I’m Back! After nearly two years without a studio, I’m back in a new art community, with a new studio. You’ll find the backstory HERE.

Interesting coincidence, I found Art Works Downtown because when I was looking for a place to locate for Marin Open Studios in 1996, someone mentioned an art center on Fourth Street that visionary, Phyllis Thelen was creating. I ended up there 24 years until July 2020.

In the summer of 2021 I was coming out of Civid hibernation and realizing I needed to find a new art community. In September I went to the opening of Phyllis Thelen’s one woman show at Marin Museum of Contemporary Art. Seeing all the positive changes that had taken place in that building over the years since I had been there, by the time I left, I knew I wanted to be part of the MarinMOCA community.

It took half a year waiting in line for a studio and by early spring 2022, I had the keys to a wonderful studio with a real window in the 781 Building on the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art campus.

Wonderful lighting! I’ve already spent many happy hours working there at my workbench. I invite you to come see for yourself. Best time is the Second Weekend of Marin Open Studios – May 7 & 8 from 11 to 6.

Here is the sign that will be hanging right outside my studio door on the MarinMOCA campus. You’ll find me and several other artists with doors open at 781 Hamilton Parkway.

Dia de los Muertos altar exhibition at Art Works Downtown

The art center, Art Works Downtown is such a stimulating place to have a studio, especially one right down the hall from the gallery – you can see the “Ann Brooks” shingle just above my door on the right.

The communal altar above was created by students at San Rafael High School. Detail is below, left.

 This selection of Day of the Dead altars is from both groups, as in the case of the San Rafael High students and individual artists or general public who wish to honor departed friends and family members.

Several of the altars honor the people of San Rafael of the past as well as early settlers like Don Timeteo Murphy.

The exhibition was juried by Sharon Christovich, Folk Art Gallery owner, and Carol Durham, Art Works Downtown studio artist.

Above and right, an altar which invites the public to write their own wishes, prayers for people dear to them – see the detail below on the left.


The altar directly below by Petrina W. was given the Jurors’ Award. In it she pays homage to so many friends and relatives she has lost. She writes about them with such elegance that one ends up breathless over the losses she has suffered, yet wonders at her open, friendly personality!


To the left, Patrick Gavin Duffy has created an altar honoring one of San Rafael’s earliest founders, Don Timeteo Murphy, the legendary six foot, 300 pount, red-headed Irishman who was granted the “Rancho de las Gallinas” and most of the former mission lands by the Mexican Governor. This altar references items from the Rancho period when this western edge of the ‘world’ system was Spanish, not American.


Fine Arts Department student at College of Marin, Novato. Isabel Hayes’ altar “Home is Where We Rest Our Bones” is a memorial dedicated to the people of San Rafael, then and now. Isabel calls San Rafael her home.

Friday, November 11th Art Walk will be the closing reception for this very stimulating show.

All photos by Ann’s iPhone 4s with post production in Photoshop.


Above: detail from “Home is where we rest our bones” by Isabel Hayes. 

At De Young Museum’s 2011 Ethnic Textile Bazaar with jewelry

Ann Brooks with Jeanmarie Nutt at De Young Museum's 2011 Ethnic Textile Bazaar

Ann Brooks and Jeanmarie Nutt (seated left) at the De Young Museum’s 2011 Ethnic Textile Bazaar in San Francisco.

Sunday, for the second year, I participated in the De Young Museum’s Ethnic Textile Bazaar, selling my ethnically inspired jewelry from my World Peace Collection.

Book and fiber artist Jeanmarie Nutt was, again, a great assistant. In the spirit of the day, we both wore Guatemalan hupiles we had purchased in Oaxaca. Mine is an “eagle” style from the village of Chichicastenango with it’s sunburst around the neckline.

Some of my most popular items at  the Bazaar were my Tibetan Buddhist mala earrings, and red vulcanite (vinyl) bracelets from Africa, one with turquoise, Baltic amber and Tibetan mala beads, and another new design, red with black and “silver” Fulani tribe prayer beads from Africa.

You can see more of my jewelry at www.annbrooks.net or in my online zibbet shop.

Creating jewelry to deal with grief

In the early 1990s a dear friend of the family’s passed away. He had been in college with my parents and had known me since I was born. When Bob died at a ripe old age, I was disconsolate!

I had recently given up weaving and, continuing to honor my love of the fiber arts, had just begun creating whimsical brooches, hand knitting hardware store wire!

In the middle of my grief, it occurred to me that it might be eased if I made a brooch to honor my grief and love for Bob.

So “Bob’s Gone Fishing” came into being with his blue eyes and big heart, the rancher in coveralls who loved fishing.

My creativity had eased my grief then and over time it had been forgotten. Yet finding this old photo inspired writing this post and in the doing, more than fifteen years later, I find my grief is not gone. Like picking a forgotten scab, it can still bleed.

. . . a reminder that bleeding and healing are part of life and loving.

[ Please click here to see the archive of my knit wire jewelry. ]

photo: Kate Cameron

Silver Ruffles earrings in AWD “Small Works” show

My Silver Ruffles earrings are one of many works of art featured in the current Art Works Downtown exhibition, running  November 18, 2010 – January 7, 2011. There, you’ll find lots of art for giving during this holiday season …

… and more in my Art Works Downtown studio or at my online shop.