Catie O'Leary



After seeing a Jess exhibition at the Berkeley Art Museum, I abandoned all other art forms for collage. Using original engravings from antique books, I intuitively gravitate toward images that most interest me. The meticulously cut-out parts become puzzle pieces in my complex, multilayer collages. Each collage is densely composed, and, like a novel, it takes time to “read” the intimate, yet abstract, narratives. My recent work has been shown at the Oberpfalzer Kunsterhaus in Fronberg, Germany where I was an artist in residence over the summer of 2013.

I have shown at the Jack Fischer Gallery and Braunstein/Quay Gallery in San Francisco and have been in exhibitions at the Palo Alto Art Center, Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek and the Museum of Art and History in Santa Cruz California.

A California native, I received my MFA from Lone Mountain College in San Francisco, BA from UC Santa Barbara and AA from Cañada College in Redwood City, California. Additional work can be seen at

Artist Statement

The images in my collages are original engraved illustrations from antique books. I intuitively gravitate toward images that interest me. The meticulously cut-out parts become puzzle pieces in my selection process creating a chain of associations. Each collage is densely composed and like a novel, it takes time to “read” the intimate yet abstract narratives.

To construct the collages, I layer and glue cut-out images from the books on book pages from the same period, creating a relationship between word and image. As I start composing, the appropriated familiar images of birds, animals, landscapes, drapery, architecture and scientific objects occupy a visual space together. The unexpected juxtapositions become embellished maps, poetic landscapes combining elements of nature encountering man.


  • 2017

    • Echo Poems
      Catie O’Leary and Vanessa Woods, Jack Fischer Gallery, San Francisco, CA
    • Marvelous! International Exhibition of Collage, Assemblage and Construction
      Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Sebastopol, CA
  • 2016

    • Metamorphic: Collage in the Dadaist/Surrealist Tradition
      Stanford Art Spaces, CA
    • Judy’s Cabinet of Dada Curiosities & More
      r. Blitzer Gallery, Santa Cruz, CA
    • Sand City 2016 Juried Art Exhibition
      Sand City, CA
    • Hybrid: A Collage Show
      traveling to the Morris Graves Museum of Art, Eureka, CA
    • ArtSeed Exhibit
      Thoreau Center Gallery, The Presidio, San Francisco, CA
  • 2015

    • Botanica: All Things Plant Life
      Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek, CA
    • Hybrid: A Collage Show
      a.Muse Gallery, San Francisco, CA
  • 2015

    • Left Coast Exhibition
      Sanchez Art Center, Pacifica, CA
  • 2014

    • Catamaran Art Show
      r. Blitzer Gallery, Santa Cruz, CA
    • (n)collage: a mixed media collage exhibit
      IceHouse Gallery, Petaluma, CA
    • Catamaran Literary Reader - Vol. 2
      Issue 1 Winter 2014 - Collage Illustrations
    • kolaj Magazine - Collage Artist Trading Cards - Pack
      San Francisco Center for the Book - Mail/Art/Book
  • 2013

    • 6 week residency at the Oberpfalzer Kunstlerhaus
      in Swandorf, Germany
    • Copy.right?
      33 Contemporary Gallery, Chicago, IL
  • 2011

    • The Collage Show
      Jack Fischer Gallery, San Francisco, CA
    • Reclamation: New Bay Area Collage
      Studio Quercus, Oakland, CA
    • International Mail Art Exhibition
      Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond, B.C. Canada
  • 2010

    • San Francisco Fine Art Fair
      Jack Fischer Gallery, San Francisco, CA
    • Secret Drawings
      Palo Alto Art Center, Palo Alto, CA
    • Unbound - A National Exhibition of Book Art
      Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek,CA
    • Permutations from Nature’s Perimeter, Radius 2009
      Palo Alto Art Center, Palo Alto, CA
    • Assemblage + Collage + Construction
      The Museum of Art and History, Santa Cruz, CA
    • Michael Rosenthal Gallery Mixed Metaphors and Obsessive Compulsive Behavior
    • Arts on Fire XIII
      Sanchez Art Center, Pacifica, CA
    • Structure and the Meaning of Life – ArtSeed
      Gallery Thoreau, The Presidio, CA
    • Faculty Exhibition Cañada College
      Redwood City, CA
    • Michael Rosenthal Contemporary Art
      Group Show, Redwood City, CA
  • 2007

    • Achenbach Inspired: Works on Paper
      Curated by ArtSeed
    • The Point Gallery and Studio
      Hunters Point Shipyard Artists Studio, S.F., CA
  • 2006

    • Braunstein/Quay Gallery
      Access Program, San Francisco, CA
    • Multiple Choice
      cabrillo gallery, Cabrillo College, Aptos, CA – merit award
    • ZYZZYVA – Vol. XXII
      No. 1 Spring 2006 - Collage Illustrations
    • Women Beyond Borders, permanent collection
      exhibit Palo Alto Art Center
  • 2004

    • The Ceremony of Tea
      Triton Museum, Santa Clara, CA
  • 2003

    • Cut, Copy, Paste: The Art of Contemporary Collage
      deSaisset Museum, Santa Clara University, CA
  • 2001

    • Objects Considered, Modern and Postmodern Still Life
      Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek
  • 2000

    • California Small Works
      Sonoma Museum of Visual Art, Santa Rosa, CA
    • 1.0. Wonder
      Palo Alto Art Center, Palo Alto, CA
  • 1999

    • Artist’s Books/Art from Books/Sketchbooks
      Sunnyvale Creative Arts Center
  • 1998

    • Small Works
      Cecile Moochnek Gallery, Berkeley, CA
    • Radius 1998
      Two person show, Palo Alto, CA
    • Pulp Fictions: Works on Paper
      Texas Fine Art Associations, Austin, TX
    • The Light is Diverse in California
      Center for the Visual Arts, Oakland, CA


  • M.F.A. Lone Mountain College, San Francisco, CA
  • B.A. University of California, Santa Barbara
  • A.A. Cañada College, Redwood City, CA

Teaching Experience

  • Cañada College, Redwood City, CA, Palo Alto Art Center, Palo Alto, CA,
  • Boise State University, Boise, Idaho, Northwest Nazarene College, Nampa, Idaho,
  • Roosevelt Elementary, Boise, Idaho, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana
  • teaching Beginning to Advanced Drawing , 2-D Design, Color Theory, Collage,
  • Assemblage, Artists Books, Etching, Relief Printmaking and Children Art