twenty artist residencies internationally including the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming; Art Farm in Nebraska; and Djerassi in Woodside, California. Outside the USA she has done several residencies in Poland, Estonia, Holland, Slovakia and Spain.

Hinrichsen recently completed a residency at Anderson Ranch in Colorado.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Saturday's tour/tasting/screening was again a hit! Many people braved the rain to come hear more detailed explanations about the works in Terrior. Mark Brest van Kempen was on hand to talk about his outdoor installation entitled Lineaus Line, which has been dismantled. A straight line running from lake side across the fence and into the adjacent field with orange markers tagging plants both native and non-native along the way. Lewis de Soto was present as well to describe his very intricate process of piecing together multiple photographs digitally into one very high resolution, detailed landscape, from his series which conveys the crossroads of natural lands and viticulture. Sharon Siskin invited former Marin Cheese Factory worker Adelia Lichau, who she interviewed to create her installation Women Invented Cheese. Adelia provided Sharon with photographs and information for a timeline, documenting approximately 60 years of employment. The two were thrilled to get to know one another in the process. Jorge Bachman gave a brief explaination of Global Terroir (created with Jessica Resmond), a series of photographs of their kitchen counter covered with fruit stickers to remind them of how far away these foods were grown. Jorge is a sound artist who captured audio of various transportation modes such as trucks, trains, air freight; and the different languages of the people that grow and bring these foods to markets for a sound element (using headphones). Susan Leibovitz Steinman described her inspiration and impetus for creating a large wall painting using soil and water from the site to express the preciousness of top soil and her sense of place having recently spent time in China.

Following the tour, Claudia Tennyson offered up dozens of bottles of remedies with labels like memory, satisfaction, courage, vigor, contentment, joy, empathy, generosity, leap of faith, enchantment, delight, awareness, humor, and compassion. For an hour straight Claudia combined up to three different remedies for participant who roamed the gallery awaiting their transformations (Marin French Cheese Company owner Kris Otis left).

Following the tasting the Women Environmental Artist Directory (WEAD) showed the recent documentary released on Rachel Carson entitled "A Sense of Wonder." Only 55 minutes long, for the people who remained to watch the film, there was a sense of awe in hearing how dedicated Carson was to educating the public on the effects of pesticides in the environment, while taking care of an ill parent, an ill sibling, helping to raise a nephew, and battling cancer. Very inspiring.

Our next event is an artist residency at the Cheese Factory the first week of June when Sonja Hinrichsen arrives from Oakland (via a residency in Aspen) to spend several days getting a feel for the place. She will plan to sew the words that describe the surroundings on leaves with thread around the lake and picnic areas. If you are interested to work with Sonja to do this installation please contact Tricia Watts at for more information.

Friday, April 10, 2009

MAY 2ND Terroir EVENTS (in gallery)

2pm FREE


$12 donation to benefit ACF and WEAD

Join ACF on Saturday, May
2nd for an exciting afternoon of events including a Curator’s Tour of the exhibition Terroir: A Sense of Place with guest curator Patricia Watts (2pm), The Apothecary Project performed by Bay Area artist Claudia Tennyson (3pm), and film screening for “A Sense of Wonder,” on the life of Rachel Carson (4:30pm) sponsored by Women Environmental Artists Directory (WEAD).

About the Guest
Formerly Chief Curator at
the Sonoma County Museum in Santa Rosa, Patricia Watts is founder and west coast curator of ecoartspace, a nonprofit providing curatorial support for organizations seeking to address the human/nature interface through the visual arts.

About The Apothecary
Claudia Tennyson
’s ‘Apothecary Project’ was inspired by encounters with pharmacies in the Czech Republic. Participants are given the opportunity to select from a combination of flavor infused elixirs in an array of colorful labeled glass bottles prepared by the artist. This intervention seeks to repair what ails people, providing remedies that are positive including connection, delight, synchronicity, awe, etc. The "secret ingredients" are not formally revealed and the focus is placed on how the person is feeling.

About Sense of Wonder
Based on the l
ife and writings of environmentalist Rachel Carson, this 54 min film tells the story of a woman’s love for the natural world and her fight to defend it. Rachel Carson’s 1962 book, Silent Spring (1962), alerted the world to the dangers of chemical pesticides and launched the modern environmental movement. In this film acclaimed actress Kaiulani Lee portrays Miss Carson during the last year of her life. For more information go to:

About WEAD
Focusing on women’s unique perspectives, Women Environmental Artists Directory works online and in public programs to further the field and understanding of ecological and social justice art. Inclusive of a diverse range of conceptual, functional, studio and public art, WEAD links 250+ international women art professionals to educators, curators, writers, administrators, scientists and others. Produced by a volunteer Board of activist artists, WEAD is planning to launch a boldly redesigned, expanded website this summer.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

REPORT Opening Reception Events

Stunned is the word that captures the response to the opening reception for the Art at the Cheese Factory board and guest curator Patricia Watts. It appears that up to 600 people came to the opening events on Sunday between Noon and 5pm and most likely another 500 people came to the Marin Cheese Factory that did not even know about it. There were families picnicking along side the temporary outdoor installations (these pictures will be posted on the Facebook Art at the Cheese Factory group page soon) outdoors, of which some of these cheese adventurers came back to the old barn/gallery to see what was going on. And, what was going on was a community pot luck and bicycle composting event organized by Wowhaus from Noon till 3pm; a bread bake near the cheese shop where Sarah Klein prepared and baked several rounds and loafs of mostly locally grown ingredients in a beautiful wood burning oven; and to top it all off, servings of various cow and goat cheeses from the Marin French Cheese Company were served by owner Jim Boyce himself! Many visitors came from the greater Bay Area including as far away as Jenner in Sonoma County, Oakland, San Francisco, and other places up to an hour or more away. It was a sunny, cool and windy day with picturesque green hills rolling for miles. It appears the press release worked as the show was listed in most all the local papers, SF Chronicle, and North Bay Bohemian.

