ABOUT THE GALLERY
At the western end of Sonoma county, the Ren Brown Collection is a long-established and well-respected art gallery. Opened in early 1990, it is conveniently located on Coast Highway One at the northern end of Bodega Bay. Housed in a refurbished building with shoji and a small, serene Japanese garden, the gallery is dedicated to showing contemporary art from both sides of the Pacific Ocean.
A major focus is on modern prints by artists living in Japan, including Toko Shinoda, Daniel Kelly, Ryohei Tanaka, Sarah Brayer, Katsunori Hamanishi, Yoshikatsu Tamekaneand others. Many have works included in the collections of prominent museums, and been exhibited around the world. Some of this artwork can be found nowhere else in northern California. The original prints are done in traditional woodblock, as well as more Occidental mediums, such as serigraphy, etching, stencil, and lithography–often on fine handmade papers. Subjects and themes vary widely, and images are both abstract and representational.
Regional artists of Northern California include Micah Schwaberow, Seiko Tachibana, Bruce Johnson, Christopher Dewees, Mayumi Oda, Carol Brighton. and many more Works include sculpture, paintings, original prints, handmade paper and fine jewelry. In addition, the gallery features a varied selection of antique Japanese furnishings–tansu chests, baskets and more.
Recently we have broadened our collection of contemporary ceramic work. Artists from East and West are featured. The pieces are quite varied — functional, sculptural, stoneware or porcelain, wood-fired or salt-glazed. Some of the artists are John Chambers, Bill Geisinger, Mitch Iburg, Masahiko Ichino, Aki Katsuura and Tri Tran.
Ren and Robert chose to move to the Bodega Bay area because of a longtime love for the ocean and for Sonoma County. Finding that Bodega Bay offered a convenient location with ready public access, the two co-owners set about remodeling an existing older building. Ren’s childhood friend Halcyon Campoamor and her husband Roberto, who are architects in Berkeley, designed the renovations. They successfully incorporated Japanese design elements into the plans and have made the space particularly conducive for looking at fine art.
There are also Japanese-style gardens with a koi pond, tea house, stone garden and black bamboo grove that are occasionally open for public viewing.
Address: 1781 Highway One, Bodega Bay.
Hours: Open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 to 5, closed Monday & Tuesday.
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 156, Bodega Bay, CA 94923.
Phone: (707) 875-2922
ABOUT REN BROWN
Interest in the Far East has long been a part of founder Ren Brown’s life. A third generation Japanophile, he lived in Tokyo as a child, and has made numerous trips ever since. His first exhibit of contemporary Japanese prints was held while a college student in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, in the mid 1960’s. In 1980 Ren established Anshin Art as a part-time business located in Berkeley and devoted exclusively to Japanese prints. When his former partner decided she no longer had time to devote to the project, Robert DeVee joined Ren Brown, and the idea of a full-time gallery along the Sonoma Coast began to gel. Since establishing this gallery Ren has given talks at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, and offered instruction to various art and civic groups as well as college classes about the contemporary print movement in Japan. He continues to make frequent trips to Japan to discover new artists.
ABOUT ROBERT DeVEE
Robert DeVee was a successful impressionist style painter who began working in 1965. After meeting Ren, traveling to Japan and learning of the contemporary print movement, Robert also started to do printmaking. He found monotypes and silkscreens most appropriate for expressing his themes . His work has always been described as both colorful and joyous. Those are also a fitting description of a very sweet man who died in 2017.
Do you love the design of our gallery and home?? CAMPOAMOR is a design-oriented architectural firm based in the SF Bay Area, the result of a long-standing collaboration between Roberto and Halcyon Campoamor. Their background in art, architecture and construction enables them to bring an unusual breadth of experience to each project. Their designs are clear and sensuous, bringing out the unique opportunities of each location and context.
The gallery could not operate without our loyal assistants. The three women: Julie Allen, Khysie Horn and Yvonne Pegoraro each offer significant contributions. Julie has long been involved in the Bay Area art world–working at several prominent galleries and having her own local PBS TV show Art Scan interviewing artists and highlighting galleries in Sonoma County. Khysie owned an art gallery for many years in Sonoma County and provides knowledge, experience and has a special interest in ceramics. Yvonne is an artist, managed a gallery for several years and has an extensive background in computer support.