Aleksandra Zee’s art has a meditative quality, so it is no wonder that the beautifully appointed hotel and wellness destination MacArthur Place in Sonoma commissioned her to create a giant mural for the lobby ceiling. The Oakland-based woodworker uses patterns and colorful wood grains to guide the eye, imparting a calmness to the space — her meticulousness is palpable. “The first thing I do when starting a new piece is sort through my lumber, being very selective with wood grain and color pattern, and matching pieces up that work with each other. The entire process of starting a piece is very intentional,” says the artist. Zee found her calling while she was working as a display artist for Anthropologie. “I would make anything from tables to fixtures to large-scale displays, and whenever the project revolved around being in the woodshop, I felt like I was home. That is when I knew I had found my medium,” she says. Zee is planning to launch a new body of work in September that will be centered around functional sculpture. Here, she shares some of her favorite things.
Beauty must-have: “Jan Marini Age Intervention Duality is my absolute fave. I have always had problematic skin and this is the only product I have ever used that not only cleared up my skin, but improved the texture and makes me glow. I will never be without it.”
Favorite place to relax: “My backyard. My husband and I have put a lot of work into it and it is an oasis for us to unwind in.”
Currently on repeat: “Akilah Cadet’s podcast, ‘Change Cadet.’ She is passionate about being a soldier of change and creating space to support antiracism, diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging. I just took her Power and Privilege workshop where we learned about confronting our privilege in whatever manner that may be, and using it to support others, not just to become an ally, but an accomplice in the fight for racial equality and justice.”
Dream staycation: “The Ventana in Big Sur is always on the dreamy list.”
Go-to for a therapeutic pick-me-up: “The Assembly in San Francisco is the most beautiful space. It is wellness-focused and offers endless options for moving your body, meditation, soul work and community.”