About the Artist

Eleanor Scholz
is a San Francisco based artist and 2023 MFA candidate at the San Francisco Art Institute, who specializes in Pyrography and woodblock printmaking. 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.

Artist Statement:

In my wood burning, printmaking, and pattern work, I create complex compositions and patterns burned or carved into wood. Through the careful repetition of small, individual gestures organized on an axis or underlying grid, my work illuminates the powerful culmination of individual actions, and the capacity we have to transform the world we live in through the repetition of seemingly small gestures. Over time, small marks combine into large, elaborate and cohesive forms, revealing our individual and collective agency to impact, alter, rebuild, or destroy on a massive scale.

I use the visual language of geometric pattern, transcendence, and the divine to infuse my artwork with the imagined power to change situations and events that feel beyond my control—in my Lover series, ornate designs weave together to form large, grimacing, loving faces: pattern-beings whose sole purpose is to love and protect with unwavering ferocity. Incapable of burnout, undaunted by the immense burden it is to try to take care of this world and each other, the Lovers exist exclusively to love and protect, even when it is tremendously difficult to do so.

My mixed media work is both the method and the artifact of my efforts to examine and make strange my immediate surroundings, and unearth information hidden in the composition of spaces—blurring the lines between the industrial and the natural, civilized and wild, human and non-human. Using a mixed media approach, I make meticulous observations of the everyday, not as an expert but as someone who is eager to learn, and unlearn.

My work is methodical, devotional, process based, and a transference of care—I approach each piece with the goal of re-discovering the landscape and what it means to inhabit, coexist and commingle with an environment. In recent projects I have developed composite illustrations of the bark of a tree and the garbage that lay at its trunk to reveal a landscape shaped by single use products, I’ve wood-burned ornate latices of forests and interlinking plant systems merging to form a complex and sublime union, made rubbings of ivy roots imbedded in brutalist concrete walls of my failing art school, and traced the evaporating shorelines of a massive puddle as it shifts and flows across the tiles of a public space. Each piece changes my perception and understanding of the subject, builds intimacy and fosters relationships in unexpected places, and reveals the stories that are imbedded in the materiality of our surroundings.

Through these acts of devotion I try to understand, learn from, and care for this world. My art is made with the intention of sharing this care with the viewer, and if I’m lucky, it will inspire the same kind of devotion that I feel to loving and protecting our little world. 

A lifelong artist, Eleanor 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 and life-long mountain person, 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 in San Francisco at The Secret Alley. 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. 

Art Instagram: @instaeleanor
Personal Instagram: @elea_gram