We encourage you to invite friends from the city or the country that you have not seen for awhile to meet you at the Cheese Factory to see the show, have a picnic, and enjoy the Terroir!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


March 20 – Exhibition open to the public
March 22 – Opening Reception Events
12-3pm - MIX: Wowhaus Bicycle Composter/potluck (Lakeside)
12-5pm - The Bread Project with Sarah Klein (Cheese Factory)
3-5pm - Wine and Cheese Reception (Gallery)

May 2 – Tour and Tasting Event
2pm - Curator’s tour with Patricia Watts (Gallery)
3pm - The Apothecary with Claudia Tennyson (Gallery)
4:30pm - WEAD Screening of A Sense of Wonder (Gallery)
June 6 - Artist Talk
Noon - Sonja Hinrichsen (Gallery)
June 21 – Last day of exhibition

3-5pm - Closing reception

Open to the public + FREE

Exhibition hours: 12 to 5
Daily Outdoors and Friday, Saturday, Sunday Indoors

Terroir: A Sense of Place
is the inaugural exhibition for an exciting new venue in Marin County at The Marin French Cheese Company. Included are twenty-eight artists from around the Bay Area whose work presents a unique perspective of our relationship with the land. Most people have heard the word Terroir used in reference to describing distinct wine appellations. Originally a French term, it expresses the special characteristics that a specific landscape contributes to growing foods; like the soil, the weather conditions and the farming techniques. For this exhibition, the definition has been co-opted to express the Sense of Place that these artists experience of nature. Their work reveals elemental, cultural, ecological, and social layers that expands on the agricultural characteristics of Terroir.

Both indoor and outdoor works include temporary and permanent installations and interactive events, and photography, painting, sculpture and sound work indoors. Artists include: Adriane Colburn, Ann Weber, Benicia Gantner, Caitlin McCaffrey, Claudia Tennyson, Edwin Hamilton, Emily Payne, James Gouldthorpe, Jessica Resmond, Jorge Bachman, Josh Keyes, Judith Selby Lang, Lawrence LaBianca, Lea Redmond, Lewis de Soto, Mari Andrews, Mark Brest van Kempen, Meadowsweet Dairy, Michael Mellon, Philip Krohn, Sarah Klein, Sarah Pedlow, Sharon Siskin, Sonja Hinrichsen, Susan Leibovitz Steinman, Suzanne Biaggi, Walter Orion, Wowhaus.

Guest Curator, Patricia Watts of ecoartspace

Guest Juror, Sam Bower of greenmuseum

Thursday, February 5, 2009

About Art at the Cheese Factory (ACF)

ACF is a tax-exempt public benefit organization currently headed by Claudia Chapline (Stinson Beach) to present contemporary art in collaboration with Marin and Sonoma venues. ACF’s mission is to enhance community life by presenting indoor and outdoor art exhibitions and events that combine work by artists of national and international reputation with work by regional artists. email

Board of Directors: Christian Anthony, Claudia Chapline, Etta Deikman, Joe Fox, Kristin Otis

Our first three exhibitions were at the Marin French Cheese Company, a 700 acre ranch and historic factory (operating continuously for 145 years), with over 150,000 visitors each year. The owners, Jim Boyce and Kristin Otis transformed a historic barn in 2005 into an exhibition space to show works by the late painter Jesse Reichek. During their current ownership transition, ACF is moving out into the community to a variety of venues for each new presentation. In June, 2010, ACF presented its first off-site exhibition at the new Marin Arts Gallery. 2011 plans include an environmentally themed exhibition at Gallery Route One in Point Reyes Station.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Directions to Marin French Cheese Factory

Coming from San Francisco North Hwy. 101

  1. At Novato take the Atherton/ San Marin exit.
  2. At the light turn Left on San Marin Dr.
  3. Follow San Marin Dr. approximately 2 ½ miles to Novato Blvd.
  4. Turn Right on Novato Blvd. And go 7 ½ miles
    until it dead ends into Pt. Reyes/Petaluma Rd.
  5. Turn Left on Pt. Reyes-Petaluma Rd. and go 1/3 of a mile just past the firehouse on the Right side.

Coming from Santa Rosa South Hwy. 101

  1. Take the E. Washington St. Exit (2nd exit)
  2. At the light turn Right on E. Washington St.
  3. Follow E. Washington St. to the 3rd stoplight and turn Left on Lakeville Street.
  4. Turn Right at the next light on "D" Street.
  5. Follow "D" Street 11 miles until you see the only Firehouse. We are just after the Firehouse on the Right side.