“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. 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.

Upcoming Bay Area Workshops


Sept 28 / Erin McCluskey Wheeler: Color + Collage / One Day Intensive!

Sept 28 / Erin McCluskey Wheeler: Color + Collage / One Day Intensive!


We will explore color and composition and use collage as a starting point for painting and further mixed-media work. Students will have the option to create several small pieces to experiment with color composition, layout, gluing and connecting techniques, or to create one larger piece. This is a wonderful opportunity to re-purpose and give new life to old painting, drawings, prints, and photographs - if it’s on paper and it’s okay to cut it up - you can use it! In this class you will generate new ideas for creating abstract art and think deeply about color and composition through the fun, accessible medium of collage. Open to artists of all levels of experience.


We will sort through materials brought in by the instructor, items you have brought in from home and create complimentary collage materials with paint and paper to build our collage(s) 

Exploring color 

Creating a color story of papers 

Cutting forms and working with composition 

We will work on solidifying our compositions and talk about editing techniques in great depth. We will look at ways to connect and enhance the composition with drawn and painted lines and how to edit with white paint and perhaps further cutting. 

•Working with disrupted forms and connecting shapes

•Building layers and the editing process


Materials provided: 

Additional collage material 

Additional glue and paint to experiment with

About the Instructor: Her work, like quilting, is full of strong and vivid color combinations, asymmetrical and strip piecing, reused old material, uneven and large line work (stitching), and the use of hidden protective charm symbols. Erin views her work of cutting and piecing and gluing and painting over as a method to record and share events of familial and personal importance.  In piecing together these disparate pieces, she gets to explore the themes of regeneration and rebirth, of bringing new life to old things.  

All of the pieces in the Papers Series start with accumulated and collected paper: postcards from family and friends, envelopes, sketchbook pages, her daughter’s doodles, old wallpaper and photographs, hand-painted papers, and office supply stickers. Erin pieces the papers together following colors, forms, and shapes. There is often the suggestion of topography and water, botanical forms, and big curves of space.

Erin is represented by Jen Tough Gallery


California College of the Arts / MFA, Writing

Beloit College, graduated Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude / BA in Studio Art (Honors)

BA in Art History + East Asian Studies

Class will run 10:00-4:00

Doors open at 9:30 AM each day.

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

Limited to 12 students.


Free and unlimited coffee, tea and bottled water. Bring your carafe!

Lunch Options: 1. Bring your own lunch and store in our refrigerator if needed, 2. drive 3 min away to quaint downtown Benicia and choose from a huge variety of restaurants (we provide map and recommendations), 3. Place your order with us in the morning of class from a limited menu from our restaurant of the day and have it delivered to the studio (lunch and delivery is $20, payable upon ordering). For those with allergies or food restrictions, we recommend bringing a sack lunch as we cannot accommodate special requests. On nice days, join us on the leafy patio by the fountain for dining al fresco.


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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