CONTACT:  Malia Schlaefer,


SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – March 7, 2009- ‘Little Boxes’ invites female Assemblage Artists of our time to tell stories through their work that include heritage, narratives, and gender.  These pieces are both personal to the creator, and profound for the viewer.  We invite you to view these amazing multimedia pieces, and see if you can catch all the tiny details. This March at Femina Potens, artists explore their personal histories and processes through the use of objects, cut paper, the symbol of the box, and the manipulation of mementos.

Femina Potens honors the far-reaching legacy of women in Assemblage Art with the  “Little Boxes” exhibit.  In the late 1800s the enigmatic Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, the Dada Baroness, created art out of other people's rubbish.  It is also contested that she is the artistic force behind Marcel Duchamp's famous Fountain. Artist Louise Nevelson began creating abstract expressionist “boxes” from found pieces of wood in the late 1930s, greatly influencing the art of assemblage.  Generations later, Femina Potens continues this tradition, featuring contemporary assemblage artists Deborah Hayner, Dolores Gray, Lex McQuilkin and Zannah Noe.

Artists Hayner, Gray and Noe are artistically linked as part of the Hunters Point Artist Colony, which celebrates art as a vital component of community redevelopment and experience. Femina Potens constantly fosters and delights in the connection of community transformation through art.  We invite you to celebrate an adventurous and historical art form with us at the opening reception of “Little Boxes” on March 7th at 7pm.

‘Little Boxes’ Visual Art Exhibition
March 7 – March 29, 2009
Femina Potens Art Gallery
2199 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94114

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Deborah Hayner is a fine artist based in San Francisco. She has been exhibiting her art locally and nationally for the past ten years. She maintains her studio at the Hunters Point Shipyard Art Community. Hayner works in multiple medias, including found-object assemblage, acrylic painting, watercolor painting, mixed media, digital collage, art-to-wear, and photo manipulation. In 1999, she was a finalist in the national Artists Magazine Competition, experimental category for her mixed media watercolor collage work, "Blessed Void". Hayner's mixed media works are featured in several books, including the controversial Axis of Evil traveling exhibition and artist's stamp book. In 2006, she was commissioned by Franciscan Oakville Estate to participate in the Sonoma's Auction Napa 25; her contribution was a light sound sculpture that was purchased by another participating auction artist, renowned still-life painter Thomas Arvid. Deborah Hayner is also an internationally published children's book illustrator and has studied art extensively, predominately at The Academy of Art in SF. To learn more about this artist please visit

The artist, Dolores R. Gray, was born in Newark, New Jersey spending her youth in and around the tri-state area. After high school she studied premed and English literature in a number of colleges on the east and west coasts. After a hefty number of years working as a medical malpractice investigator she turned to the study of photography taking classes around the Bay Area and in Italy. She then decided to step outside her established career and return to school. She attended Cooper Union School of Art in New York, where she received a BFA in Fine Art and the University of Michigan School of Art and Design in Ann Arbor where she received her MFA in Photography and Printmaking. She continues her exploration of art and history taking classes around and about the Bay Area. Her niece recently called her a "serial educator."  In addition to her artwork, Ms Gray teaches art and photography to students in public schools in San Francisco, Oakland, Marin, and Palo Alto. She also teaches a variety of classes at the Sharon Art Studio in Golden Gate Park and conducts workshops in her studio in Hunters Point Shipyard. Her artwork can be viewed at her website She was the recipient of five California Arts Council Artist in Residence grants. The residencies were conducted at the Bayview Opera House where she created an after school art and photography program for students in the area. She also taught in after school programs for the Ansel Adams
Center for Photography.

Lex McQuilkin creates intricately hand cut paper pieces that exploit the manner in which negative space and cast shadows interact. Armed with an x-acto knife, deep seated ideas of humility of self, the occasional futility of modern society, and an ever-expanding doctrine of transgressive politics, Lex carves worlds out of single sheets of paper, ever mindful of the frailty of her medium. She has exhibited in and curated shows around the United States, most recently in San Francisco, Raleigh, NC, and Alberta, Canada. In addition to exhibiting her art, Lex is the founder, creative director, jack-of-all-trades of ArtXX Magazine, a grassroots, collaborative publication by, for, and about women in the arts, has worked extensively with community-run arts organizations, and is always looking for new methods for the general public and creative expression to overlap. Lex holds a BFA in Illustration and Design from Columbia College Chicago. She works as a
freelance artist, lives around an amazing and inspiring community of people, and plays between and among both worlds in San Francisco's Mission District.

Originally from Massachusetts, Zannah Noe made her way to San Francisco in 1990. She is a largely self-taught assemblage artist with formal schooling in fine art photography and graphic design. Her new interest in assemblage stems from utilizing her collection of objects and images from solely functioning as inspiration into becoming the art itself.  Moved by the conceptual nature that a collection of objects contained by a box creates; the artist has the full breadth of mediums to convey a message that has many interpretations for the viewer. A series of 12 boxes on love deals with its consequences and the state of its nature.  Reoccurring objects such as the wishbone as the backbone of the heart, nautical themes and black birds represents a sense of longing, melancholy and passage through contemplation of the crooked nature of beauty. The boxes are tributes, shrines and valentines that represent the universal struggle of finding ones way through love's promises and betrayals. Zannah Noe has a studio out at Hunter's Point Shipyard: Building 104 Studio 1208 and heads up the Arts Events Committee that produces the Holiday shows, Open Studios and the publication, Shipyard ART Guide for all of Hunters Point Shipyard Artists.


Femina Potens is located at 2199 Market St. at Sanchez, San Francisco, California 94114

Gallery Hours Thursday – Sunday Noon – 6pm. 

Femina Potens is a nationally recognized art gallery and performance space dedicated to the advancement of women and transgendered artists since 2001.

Sponsored by the Queer Cultural Center with support from California Arts Council, San Francisco Arts Commission, the Zellerbach Foundation and Grants for the Arts.  Femina Potens is a leading queer organization in San Francisco, and has been featured on the LOGO channel, Q-Television,  Bitch, Bust, Spread,  Brian Alexander's book "America Unzipped", the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and the San Francisco Chronicle where Violet Blue called Femina Potens, "the most happening art space in the city; a revolution in art and sex."

Femina Potens
2199 Market Street (at Sanchez) San Francisco 415-864-1558