Profile Photo

Rainey Straus

  • 17 Woodland Ave, San Rafael, CA 94901, USA
Membership Level: Early Registration - Open Studios 2022

About The Artist

Artist Statement

My practice is a search for connection and intimacy with place. I visit sites repeatedly over time to embody the seasons, know the flora and fauna and participate in the complex entangled world around me. The land is both my laboratory and guide.

I was drawn to the cameraless cyanotype process for this recent body of work. Using simple salts and the sun to make images with nature feels deeply coherent to me — a nested methodology.

I work out in the woods. I’m swaying, the paper is shifting, the world is stirring. It’s a dance, an improv, a moment of which gets captured by the sun. It’s later in the studio that I gather these energies together to tell a larger story, a dream that expresses the choreography of these combined heartbeats.


The question I continually return to in these days of climate crisis is stated unapologetically by Lisa Wells in Believers, Making a Life at the End Of the World, “the world is burning; how, then shall we live?” I believe the answers can be found in re-situating the human within the flow of the sensuous living world. In cultivating relationships – with particular places, plants, animals, and ecosystems – we grow more intimate, more present, expanding our awareness of what is at risk, what is lost, and finally beginning to know how we might live.

I collaborate with nature to challenge my human habits and assumptions and to see with fresh eyes. I am at heart, a researcher. I chase the dialogues, energies, and patterns that emerge across the human-to-more-human exchange.

I’ve arrived here after years away from my formal art praxis; time spent working in design and technology. I have a BFA from the State University at Purchase and an MFA from California College of the Arts. While my earlier creative practice explored the impact of technology on the body/mind, this current inquiry is more at the root, an attempt to shift away from the dualistic anthropocentric stance that currently frames all dominant world stories (including technology). I’m unsure if this approach fits the delineated art world of galleries, collectors, and commodities, nor am I concerned, after all our current structures and methodologies are failing, the world is burning.

Art Medium(s)

Watercolor, Photography, Mixed Media, Sculpture

Studio Information

Special Location Or Visiting Instructions

2nd Floor Studio

COVID Precautions

Contact Information

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


Group logo of Weekend 2:  May 7-8
Weekend 2: May 7-8
Public Group