Past Artists in Residence

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Erin McCluskey Wheeler (2018)

Wheeler is known for her bright, tropical-colored works that employ a meticulous assemblage of found papers often bound together with looping brushstrokes. With both an abstract and graphic style, Erin's works are sometimes symbolic or whimsical, and play with ideas of nostalgia and visual memories in a narrative context. Erin both sources found materials and creates her own painted paper collage.

ECCRU Artist Erin McCluskey Wheeler

Wheeler said, “I am interested in working with a wide range of paper materials from printed magazines, envelopes, photographs, and books. I am also interested in working with cases and containers of any material - items that once held medicine, speakers, appliances, recipes, etc. I create shadow boxes and dioramas from boxes and cases. My shadow boxes are a modern take on the work of Joseph Cornell and like his work, take small toys, photographic images, wood, and glass to create dreamlike tiny worlds.”

Wheeler has a B.A. in studio art, and a B.A. in art history (magna cum laude) from Beloit, and an M.F.A. in writing from California College of the Arts. Her work is widely collected as both prints and originals. She is a member of the El Cerrito Art Association and won first prize in mixed media in the 2017 El Cerrito Art Association Annual Exhibit. Erin teaches art classes with the Center for Community Arts in Walnut Creek and assists with public programs and events at the UC Botanical Garden. Erin was raised in the Richmond Annex and continues to reside and work in the Annex with her daughter, two cats, and a turtle.

Sandy Drobny (2017)

About her work, Drobny said, “I enjoy showcasing the use of recycled or found materials in my work, and I am incredibly adept at seeing artistic potential in a multitude of objects. I am a weaver, and I work with repurposed materials. I want people to see that weaving is not just an ancient pursuit, but it is alive and well in this century. I want to engage the public, and educate them about creative reuse as well as weaving as an art form.”

ECCRU Artist Sandy Drobny

She also said, “My inspirational muse, in recent years, has been the humble, ubiquitous plastic shopping bag. Seemingly useless, and easily discarded, the bags are transformed through weaving into vibrant lengths of cloth. I began weaving with plastic bags in an attempt to call attention to the needless waste perpetuated by their existence. As an artist, I always let the materials speak to me, so who knows? Depending on what’s found, my artwork may veer in a different direction altogether.”

Drobny has previously done art residencies at Recology and at St. Vincent de Paul. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Design from UC Davis and an Associate degree in Arts, Apparel Design and Merchandising from the College of Alameda. She also has years of experience as an art teacher and weaving instructor.