Frog Bog began as Jill McLennan watched the wild lands of Oakland get scooped up by developers for their high-rise, market rate apartment buildings. The frog became McLennan’s spokesperson for the disappearing wetlands habitat from Oakland’s border along the bay. As she continued to explore her rapidly changing city, she couldn’t help but feeling like she was surrounded by a crane forest. Around every corner, she found towering cranes and steel frames, a new building, an unrecognizable skyline. Her observant eye led again to her noticing the people living amongst us, the unhoused, huddling under highways and bridges and in the few vacant lots that remain. Through her car window, she noticed and she wondered how she could help give a voice to this cycle. McLennan’s art documents the evolution of the Bay Area, combining direct observation, imagination and a glimmer of hope, she records Oakland’s development and displacement with diligence.
JILL MCLENNAN is a professional painter and teaching artist living in Oakland for 19 years. She works for the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco, The Museum of Children’s Art in Oakland and in various schools. She founded her own organization, JMAC: Jill McLennan Arts and Community, as a platform for teaching classes, workshops, creating murals and public art. She organizes community projects with her neighbors in Oakland, Jingletown Arts, Business & Community (JABC). She recently completed four murals for the Jingletown Storm Drain Mural Project, with various populations. McLennan draws, paints, prints, makes mixed media pieces, wax encaustics and oil paintings that explore industry, history, urban nature and her outlook towards a future of human and natural cooperation.