Eleanor Scholz is a San Francisco based artist and 2023 MFA candidate at the San Francisco Art Institute, who specializes in Pyrography. With a hand tool similar to a soldering iron, Scholz burns intricate illustrations into wood, creating designs that are rich with ornate latticework and meticulous depictions of organic forms. Using pattern and the obsessive mark as a vehicle to evoke the sublime, she interlaces intense networks of pattern into natural scenes, meant to reveal the underlying sacredness of the subject matter. Her work explores the inherent vitality and agency in non-human forms, emphasizing the natural world as worthy of equality, reverence, respect and protection. With overtones of environmentalism and conservation, Scholz's artwork is an act of devotion, and an exploration of her powerful desire to love and protect the irreplaceable. She aims to provoke that same feeling of reverence in others in the hopes of inspiring action and change.
A lifelong artist, Scholz began wood burning in 2013. Her work is influenced by her background in mental healthcare, education, animal care, and her enduring passion for nature and the outdoors. As a Bay Area Native, Scholz spent much of her childhood running wild in the California wilderness, and continues to do so as much as possible. Her love of the outdoors informs her artwork and pushes her to further explore themes of environmentalism and conservation in her work.
Eleanor's art career began during the ten formative years she spent living in Salt Lake City, UT. She graduated from Westminster College in 2011 with a double major in English and art, while working as a mental health worker and high school teacher at an inpatient treatment center for teenage girls. While in Utah, Scholz exhibited her work in numerous art festivals, local business, and galleries including Finch Lane, Art Access, Urban Arts Gallery, Poor Yorick Art Studios and the UMOCA shop. Since then she has lived in New York, Texas, Oakland, and San Francisco. She completed two artist residences at Flux Factory in Queens, NY between 2015-16, and in 2017 was an artist in residence at Habitable Spaces in Kingsbury, TX while she wood burned and permanently installed an entire ceiling on site. She has shown her work across the country, and in 2019 was featured on Hi-Fructose Magazine's website and Instagram.
She currently works out of her studio on campus at theSan Francisco Art Institute. When she's not making art she's likely to be found walking dogs in the city, hiking, trail running, and camping in the many parks and wilderness areas near SF, or backpacking in the Sierras.