see also: @mx.person on Instagram and videos on Vimeo

 Claire Bain works with Systems-Power-Identity. 

She has been a media and visual artist since she graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute in the 20th Century. She's also an activist and former union organizer. Her works have been shown in the San Francisco Bay Area at Pacific Film Archive, San Francisco Cinematheque, Artists' Television Access, Southern Exposure, and nationally at the New York Video Festival and Robert Beck Memorial Cinema. She has been painting murals since 1993; several are in San Francisco and one is in her home town of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

She has written for the Artitsts' Television Access Blog, was an editorial contributor to the book, Street Art San Francisco: Mission Muralismo, which also includes her essay, "Hell in Playland." She published an essay on Gunvor Nelson's film, "Red Shift," in the film journal Release Print.  

Bain managed the 17th Street Art Explosion Studio for 11 years. She is about to complete a photo novel called "Blooming Babel," a tangent of her continuous social media fiction project called "The Nova Avon." She is writing a blog on murals and other de facto public street media called "Public Visual Space" (

From 1993 to 2020 she taught art, architecture, and creative writing in San Francisco Bay Area schools, grades K - 12. She has a blog on teaching art:  She was Director of the education program at Precita Eyes Muralists, and has written art curricula for KQED and other organizations.

Before working as an artist, Claire had a ten-year career as a drafter and engineering/science technician for civil, geological, and environmental engineering firms. Science and math are a big and beloved part of her life. Writing is key, and the moving image motivates most of her art process.

During her 15- year stint as a clerk/technician in the San Francisco Public Library, she spent over a year as a City Disaster Service Worker, doing community outreach and working on the emergency homeless response in the Covid19 pandemic. Pre-pandemic she helped organize film programs from the Library's 16mm collection. Her last three years in the Library included intensive work as a SEIU union officer, fighting for the rights of library workers, especially custodians, and doing political organizing for the SEIU's Committee on Political Education.

Some of her videos can be viewed on her Vimeo channel:  and  YouTube channel:
Her films can be rented from Canyon Cinema, and her videos are available for purchase there.

see also: 

Selected Exhibitions 

2024 Influx: Calibrating the Unknown - group  show, San Francisco Art Institute Alumni Association, Museum of Northern California Art

2024 Poets' Picnic - group poetry installation, Albuquerque Open Space

2023 Street art, Butte aux Cailles, Paris, France

Performances in Almost Public/Semi-Exposed (ATA’s month-long window performance series
each November) Artists’ Television Access, San Francisco, CA. Performance titles:
     2020: FS172020 COVID19 Edition (with Eve Engel and Alfred Hernandez) Zoom performance
     2019: FS172019  (with Alfred Hernandez)
     2018: FS17ATA2018 (with Alfred Hernandez)
     2017: FsHB ATA17 (with Alfred Hernandez)
     2016: The Other You (with Alfred Hernandez)
     2015: Weird Garden--live performance/filming for Blooming Babel project

2017: Murals sponsored by Precita Eyes Muralists:
     Mosaic Mural
with residents of 255 Woodside Senior Housing
     Teen pastel mural
on Tyvek® paper, San Francisco Boys and Girls Club 

2017: Screenings of “Fashion Studio 17,” video with Alfred Hernandez: San Francisco Art Institute
     Alumni show; Ephemereye Film Festival

2017: LitQuake Poetry Reading, San Francisco Public Library Bookmobile

Out and About Group show, Gallery Sanchez, 1021 Sanchez Street, San Francisco, CA

2015 ATA @SFPL  Initiator/coordinator/co-curator of 16mm film screenings from the San Francisco Public Library archive, Noe Valley Branch Library

2015 WHERE WE LEAVE OFF Window installation (September), Artists’ Television Access,   San Francisco, CA

2015 NEXT TO YOU Curator/presenter of film program, Canyon Cinema Salon Series,  San Francisco, CA

2014 TIME TO READ Interactive installation, Art Explosion Studio Gallery(17th Street) San Francisco, CA 

2014 Site-Specific Panoramic Photos San Francisco Public Library, Noe Valley Branch 

2014 OpenScreening Special 30th Anniversary Edition by ATA Staff  Artists’ Television Access, San Francisco 

2013-2014 (Ongoing) Systems-Power-Identity Series (Curator) Artists’ Television Access, San Francisco, CA 

