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ART for the Imagination


Hella Merrill

I think of myself as an alchemist. I initiate a patteern on sheets of brass by applying a mixture of natural solutions. As the metal responds to the solutions, I look for images, patterns and textures with which to work. The process is about exploring light, texture and depth of the image on a hard, flat reflective surface.

The process is slow and requires patience, a skill I learned while working with children during my masters degree work at Napa State Hospital and the Healdsburg school district.

I am fascinated with the form within a form, by the things I can and cannot control. Working with children and watching them make their mark fearlessly was influential to my art offering me a deeper understanding of the Buddhist way of knowing and not knowing, of controlling and letting go.





M.A. Psychology with emphasis on art therapy, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA

Advanced studio art courses at C.C.A.C., Oakland, Ca., Mendocino Art Center, CA., College of Notre Dame, Belmont, CA,



2018 – Lori Austin Gallery, Sebastopol, CA

2018 – Paul Mahder Gallery, Healdsburg, CA

2017 – Ice House Invitational Show, Petaluma, CA

2016 – Reflections Juried Show, Healdsburg Art Center

2016 – Zeitgiest Juried Show, Petaluma Arts Center

2016 – Petaluma Arts Center Featured Artist of 2015

2012 – 2018 – Terra Firma Gallery, Sonoma, CA

2014 – Talisman Winery, Glenn Ellen, CA

2011 – Axis Gallery, San Jose, CA

2008 – 2010 – Palette Gallery, Healdsburg, CA

2008 – DiRosa Preserve May Show, Sonoma, CA

2007- 2009 – Alan Day Gallery, Santa Fe, N.M.

1998- 2004 – Gallerie Elektra, Sausalito, CA

1998 – Present – Art Pic, Los Angeles, CA

2004- 2006 – Artisans Gallery, San Rafael, CA

2005- 2019 – Gallery One, Annual Anniversary Shows Petaluma, CA

2005- 2017 – Museum of Contemporary Art, Novato, CA– juried shows

2014 – Riverfront Gallery, Annual Juried Show

2010 -2014 – Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Sebastopol, CA

2010 – Petaluma Arts Center, Juror’s Choice Award

2007 – Sonoma State University Gallery, Rohnert Park, CA

2005 – Marin Technology Center, San Rafael, CA

2005- Bank of Marin, Spirit of Color Show

2004 – Nicholson Ranch Winery, Santa Rosa, CA

2003 – Paradise Ridge Winery, Santa Rosa, CA

2003- Santa Rosa Junior College, Santa Rosa, CA

2001 – Circle Gallery, Petaluma, CA

1999- Studio One Gallery, Gualala, CA

1998 – Branscomb Gallery, Bodega Bay, CA

1997 – Quest Gallery, Sausalito, CA

1997 – The Artful Eye, Calistoga, CA

1994 – Cover Artist, Somatics Magazine


Private Collections: (partial list)

Robinda Unsworth Designs, Petaluma, CA

Scott Andrews and Dr. Susan Takami, Petaluma, CA

  1. Kalb, Sonoma, CA

Gary and Linda Zellerbach, Sonoma, CA

Robert St. John, Baltimore, MD

Arrowsmith School, Toronto, Canada

Shepard of the Sierras Presbyterian Church, CA

Wareham Corporation, Emeryville, CA

DuMol Winery, Sonoma, CA

Shelly Cohen Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

  1. Ramey and M. Ray, Salt Lake City, Utah

Laura Puryear, Washington, D.C



2015 – Argus Courier – Featured Artist, Petluma Art Center

1994 – Press Democrat

2010 – Petaluma Patch

My interest in art stems from my work with children at Napa State Hospital and Healdsburg Elementary School in the 90’s while doing my psychology internships. During my internship in Napa, I developed a “transparent” double easel as my thesis (The Window) which was used at various hospitals and California College of the Arts (formerly CCAC)

I have volunteered for the Mentor Me Program in Petaluma as well as the Petaluma Art Center and currently volunteer for Schools of Hope tutoring children in reading.

My work is collected in the U.S. and Europe and is shown frequently in films and television programs through Art Pic. Examples are, Scandal, Secrets and Lies, Grey’s Anatomy, NCIS, Lethal Weapon, Social Network and other CBS and ABC programs.