Serena Cole

Serena Cole received her Master of Fine Arts degree in 2011 from the California College of the Arts. She has exhibited her work in multiple solo exhibitions including Gallery 16 (San Francisco), Soo Visual Arts Center (Minneapolis), and Stephanie Chefas Projects (Portland). Her work has also been exhibited widely at venues such as Dodge Gallery (New York), Roberts and Tilton (Los Angeles), the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), and Phillips de Pury (New York). Her work has been published in The Huffington Post, Juxtapoz Magazine, KQED Arts, Comstock’s Magazine, and more.

She lives and works in Sacramento, CA. She is an adjunct professor at Sierra College and American River College.




2022 Serena Cole, Selected, Saint Joseph’s Art Society, San Francisco
2020 Keep It to Yourself, Sierra Nevada College, Incline Village, NV
2019 All This Useless Beauty, Stephanie Chefas Projects, Portland, OR
2019 Demoiselles, WAL Public Market Gallery, Sacramento, CA
2018 What It Feels Like For a Girl, Artworks Downtown, San Rafael, CA
2016 Let Me Look at You, Gallery 16, San Francisco, CA
2012 Through a Glass, Darkly, Soo Visual Arts Center, Minneapolis, MN
2010 The Rapture, Alice + Olivia, Southampton, NY
2009 I Wanna Be Adored, Triple Base Gallery, San Francisco, CA


2008 Golden: Serena Cole & Tahiti Pehrson, 111 Minna Gallery, San Francisco
2007 Grant Barnhart and Serena Cole, Bucheon Gallery, San Francisco


2023 Visions and Voices, Taube Musuem of Art, Minot, ND
2023 Self Portrait Invitational, E Street Gallery, Sacramento
2022 Representational Abstraction, Barn Gallery, Woodland, CA
2022 Fall Exibition, Marrow Gallery, San Francisco
2021 Painting the Figure Now IV, Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art, Wausau, Wisconsin
2021 Slice, Pence Gallery, Davis, CA
2020 Secret Santa, Guerrero Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2019 Skill Tree, Honey Ramka Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2018 Quest: A Collection, NIAD Art Center, Richmond, CA
2018 Spectre Spectrum, Saint Joseph’s Cultural Center, Grass Valley, CA
2017 TAKEOVER, Alter Space Gallery, San Francisco
2017 Manifesto, Nook Gallery, Oakland
2016 Geo Necro, ADA Gallery, Richmond, VA
2016 100 Years, 100 Artists, Kondos Gallery, Sacramento City College, Sacramento
2015 Alchemy, Inner State Gallery, Detroit, MI
2015 Jug Life, Park Life, San Francisco
2015 Painting Expelled, California College of the Arts, San Francisco
2014 More Than One Way, Southern Exposure, San Francisco
2013 Collect Call: Exploring Art Patronage, Soo Visual Arts Center, Minneapolis,MN
2013 Tear It Out II, California College of the Arts, San Francisco
2012 Watercolors, Phillips de Pury, New York, NY
2012 Twisted Sisters, Dodge Gallery, New York, NY
2012 Against the Grain, Mark Moore Gallery, Culver City, CA
2011 Fabrications, Marx and Zavattero Gallery, San Francisco
2011 SHOP: Like You Mean It, Underline Gallery, New York, NY
2009 A New Breed of Watercolor, Soo Visual Arts Center, Minneapolis, MN
2009 Threadbare, The Lab, San Francisco
2009 The Icon and the Iconic, Manresa Gallery, San Francisco
2008 Artists’ Ball, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco
2008 Universal Grammar, Gallery Homeland, Portland, OR
2008 The Thin Ice Collective, Anne Bonny, Seattle, WA
2008 Optical Illusion, Southern Exposure, San Francisco
2008 Drawing Under the Influence, MANIAC Gallery, Oakland
2007 Bliss, Roberts and Tilton Gallery at Domestic, Los Angeles
2007 There is No Light Without Darkness, Mina Dresden Gallery, San Francisco
2007 There is No Light Without Darkness, Hinterconti, Hamburg, Germany
2007 Mirabile Visu, MM Gallery, San Francisco
2006 Oakland East Side Story, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco
2006 The Thin Ice Collective, Bucheon Gallery, San Francisco
2006 Bay Area Currents 2006, Oakland Art Gallery, Oakland


