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Cedar Street Gallery is a street-level art gallery on the corner of Shattuck and Cedar in the heart of the Gourmet Ghetto in Berkeley, CA.  We hope to support artists, engage the public, spark curiosity, beautify the street and show some really cool art.


Ellen Brook

  Messages in a Bottle


"Take Me Out of the Blue"

May 26th-Jun 23rd

For more information on artist and sales please visit:


Instagram: @ellenbrookartandfashion 



Artist Statement: 


My discovery of an entire box of wartime correspondence written by my grandfather launched a magical journey of personal and artistic discovery.  I never met my father’s father, so the nearly 100 letters penned to my grandmother during World War I, more than a century ago, inspired me to visually express some of the feelings, stories, and moments in his life as a soldier, while also reflecting universal themes, such as isolation, connection, and healing. The artwork is infused with tears of sadness and comfort. It draws from poignant turns of phrase, the materiality of ink and paper, and a certain transcendence of time. I hope to capture the enchantment of this “message in a bottle” which has washed up upon my shores, and which transmits more than mere words on paper.   

Take Me Out of the Blue: At the center of war is the human being, striving to survive against the bombarding threats and a harrowing sense of isolation.  The truths of one antidote to war’s cruelties—real human connection—radiate out from my grandfather’s words, including when he wrote to his beloved “Goldie”: I need to hear from you more to take “the blue” out of me. Feeling isolated and yearning to reconnect are hardly unique to war—they can occur during a global pandemic or simply everyday life.  I try to reflect both the joyous dream of reconnection with a loved one as well as the “blue” of the longing that befalls all of us now and then.  

I am a mixed media artist, and fabric and fashion designer who began my artistic life at age 40. I employ gesture, intuitive marks, texture, and a passion for color to explore ideas related to the mind, the human condition, and the healing and energetic properties of beauty and color.  


Ellen Brook is a mixed media artist, and fabric and fashion designer. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Ellen began her artistic journey at age 40, after a lifetime convinced that she wasn’t creative. She reoriented her life to focus on art and design.  


Ellen creates rich abstract mixed media paintings and ethereal silk hangings, and designs and creates luxuriously down-to-earth women’s apparel and accessories. She combines gesture, intuitive marks, layers of texture and a passion for color to explore Eastern ideas related to the mind, the human condition, and the healing and energetic properties of beauty and color. Her current “Message in a Bottle” mixed media series explores themes drawn from recently discovered letters written by her grandfather as a young soldier in WWI. The artist never knew her grandfather.  


Ellen’s art and fashion have been featured in solo and group art and fashion shows, selected for “ARTWEAR” at San Francisco’s de Young Museum, and used by musicians for their album cover art. Ellen’s work is represented at M.K. Contemporary Art in Santa Cruz. Her mixed media piece “Take Me Out of the Blue #6” was selected for the annual Salon at the Triton Museum in Santa Clara, where it is currently on display.  


Ellen is on the Advisory Board of the Fashion and Design Department at Cañada College. She is a juror for Art Bias Studios and leads their curation team.  She teaches creativity and mixed media workshops.  


A self-taught artist, Ellen holds a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and a master’s degree from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.  

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