"Keep It to Yourself" in Lake Tahoe at Sierra Nevada University

Posted on February 23, 2020

I am pleased to open a solo show titled "Keep It to Yourself" at the Garage Door Galley at Sierra Nevada University in Incline Village, NV on February 27, 2020


Reception Feb. 27 from 5-7 pm

Artist Talk at 5:30 pm Feb 27

Show closed early due to Covid


For more info please visit


About the show:

Grass Valley Artist Serena Cole’s body of work centers around the female figure and is based on the reconstruction of found imagery from pop culture, art history, and current events. Her highly detailed mixed media artwork revisits classic tropes from the history of painting such as beauty, death, and the still life. She uses these traditional formats as metaphors to examine what it feels like to be female person living in America today.

By collaging disparate imagery, Cole creates inner dialogs and interior worlds within emotive figures who remain silent and uninterested in participating as traditional painting subjects of desire. As the exhibition title suggests, each figure shares the common bond of things unsaid or silenced; burning emotions, indignation, and stark loneliness. The title also conjures patriarchal values of being seen and not heard and of keeping one’s emotions to oneself, but also a survival mode of preserving one’s inner self as a steely tomb.

Reframing images of anonymous contemporary women with historical artworks such as Willem DeKooning’s Woman and popular culture references such as a scene from the movie Carrie, she examines imagery of women throughout time and considers how they may shape our present day expectations. In painted still lives of funerary flowers well past their initial promise, flowers also become figurative symbols of failure to participate in an intended role of an exquisite object. Cole considers each piece an avatar of herself, creating a uniquely personal exhibition that invites reflection from the broader audience on female-hood in the current political climate.

Exhibition in Sacramento, CA

Posted on October 20, 2019

I'll be showng recent work in a solo exhibtion Demoiselles at WAL Public Market Gallery opening Friday, November 1 from 6-8 at 1104 R St in downtown Sacramento. Come say hello!


Exhibition in Portland at Stephanie Chefas

Posted on October 02, 2018

I'm excited to announce I will have a solo exhibition at Stephanie Chefas Gallery in Portland, OR on February 1, 2019! Curated by Gabe Scott, I will be showing several new pieces I am currently working on in my studio!



Interview in Juxtapoz Summer 2018 Issue

Posted on May 31, 2018

I'm excited to be featured in the Summer 2018 issue of Juxtapoz magazine! Special thanks to Gabe Scott for the interview and Graham Holoch for the photo shoot. I am pleased to share pages with Oli Epp, Lamar Peterson, KOAK, Jeffrey Cheung, and Monica Kim Garza. You can buy the issue here .



Categories: press, interview

Feature Article in the Marin Independent Journal

Posted on March 14, 2018

I'm so honored to be featured in this article written by Vicki Larson in the Marin Independent Journal! 




You can read the article here 

Categories: press, new work, interview

Solo Exhibition at Artworks Downtown March 2-April 13!

Posted on March 04, 2018

Please join me at the reception for my solo exhibition What It Feels Like For a Girl at Artworks Downtown in San Rafael, CA on Friday, March 9 from 5-8 pm!

The exhibition will be on view through Friday, April 13

March 2–April 13, 2018
Receptions: March 9 • 5–8pm + April 13 • 5–8pm
Artist Talk: March 10, 11am


Bay Area artist Serena Cole presents What It Feels Like For a Girl, a body of work based on the appropriation and reconstruction of found imagery from fashion, art history, and current events. Cole's highly detailed mixed media artwork continues tropes from the history of painting such as the female figure and the still life. She uses these traditional formats as metaphors to examine what it feels like to be female living in America today. Uncanny, forward-facing and often distraught expressions of her portraits give autonomy to the figures who can see the viewer seeing them. Still life flowers continue reflections upon expectations of beauty and explore profound and inevitable failure as the flowers droop and fade. Cole considers each piece an avatar of herself, creating a uniquely personal exhibition of self-portraiture that invites reflection from the broader audience on female-hood in the current political climate. 
Serena Cole received her Master of Fine Arts degree in 2011 from the California College of the Arts. Her work has been exhibited widely including exhibitions at Hinterconti in Hamburg, Germany; the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco; Soo Visual Arts Center in Minneapolis; and Phillips de Pury and Dodge Gallery in New York. 
For information about the exhibition please contact Stan Gibbs at Artworks Downtown 

TAKEOVER: SF Art Exhibition Opens November 18 at Alter Space Gallery in San Francisco!

Posted on November 08, 2017



November 18- 25, 2017

Opening reception: Saturday, November 18, 2017 7-10 pm

1158 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA

Alter Space Gallery


Please join us for TAKEOVER: San Francisco, a group exhibition featuring artwork by female and non-binary artists, in conjunction with the official release of TAKEOVER Art Zine, a publication organized by artist Serena Cole.

Initiated during the misogynist and xenophobic presidential campaign of Donald Trump, TAKEOVER Art Zine serves to rectify the ongoing lack of recognition for young female and gender non-binary artists in contemporary galleries, museums, and by art critics. The publication showcases outstanding contemporary artwork by female and genderqueer artists, and creates an opportunity to foster important conversations about what it means to be a female or non-binary artist in the context of a misogynistic political regime. TAKEOVER ‘zine features the artwork and writings of thirty-six artists and one curator, and is available at .

