In 1996, Zee Zee Mott, Lissa Nicolaus and Sherrill Miller were then sharing a studio. They were coincidentally approached by Mary Welch, past director of Marinscapes, a fine art show that benefits Buckelew House in Marin County. It was suggested that since they painted landscapes, they should do something to preserve the land. They discussed a formation of a plein air artists group who would partner with a non-profit environmental group each year to produce an art show to raise funds and to bring awareness to Bay Area environmental causes.
BayWood Artists was formed with a group of ten and in 1997, they had their first exhibition at St. John’s Church in Ross partnering with San Anselmo Open Space in preserving Hawthorne Canyon. The BayWood group has remained small in size with about ten to twelve members with guest artists added every year. They produce about one hundred and twenty fine art paintings for their shows and fifty percent of the proceeds goes to the environmental organization.
Since this first show, the BayWood group’s mission has remained unchanged, and they have partnered over the next fourteen years with such local conservation organizations such as Marin Open Space Trust, Marin Open Space District, Angel Island Association, Russian Riverkeeper, Marin Conservation League, the Marin Bayland Advocates, the Bay Area Ridge Trail and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, Save Mt. Diablo and numerous others.
The BayWood Artists have been fortunate in recent years to have their annual show at the Sausalito Bay Model in Sausalito and it has served as their annual venue ever since. The BayWood artists have continued to paint the land that they love with a goal of helping preserve these lands for future generations.