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The Max Thelen Studio Residency

The Max Thelen Studio is a studio residency program generously funded by the Fenwick Foundation in commemoration of Max Thelen Jr. The residency aims to support emerging artists by providing free studio space, exhibition opportunity, and exposure to the public for one year. 

Hayley Samantha Jensen Worlds Apart 

Worlds Apart ©  Hayley Samantha Jensen
photographed by Collin Pollard

Hayley Samantha Jensen

The Max Thelen Studio Residency

painting, video, neon, sculpture

Hayley Samantha Jensen, originally from New Orleans, recently graduated from San Francisco Art Institute with an MFA in Studio Art. She works through thoughtful play in her work, finding enchantment and sadness in the intricacies of environmental assemblages. While she focuses on painting, she also works with video, neon, and sculpture.


"My work references the spectral dimension of existence, finding kinship with nonhumans and fostering prismatic hope in the dark. Plastic materials provoke and complicate to subvert the image further into the complex depths of interconnection. Through plastic's past, I recognize it's ghosts and memorialize their lives as kin through colorful play. I engage in a conversation around animism, playing with its vibrancy and demystifying it in order to informally hang out with animism as an idea, as a solution, and mourn with it for the human inflictions of preceding and proceeding violence. Through challenging anthropocentric ideologies, I provide a platform to engage in solidarity with nonhuman entities, locking eyes and connecting the innately connected."


Naomi Alessandra

Naomi Alessandra TUSSLE

Tussle  ©  Naomi Alessandra

The Max Thelen Studio Residency

watercolor, pen & ink, multimedia

Naomi Alessandra studied comparative literature before embarking on a career in fashion illustration and design. Recently she has turned her attention to telling visual stories on a more substantial scale with large works on paper and hand-painted animations. 

“I am interested in the portrayal of the inconsistencies, aberrations, and inherent dynamism of my subjects. Any story worth telling contains characters who embody contradictory impulses, and who mutate depending on the perspective from which they are examined. The multiplicity of the human experience and the impossibility of collapsing a human story into a single narrative fascinates me—that impossibility itself is the story I seek to tell. Visually, this translates into my practice of shoving multiple points of view, varied moments in time, or paradoxical character attributes into one frame.”



Lara Myers The 36 Houses I Have Lived In From Memory Alone

The 138 Houses We Lived In When We Were 10, Drawn From Memory Alon e ©  Lara Myers 

Lara Myers

The Max Thelen Studio Residency

documentary installation art

Lara Myers is an Army brat, the godchild of a Charo back-up singer, a former dancer for the San Francisco band, ArmaGetItOn, and a documentary visual artist who calls Marin County her home. 

In the past two years, her work has been shown at Art Works Downtown in three juried shows: ShelterClimate Change; and Marin Contemporary; and in her Underground Gallery solo show, The 138 Houses We Lived In When We Were 10, Drawn From Memory Alone.

Her materials and techniques vary greatly between her projects, from needlefelting, soft sculpture, and work that enlists the participation and content contribution from other people, such as The 138 Houses installation and the current 9/11 recollection project, An Exact Moment In Time.

“I want to involve people in the process of artmaking by revealing my thought process and working process; demonstrating and allowing people to try each technique; and by encouraging people to convey their stories, memories, recollections and experiences, and then see them translated into collaborative art installations.”

“I need to discover what type of and how much participation, interaction, and contribution people are willing to do in an art project. My self-challenge is to push this type of work to its limits and the Max Thelen Studio Residency at Art Works Downtown is the perfect opportunity and place to do so.”   

Urn sculpture by Meg Regelous
Urn sculpture © Meg Regelous 

Meg Regelous

The Max Thelen Studio Residency

drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics

Meg Regelous, a resident of Novato, has studied full-time at the College of Marin for the past five years enrolled in art studio classes in drawing, oil painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, photography, and jewelry. 

"I create work from my heart, and what comes of that can be sweet, haunting, or frightfully intimate. I make each piece deliberately and often obsessively, drawing from the beauty and visually rich reality in which I have grown up. I take advantage of pursuing an interdisciplinary course as one media feeds into the other in inspiring ways. For instance, printmaking techniques and painting are integral parts of my ceramic sculptures. However, the cornerstone of my practice has always been drawing and it feeds into each of my endeavors."

The Max Thelen Studio Residency is made possible with the financial support of the Fenwick Foundation.






Lauren Bartone DropStitch
Drop Stitch © 2014 Lauren Bartone, acrylic painting on collage pile of papers, 8.5" x 11".

Lauren Bartone

The Max Thelen Studio Residency

drawing, painting, social practice


Lauren Bartone is an artist and educator based in San Rafael, California. Her work is grounded in an interdisciplinary balance of painting, collective dialogue, and community work. Most recently her work has considered social patterns and divisions as they pertain to education, motherhood and daily life in her community. She has shown work in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Vermont and New York.