Mandy Behrens lives in Berkeley, California with her husband and teenage daughters where she splits her time between stay-at-home parenting and the studio. At nearly 50 and with a marketing career and countless school volunteer hours behind her, she is gaining momentum in the race to bring her stories to life through art. She is honored to be a participating artist in the Bedford Gallery's The World of Frida juried show this summer and is eager to experiment with acid mine drainage pigments produced from the Toxic Art project co-sponsored by artist and environmentalist John Sabraw.
Mandy relishes in the journey of creating each work of art, each collection. Once an idea is launched, she unapologetically approaches her research with fervor. Equally electrifying is her pursuit of just the right materials to aptly reveal her story--roadblocks, winding roads and all!
Mandy gravitates toward neutral palettes with splashes of color unless the work commands bolder. Her stories come to life primarily in 2D and some of her favorite storytelling materials include colored pencil, ink, oils, eco-friendly textiles, hot-press paper, and cradled wood panels. On occasion, she incorporates unexpected materials into her pieces such as brewed coffee, US Army-regulation gauze circa 1953, and most recently, wire. Viewers of Mandy's work should lean in for a closer view of the subtle imperfections so often intentionally placed.
B. 1968, Denver, Colorado
1990 B.S. Business Administration/Marketing, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
Branding, Advertising, Creative Writing, Public Relations, Trade Show Marketing, Event Planning and Design, Fundraising, e-commerce, Social Media
2018 "The World of Frida", Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek, CA - July 8-September 16
2016 "#CautionMayBeHot", Long Weekend Gallery, Oakland, CA & Fayes, San Francisco, CA.
2016 "Not a Lemon", Scott Ellsworth Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
2015 "#STRIKEAWAY Show", Paxton Gate Curiosities For Kids, San Francisco, CA.
2015 "Strikeaway Lanes" included in #STRIKEAWAY Show feature, The Jealous Curator
2011 "Drink up these Kitchen Colorants", one of the10 Most Popular DIYs of 2011, Poppytalk
My life in Berkeley thus far
Our family moved to the Bay Area in 2014 following Intuit's acquisition of my husband's start-up, Full Slate. Soon after the dust settled, I sought to make connections with local artists. I signed up for some fabulous workshops at Handcraft Studio School where I met kindred spirits and honed my craft. I carved wooden spoons, stitched traditional Hungarian embroidery patterns, practiced modern calligraphy, brushed up on my blockprinting skills, and created beautiful art through image transfers. From there I discovered Creativebug and immediately purchased a membership for access to thousands of online arts and crafts classes (I renew yearly!). I also cultivated lasting friendships through my participation in several enriching community art projects and group shows. During this time I also enrolled in Lisa Solomon's "The Artist Packet" class and devoured Lisa Congdon's "ART Inc., The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist" for help formalizing my art career. Aside from art, I've attended music festivals, received a fast education in competitive rock climbing, begun the college tour circuit with my eldest, embraced the quirky Berkeley vibe, spent roughly a year's time recuperating from major surgery, and helped plan and design a school auction. I also spent three amazing weeks in China with my family revisiting our daughters' birthplaces. Consider me grateful.
Random facts about me
I never turn down a trip to a salvage yard or thrift store. I have an unhealthy obsession with office supplies and mid-century desk accessories. I wrote and starred in a few Denver-area television commercials. I could survive on buttered popcorn alone. My first "published" artwork was a yearbook cover drawn in 4th grade. I credit my mom, Relda Jane Fossett, for my artistic talents and passion for craftsmanship. I love giving art supplies as gifts. I've won my fantasy football league's championship, three times! I've loved art ever since I watched "P is for Painting" on Sesame Street (go ahead, google it.) I want to try everything in John Seymour's book, "The Forgotten Arts and Crafts." I wish I was a better cook but at least I can make a killer pot of my grandmother's chicken pasole. And I dream of showing my art in galleries and dining with friends afterwards.
You can find more information about Mandy here.