2013 The Nova Avon (performance)(Solo Show) Artists’ Television Access, San Francisco, CA

2013 Optronica Other Cinema, San Francisco, CA  

2013 Canyon Cinema Pop-Up Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco, CA

2010 & 2011  100 Performances for the Hole  SOMArts, San Francisco, CA 

2009 Regarding Here (mural simulacra paintngs) San Francisco Main Public Library 

2004 Acting Out/ Performative Videos by Bain and Hernandez San Francisco Cinematheque 

2003 “Crash” video program curated by Anthony Discenza, Southern Exposure Gallery, San Francisco 

2001 Conceptual Comedy: Humor From The Edge of Art” Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CA 

2000 Mural, "Frutos de la Expresion," Working Classroom participatory project, Albuquerque, New Mexico 

2000 Artists At Work: The Day Job (Curator/Presenter) San Francisco Cinematheque 

2000 Only Disconnect New York Video Festival, Film Society At Lincoln Center, NYC 

1999 Women on the Verge: The Multiple Personae of Anne McGuire and Claire Bain San Francisco Cinematheque 


2014 Feather Floating on the Water Anthology of contemporary San Francisco poets

2013-2016 Blog and Facebook Editor/Contributor Artists’ Television Access, San Francisco, CA 

2013 Canyon Cinemazine Issue #2 Contributor/photographs 

2010 The Nova Avon (Author)  Print piece presented at SoEX |Art Publishing Now San Francisco, CA 

2009 Street Art San Francisco/Mission Muralismo Editorial Contributor to book, author of essay Hell in Playland Abrams Publishing, 2009 

2008-Present The Nova Avon Social Media Literary Performance (ongoing-see ) 

1999  "Show and Tell All: 'Women on the Verge' Fuse and Agitate" by Edward E. Crouse, San Francisco Bay Guardian; Feb 7, pg 56  by San Francisco Bay Guardian, 


2017  Mosaic Project Woodside Senior Housing Precita Eyes Muralists, San Francisco, CA 
2017  Pastel Chalk Mural Immigrant Heritage Month,; Precita Eyes Muralists, San Francisco, CA 
2016  Mural El Capistrano Apartments; Precita Eyes Muralists, San Francisco, CA 
2009 Paper Bee Eco Sculpture for Art Teachers Leap | Arts in Education, San Francisco, CA 

2008 Teen Girls’ Media Literacy Mural Project Precita Eyes Muralists and KQED, San Francisco, CA 

2006 Drawing Dynamics Artseed, San Francisco, CA 

2004 Handmade 16mm Film and Slide Workshop  Ladyfest, San Francisco, CA 

2003 Super8mm Film Production Class  Film Arts Foundation, San Francisco, CA 

1993 - Present: Artist in residence in public and private schools, San Francisco Bay Area and Albuquerque, New Mexico. Providing instruction and projects in creative writing, muralism, architecture, and visual art 


-San Francisco Art Institute: Bachelor of Fine Arts; Sobel Memorial Scholarship 

-City College of San Francisco: Art, Filmmaking, Spanish; Dean's honor list 1986 & 1994; Library Technology, 2006 

-YBCA and other organizations: Attended workshops on Art Education, Youth Development and Reggio Emilia approach to Early Childhood Education 1993-present 

-University of California, Berkeley Extension: Studies in Writing for teachers, AutoCad, Geology, and Illustration

-University of New Mexico: Studies in dance, sculpture, math, and physics 

-Albuquerque Technical Vocational Institute: Diploma, Civil and Map Drafting Technology 

Professional Experience

2012-present Site Manager, Art Explosion Studios (17th Street Site), San Francisco 

2004-2006 Art Education Program Manager, Precita Eyes Muralists

1985-87 Motion Picture Optical Printing Technician Interformat, San Francisco 

1987-89 and 1995 Teaching Assistant, Office Assistant San Francisco Art Institute Film Department 

1985-86 Projectionist, Teaching Assistant City College of San Francisco