Profile Photo

Rainey Straus

  • 17 Woodland Ave, San Rafael, CA 94901, USA

About The Artist

Artist Statement

I collaborate with the more-than-human world to tell new stories. Building intimacy with specific places allows me to challenge my human habits and assumptions and move beyond the veil of human exceptionalism at a critical time on the planet. I am at heart a researcher but one that takes a non-representational approach.

My current body of work uses the historical, cameraless cyanotype process. Using simple salts and the sun to make images with nature feels deeply coherent to me — a nested methodology. My process involves walking sites repeatedly to experience the changing seasons, the unique flora and fauna, and to participate in the complex entangled world around me. At each location or point along a trail, I produce a number of cyanotypes that reveal the diversity, connections, and histories such as fire that have shaped the site. It’s later in the studio where the compositions materialize to tell a story of the energies and patterns that emerge from this dialogue. Sections of the work may at times look like a tree or plant but the final image reflects no actual place in nature but is the result of the generous environment combined with my human response. Out in the woods, I’m swaying, the paper is shifting, the world is stirring. It’s a dance, an improv, a duet that creates an artifact embodying these relationships. My hope is that these resilient stories of more-than-human exchange serve as an invitation to the critical inquiry of how we might live on a changing planet.


After many years spent working as a user experience designer and researcher in tech, Rainey has returned to art practice. Earlier work explored the impact of technology on the body/mind and the world of computer games as art while her current inquiry turns away from human exceptionalism collaborating with the more-than-human world. Rainey’s work has been shown at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, the San Jose Museum of Art, and the Design Exchange Museum in Toronto, Canada. Rainey has been a resident at the Vermont Studio Center as an Artist’s grant recipient.  Select publications include Aeonian Magazine Online, Sculpture Magazine, Rhizome Online, Videogames and Art, edited by Andy Clarke and Grethe Mitchell, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the San Jose Mercury News. Rainey holds a BFA in Painting from SUNY Purchase and an MFA in Sculpture from the California College of the Arts. She lives on the land of the Coast Miwok in present-day Marin county in Northern California.

Art Medium(s)

Mixed Media, Photography, Sculpture, Watercolor

Studio Information

Special Location Or Visiting Instructions

2nd Floor Studio

COVID Precautions

Contact Information

Artist Full Name
Contact Email Address


Exhibitions & Press

Group Exhibitions

SimVeillance, Edge Conditions, The San Jose Museum of Art, ISEA 2006, San Jose, CA
Grrls, Chicks, Sisters & Squaws, Let Citoyennes du Cyberspace, MAWA, Winnipeg, Canada

IMC Expo at the Chelsea Museum, New York, New York
Entermultimediale.2 (Festival of new media art), Prague, Czech Republic

Performance Night, Works Gallery, San Jose, CA
New Fangle, GenArts, San Francisco, CA
Digifest, The Design Exchange Museum, Toronto,
Canada Game Scenes, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA
Erotic LA, The Erotic Museum, Los Angeles, CA Virtual Galleries, Timeexpo Museum, Waterbury, CN

(Solo) Aphasia, Gallery 364 Hayes, San Francisco, CA
1111 – MFA Exhibition California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA

5 At Eye Level, Rizzoli Gallery, San Francisco, CA
“I don’t know much about art, but…,” Live Culture Gallery, Oakland, CA

San Francisco Open Studios, San Francisco, CA

Recent Work, Crucible Steel Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Gen Art Tour, with Sally Cote at San Francisco Open Studios, San Francisco, CA
Selections ‘98, The Academy of Art Gallery, San Francisco, CA


Honorable Mention, Adobe Emerging Artists Award, Zero One/ISEA: Global Festival of Art on the Edge
Electronic Arts Project Support Grant

New Voices Winner Digifest

Artist’s Grant Recipient – The Vermont Studio Center
San Francisco Art Council Grant finalist


Ho, Yin, Speaking in Blobjects: A Conversation with Katherine Isbister and Rainey Straus, Rhizome, February 13, 2012

Clarke, Andy and Mitchell, Grethe, Videogames and Art, Intellect Books

Antonucci, Mike, San Jose meets the Sims, San Jose Mercury News, August 5, 2006
Winn, Steven, It’s hard to tell where pixels end and reality begins, San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 6, 2006

Casolari, Pierluigi, Interview with Rainey Straus and Katherine Isbister

Casolari, Pierluigi, “Vista la SimGallery”, Glamour Magazine (Italian edition), Dec. 2004 2003
Cohn, Terri, “Rainey Straus”, Sculpture Magazine, October 2003
Bianco, Alessandro Piana, “Ten Questions on the SimGallery Project”,

Colin, Berry, “Featured Open Studio Artist”, CitySearch7 online
Colin, Berry, “Recent Work at Crucible Steel Gallery”, CitySearch7 online



MFA Sculpture, California College of the Arts


BFA Painting, State University of New York at Purchase

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