2011 MFA, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA
2006 BFA with High Distinction, Painting and Drawing, California College of the Arts
San Francisco, CA


Taylor, Mark. “What to See in June”, SFArts, online, June, 2022
Stein, Maya. The Poser. Toad Hall Editions, 2021.
Shoka. “Interview with Serena Cole”, Comstock’s Magazine, online, March 2020
Smith, Andy. “Serena Cole’s Stirring Mixed-Media Portraits, Hi-Fructose, online, August 2018
Scott, Gabe. “Serena Cole: An Alluring Analysis”, Juxtapoz Magazine, June, 2018
Larson, Vicki. “Portraits of anxiety”, Marin Independent Journal, March, 2018
Samaniego, Daniel. “The File: Serena Cole”, Settlers and Nomads, online, October, 2017
One Hundred Years, One Hundred Artists, catalog, May, 2017, Kondos Gallery, Sacramento City College
Yeapanis, Stacia. “OtherPeoplesPixels Interviews Serena Cole”, OtherPeoplesPixels, online, May, 2014
Simoneau, Nicolas. “Iconical”, KALTBLUT Magazine, November, 2012
Muniz, Kristy. “Obsession Issue: Serena Cole”, Working Class Magazine, November, 2012
Regan, Sheila. “Serena Cole's 'Through a Glass, Darkly' features unsettling transformations, portraits”, Minneapolis City Pages, September, 2012
Abbey, Mary. “Seeworthy: Through a Glass Darkly: New Work Serena Cole”, Minneapolis Star Tribune, September, 2012
Grattan, Nikki; McKenna, Klea. “Serena Cole”, In the Make, online, May, 2012
Murasaki, Alaisk. “Interview with Serena Cole”, Anormal Magazine, online, November, 2011
Beautiful Decay Staff, “Serena Cole’s Fashionable Portraits”, Beautiful Decay, online, June, 2011
Huffington Post Staff Report, “Exhibition Spotlight: Fabrications at Marx and Zavattero”, Huffington Post, online, February, 2011
Bowers, Keith. “The Horror, the Humor”, SF Weekly, January 2011
Farr, Kristin; Hapsis, Emmanuel. “Studio Invasion: Serena Cole”, KQED Arts, online, January, 2011
The Block Staff, “Interview with Serena Cole”, The Block, online, May, 2010
Miller, Randall. “I Wanna Be Adored”, Art Practical, online, November, 2009
Umbigo Staff, “Bello y Monstro”, Umbigo Magazine, April, 2008


2021 Artist Relief Grant, Nevada County Arts Council, Nevada City, CA
2016 Tosa Studio Award Nominee, Minnesota Street Project, San Francisco, CA
2011 Finalist: Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship, CCA, San Francisco, CA
2004 All College Honors, California College of the Arts, Oakland, CA
2004 Merit Scholarship, California College of the Arts, Oakland, CA
2003 Foundation Scholarship, Sacramento City College, Sacramento, CA


2021 California College of the Arts, Fine Arts Department
2020 Sierra Nevada University Artist Lecture Series, Incline Village, NV
2019 Art Department, Chico State University, Professional Practices, Chico, CA
2018 Artworks Downtown, San Rafael, CA
2017 San Francisco Art Institute, Professional Practices, San Francisco
2016 Sonoma State Visiting Artist Lecture Series, Sonoma, CA
2016 Mills College, Graduate Fine Art Department, Oakland
2016 The Painters’ Salon with Libby Black, Gallery 16, San Francisco
2013 Notes From the Studio Series, California College of the Arts, San Francisco
2012 San Francisco State University, Art Department, San Francisco
2009 Triple Base Dinner Lecture Series, San Francisco
2006 Bay Area Currents, Oakland Art Gallery, Oakland