Best Bets, 4.19.12

I am now recording audio spots for Best Bets on the Sonoma Arts website. You can go to their site and click the Best Bets button to hear the most recent posting, or you can read the text here on my website.

My Best Bets for the week of April 19 to April 25, 2012.

We’ll start in Marin county, where there are two exhibitions celebrating the art of the book.

At the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, in Novato, we have the 3rd Annual Altered Book and Book Arts Show. The opening reception is on Saturday, April 21, 5 to 7 pm., with a talk by Donna Seager at 4 o’clock. This is a fundraiser for MarinMOCA and there will be a live auction at the close of the show on May 26, 5 to 7 p.m. So you will have a few weeks to view the art and make your bids. The museum is located at the Hamilton Air Field, in Novato, for more information and a list of related events check their website,

Then at the Seager Gray Gallery in Mill Valley, is Art of the Book, an exhibition of handmade and altered books. This gallery was previously the Donna Seager gallery in San Rafael, but has recently moved to their new location in Mill Valley, with a new partner, Suzanne Gray. The exhibition features over 30 artists who work with books as an art form, and provides an extensive overview of this genre. Here you’ll find beautiful handmade books, and ones made from unusual materials and in unexpected forms, as well as altered books, which are existing books that have been artfully restructured. I consider Donna Seager to be the queen of book arts, or certainly one of the most knowledgeable people I know on the subject. A reception for the artists is on Saturday, April 28, 6 to 8 p.m. and the exhibition continues through May 31. Check their website,

I also want to mention a couple of shows in Sonoma County worth noting. The first is the BFA Exhibition at Sonoma State University, which features the work of 14 recent graduates from the Bachelor of Fine Arts program. It can be really interesting to see what emerging artists are producing. The opening reception is on Thursday, April 19, 4 to 6 p.m., the exhibition runs through May 12.

Then, in Petaluma is Inner Landscapes: Paintings by Al Longo at the Institute of Noetic Sciences. In these abstract paintings Al renders his intuitive response to landscapes and the natural world by using color and sinuous biomorphic forms. The works are not meant to be a representation or reflection of nature but rather the sense of its spirit and its energy. A reception for the artist is on Sunday, April 22, 3 to 5 pm. The exhibition runs through July 12, and is being shown at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, at their San Antonio Road site.

For information and directions see their website,, then go to events.


About Satri Pencak

Independent Curator, art writer
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