From November 18 to 25 2017, thirty of the artists from the ‘zine will exhibit their work in TAKEOVER: San Francisco at Alter Space Gallery. Copies of the publication will be available for purchase at the gallery.

 The artists included in the exhibition are: Ace Lehner, Bean Gilsdorf, Bruna Massadas, Cate Nelson, Christina Empedocles, Danielle Lawrence, Elise Irving, Elizabeth Russell, Em Meine, Jamie Vasta, Julie Henson, Kate Nartker, Kim Bennett, Koak, Kristin Farr, Lana Licata, Leah Thomason Bromberg, Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo, Marci Washington, Mary Anne Kluth, Megan Reed, Melissa Dickenson, Mia Christopher, Rema Ghuloum, Sarah Thibault, Serena Cole, Sky Shapero, Sydney Cohen, Teresa Baker, Tracy Timmins. The exhibition is curated by TAKEOVER founder Serena Cole.

TAKEOVER Art Zine Pre-Release at the San Francisco Art Book Fair July 21-23

Posted on July 22, 2017


I am very pleased to announce that my high quality art zine TAKEOVER is finally out and available as a Pre-Release at the San Francisco Art Book Fair July 21-23 at the Gallery 16 booth at the Minnesota Street Project ! 


TAKEOVER is an 100+ page art zine project I created as a means of showcasing outstanding contemporary artwork by female and genderqueer artists which is often under-recognized, as well as an opportunity to foster important conversations about what it means to be a female or gender non-binary person today. TAKEOVER features artwork and thoughts by 36 artists and 1 curator working from a variety of locations such as London, New York City, Portland, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Beaumont, TX. 
Participants include Teresa Baker, Kim Bennett, Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo, Mia Christopher, Sydney Cohen, Serena Cole, Melissa Dickenson, Christina Empedocles, Kristin Farr, Terri Friedman, Rema Ghuloum, Bean Gilsdorf, Stef Halmos, Julie Henson, Elise Irving, Mary Anne Kluth, Koak, Danielle Lawrence, Ace Lehner, Lana Licata, Bruna Massadas, Brigid Mason, Em Meine, Ashley Stull Meyers, Maysha Mohamedi, Kate Nartker, Cate Nelson, Crystal Quinn, Megan Reed, Elizabeth Russell, Sky Shapero, Sarah Thibault, Leah Thomason Bromberg, Tracy Timmins, Jamie Vasta, Marci Washington, and Carmen Winant.
Please contact me at for more information and stay tuned for a release party and art exhibition!


Serena Cole: "Let Me Look at You" Opens at Gallery 16 this Friday, May 13!

Posted on May 12, 2016

I'm excited to share the information about my new solo exhibition at Gallery 16 in San Francisco, CA!

Please join me for the opening on Friday, May 13 from 6-9 at 501 Third St., SF

The show will be on view until June 30, 2016


Gallery 16 is proud to announce our first solo exhibition with Bay Area artist Serena Cole. Cole, has become well known for her work as a portraitist. As a painter, she utilizes the traditions of draftsmanship and portraiture to emphasize the idea of individual experience and alienation. She is interested in what the tropes of modern identity reveal about our collective psychology, the culture of consumption and escapism, and the complexity of fantasy. Her skills as a portraitist put her in the vanguard of artists working in the medium today. She combines watercolor, gouache and gold leaf to render opulent and disquieting portraits. “I’m fascinated by the idea that we all want to be someone else, but the person we want to be also wants to be someone else.” Cole's work has been in a numerous private collections around the country and has been included in exhibitions at Phillips de Pury, New York, NY,  Soo Visual Arts Center, Minneapolis, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, Mark Moore Gallery, Culver City, CA.

For a preview of Serena's work, check out her catalog here:

Work in Progress for May 13 Show at Gallery 16 in San Francisco

Posted on April 10, 2016





I have been working hard on this beast for my upcoming show at Gallery 16! 

Please join me for the opening on Friday, May 13th from 6-9 pm



Art in the Works Solo Show in May!

Posted on February 07, 2016

I have many pieces in the works in my studio in preparation for an upcoming exhibition titled "Let Me Look at You". I'm thrilled to be showing alongside artist Libby Black, who will also be exhibiting a solo show concurrently at Gallery 16 in San Francisco, CA. Hope to see you in May, 2016!




Categories: new work, upcoming shows

Upcoming Show "Alchemy" curated by Monica Canilao at Inner State Gallery in Detroit July 10

Posted on May 24, 2015

I'm excited to be in a large group show curated by artist Monica Canilao titled "Alchemy" at Interstate Gallery in Detroit, MI from July 10th-August 8th, 2015. Over forty artists will each present two pieces that relate in some way to alchemy. 


Jug Life: New Contemporary Still Life May 22-June 28 at Park Life Gallery in San Francisco, CA

Posted on May 24, 2015

I have a new piece in a fun show curated by artists Andrew Schoultz and Patrick Martinez called "Jug Life: New Contemporary Still Life" at Park Life Gallery in the Mission District of San Francisco, CA. The show features work from over 70 artists and is packed with great pieces by Libby Black, Michelle Blade, Conrad Ruiz, Hilary Pecis, Tracy Timmins, and many more! 

The show opened on May 22nd and will be up until June 28th, 2015


Categories: new work, art openings