Jennifer Perlmutter

I opened Jennifer Perlmutter Gallery to engage more with the public, to empower other artists, and to elevate the conversation about art in this region. Great art speaks truths we all understand. It shares beauty that enriches, heals, and transforms our lives. 

January 2020

Jennifer Perlmutter b. 1966

Born in Mountain View, CA and raised in Napa, Jennifer (Flynn) Perlmutter is the youngest of 3 siblings. Her mother and father were life long entrepreneurs. All 3 siblings worked at different times within the family business. There was a restaurant and bar in Napa, then after the kids went to college, her parents moved to San Francisco and her mother started a data reporting business for the mortgage industry. The business was so successful that her brothers joined after graduation. Jennifer’s path did not line up with data reporting and she began to carve her own way.

Transferring from Napa College, in 1987, she moved to Boston Massachusetts to attend Emerson College. Her dream of being a journalist, was quickly shot down when classes involved hair and makeup. Not being one to fuss with either, she felt right at home in the college radio station, WERS FM. Soon she was creating feature programming, announcing AP news and hosting the early morning folk music show, “Coffeehouse”. She felt at home with the artists and production engineers at the station.  Upon graduation in ’89, she moved in with her boyfriend, Sean Perlmutter in New York City and started a new job at Radio Today. With a promising start in uptown Manhattan at a radio syndication company, life in NY was settling in. But she found the sales floor and spreadsheets boring and unrelated to the production and programming she longed to create.

She left Radio Today after less than a year and began production assisting in Art and scenic Departments for Film and TV. 

Moving to LA in 1990, she continued working in film and TV production until her final position as assistant to Director Bryan Singer on The Usual Suspects. All through post-production and final edits she realized once again, that the office was no place for her and waiting for freelance production gigs gets old very fast. Tired of living on beans and rice and with an imminent marriage on the horizon, Perlmutter took a steady job in the Rights and Clearances Department for Universal Film. Her boss held watercolor workshops once a week in the conference room. She read magazines on wood working and high end design. Her landlord was an interior designer and one day saw her painting in the garage. She mentioned a high end furniture painter she knew that needed assistance. Perlmutter quit Universal and went to work in the garage of another artist.

Jennifer and Sean Perlmutter married in 1996 on a hillside in Malibu around a fire pit as the sun set. A non-traditional wedding with a female officiant and a circle of guests shaking gourds to celebrate. The Perlmutters were on their way to make a creative life; hatching plans in coffee shops on Melrose, dreaming of telling their stories, making a difference, and having an adventurous life together.

Two years later, she opened her own furniture design and painting studio focused on creating high-end finishing techniques and chinoiserie for the design industry. Soon her own collection of art developed, designers and collectors bought directly, galleries followed, along with commissions for large hotel projects. In 2000 she was presented with an opportunity to create special paint effects and finishes in South Korea for two luxury destinations.

In 2002, their son Jaco was born. By the time he was entering 1st grade, they were looking for cleaner skies and a change of pace. In 2008, they moved up from LA to find a home in the Bay Area. Lafayette offered the best apartment they could afford, great schools for their 8 year old son, and beautiful scenery. Jennifer found a painting studio for rent in Berkeley and quickly began a new series of work. Within a year, she was teaching workshops, holding open studios, and finding collectors. Perlmutter was invited to give a TEDx talk in 2010 on her approach to art and business: one brick at a time, from where ever you are, responding to what is and trusting the process. Soon the studio in Berkeley no longer worked for her; the commute, cost, and separation from Lafayette took a toll.

In the Fall of 2013, she left the Berkeley studio not knowing where she would paint next.  A few weeks later, she took a chance and called a number on the window of the little brick storefront on Mt. Diablo Blvd. The property owner was open and flexible. It was the break she needed and in 2014, she opened the Jennifer Perlmutter Gallery in Lafayette, CA to bring the deep experience she has with art to another level. She continued to make art while curating and showing the work of others, helping more people develop strong connections with art. Her mission is sharing compelling fine art that touches and inspires.

Her work has been exhibited in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles, and collected internationally. Commissions are shown in major hotels like the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas, Mirage in Las Vegas, and Toronto’s Casino Niagara. 

Voted 2020 Business Person of the Year – by Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, Lafayette, CA

Organization Affiliations:

Lafayette Partners in Education




Lamorinda Arts Alliance

Advisory Council StArtup Fair – San Francisco

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If you are interested in taking classes or purchasing a piece of art, shoot me an email and I will get back to you as soon as I can!