“A fabulous instructor, gorgeous venue, wonderful staff, great fellow artists...what's not to love?”


Our gallery and workshop spaces are in the historic Benicia Arsenal in Benicia, California. The arsenal is a large area comprised of many former military buildings, and the building we inhabit is a stately brick structure built in 1878.

The Arsenal has a long history of artists working in it, including Robert Arneson and Judy Chicago (who created the Birth Project here). Continuing in this tradition, the majority of spaces in the Arsenal are now artist studios and creative businesses, who thrive in the inspirational and lofty spaces. Spend a few hours or a whole weekend with us in Benicia, where you’ll find plenty of dining options, shops and antique stores on Benicia’s waterfront First Street, just a 3 minute drive from the historic Benicia Arsenal.

Dining: Dining in Benicia on Yelp here | Directions to First Street dining from Arsenal here

Hotels: Hotels + BnB here. | AirBnB here.

Map + Directions: Driving directions to gallery and workshops here.

Upcoming Benicia Workshops


Sept 20, 21 + 22 / Shem's 3-over-3 Abstraction By Design

Sept 20, 21 + 22 / Shem's 3-over-3 Abstraction By Design


“I had an excellent time at Shem’s workshop! Shem really took the time to walk us through the process of “Abstraction by Design” His one on one approach really helped in times I felt I was creatively stuck. I would definitely recommend his workshop and look forward to future opportunities!”

“The 3 over 3 workshop taught by Shem at the Jen Tough Gallery creative space was a fantastic. Shem has a supportive, enthusiastic teaching style that he adapts to the individual needs of each person. He is generous with sharing what he has learned over his many years of experience yet is not overly prescriptive in his instruction. Jen provides a beautiful space, delicious lunch and is available throughout the class to address any needs that come up. Highly recommend!”

One of the gallery’s most sought after instructors and a favorite of collectors and students alike, Shem will be teaching for three full days this September. This is a very special class you don’t want to miss… Fun and informative, supportive and enlightening are words that others have used to describe Shem’s workshops. 

In this 3- day  workshop you will be creating a modular (3 over 3)  panel installation. As with our past triptych workshops, each panel should work on their own  and be integral to the installation as well.  We will establish a limited color palette with both our collage papers and paint. This parameter allows us to fully focus on our design, mark making and  balance skills, as well as permit a manageable interplay between our panels.

Students will leave the workshop with a in-depth knowledge of Shem’s techniques and materials to use in their own studio practice. Because the number of students is limited to 12, there will be a lot of one-on-one instruction opportunities. This class is appropriate for both beginning students who wish to learn techniques, or returning students who wish to refine skills with more personalized instruction.

About the Instructor: Shemchuk “Shem”, known for his multi-layered mixed media works on panel, is a Bay Area artist with decades of experimental art making experience. A career dating from the 1980’s includes photography, installation, paint- ing, mixed media and a commitment to art mentoring and instruction. He is represented by Jen Tough Gallery.

“Excellent instruction and I’m excited about the possibilities unlocked over the course of the workshop. I’ll be mining them for years to come.”

Class will run 10:00-4:00 each day. Doors open at 9:30 AM each day.

Limited to 12 students.

Lunch: We offer a delivered lunch from one restaurant (with limited selections) each day for $20, payable each morning of class. Students are also welcome to bring their own lunch and store in the refrigerator, or take a longer break and drive to Benicia’s First Street, 2 minutes away, for a variety of dining options.

Unlimited + free bottled waters, coffee and tea (bring your own carafe or mug). Sodas and sparkling waters available for $1 each.

Materials to bring:

6- 16”x16” x 1.5” cradled wood panels. (See Blick)

1 qt “white” satin or semi gloss house paint. Any brand

1 qt. “Black” satin or semi gloss house paint.

2 qts. Gloss acrylic varnish

10-12 sheets black tissue paper (non bleed)

6+  Quart paint/mixing containers. Plastic, yogurt, cottage cheese containers work well

5-6 2” chip brushes. & stir stick

1-wide 6” 1 -narrow 1” metal putty knives

1- scrubber sponge & rags 

1 sheet 80 grit sandpaper.

Scissors & utility knife.

Various collage papers including: white/black/solid color/pattern/recycled paper as well.

Instructor: I will supply primary latex paint color, some collage papers, some tissue papers, sanding block, utility razor knife.

By purchasing this workshop, I agree with the Waiver of Liability, Medical Release, Photography/Videotape Release and Indemnification Agreement and fully understand its contents. I am aware that this is a release of liability and a contract between myself and Okey Dokey Inc/Jen Tough Gallery, and that I do it of my own free will. I also understand the Refund Policies and the potential consequences thereof, set forth by Okey Dokey Inc/Jen Tough Gallery and agree to such terms. found here.

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