Artists bring color to Petaluma through murals

Art collaborators and close friends bring new murals to the Petaluma community in 2022.|

Whether it’s for the love of art, work or to further develop her career, Sonoma County artist AmandaLynn is always painting. Growing up in the Western Pennsylvania forest, she’s always loved the outdoors and expressed it in her work which is often created in nature.

“I have always done art. I painted my first mural on the hallway of my parents’ house when I was 16 — after the speeding ticket I got with my mom in the car,” AmandaLynn explained. “It was like my punishment, but then she basically ignited my interest in my lifelong career.”

From galleries to studios to art walks, Petaluma and Sonoma County have an exceptional art scene. To AmandaLynn and her frequent paint partner Lady Mags (Magdalena Gross), the scene’s primary significance comes from its mural and street art presence — similar to a big city like San Francisco. Not only professional partners, but best friends, AmandaLynn and Gross have been creating together for the past 11 years. Though their work can be seen all over Sonoma County and beyond, the duo have brought plenty of color and beauty to Petaluma through a series of collaborative murals. These eye-catching expressions of color and nature carry strong messages for the community.

a recent downtown piece, “Magnificent,” located on the side wall of Rex Ace Hardware, was a huge accomplishment for the artists. When Gross became a resident of the town in 2018, they knew they wanted to do a big collaboration for the city. The artistic pair already have another mural at Heritage Salvage called “Harmony,” painted in 2021 in celebration of Earth Day.

“Beyond just doing graffiti and art we normally do, we wanted to pick a slogan that sort of represented the beauty of the area,” AmandaLynn said. “Because we've both fallen in love with the environment, the people and dealing with the North Bay. So we wanted to do something that celebrated that particularly.”

As illustrated by these examples, the combination of the artists’ two styles brings graffiti lettering and painting together to form stunning masterpieces of public art.

“We also do fine art together,” AmandaLynn said. “It’s been a symbiotic relationship. We met through painting together and then became really close friends.”

AmandaLynn said she made the move from Pennsylvania to San Francisco in 2000, attracted by its reputation as a thriving arts community. At the time, she felt she belonged in the city.

“I actually met a group of graffiti writers in San Francisco while I was going to art school and that’s how I started painting on the streets,” she said. While living in the city, AmandaLynn connected with a muralist, Prairie Prince, who mentored her in what eventually became her full-time career.

Gross, who creates her art under the name Lady Mags, is originally from New York and started painting graffiti in Chicago in the early 2000s. She moved to Petaluma permanently in 2018 after going to Stanford University. According to AmandaLynn, Lady Mags has a full-time career in education, but they are always looking for opportunities to work together.

“When we can, we paint together,” she said, “but I tend to paint every week — all the time.”

Along with solo painting projects and collaborative ones, AmandaLynn was the director of a large music festival called KAABOO for several years. She worked with hundreds of artists and was able to feature some of her own work through art installations for the festivals. Many of those immersive installations were a collaboration with artist, Joe Stiles.

“He’s an architect and designer and we came up with visions together,” she said. “I’d come up with the decorative side and he’d figure out how to actually build it. We would work together with other people and create these immersive experiences for those in the festival world.”

AmandaLynn says she loves to travel and does so often as her work is in high demand. You can catch her pieces all over the world and find the influence of different places in her art.

Closer to home, an exhibit highlighting AmandaLynn and Mags’ “Magnificent” mural is opening August 6, 6-9 p.m. at Petaluma’s women-owned Vibe Gallery, just across the street from the lot where the painting is on display. The duo is curating an all-female art exhibit at the gallery, to celebrate the mural and the power of women working together.

The pair also have an art exhibition called “Wild Flowers” at 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco, opening October 13. AmandaLynn is participating in a solo art exhibition at Cooperage Brewery in Santa Rosa, opening July 2. AmandaLynn is also part of a non-profit called The Mural Project, which began its first ever mural festival in Santa Rosa on June 20. Artists paint simultaneously in different locations throughout the city for 10 days, followed with a block party and showings of the murals.

Check out AmandaLynn and her collaborations with Lady Mags on her website, Emma Molloy is an intern for the Argus-Courier. She can be reached at

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