By Satri Pencak
Sonoma County has been a magnet for artists and art connoisseurs for many decades, and continues to attract sophisticated artists and art collectors, along with casual art lovers. Combined with the sheer natural beauty, and general creative ambience, the area readily entices visitors, as well as long-time residents, to explore the many and varied fine art offerings. With the addition of great food, drink, and outdoor activities, it’s easy to spend a day, a week, or a lifetime traversing through the vineyards, forests, and rolling hills, along the scenic coast, and through the welcoming towns of Sonoma County.
The following is a partial list of local art exhibitions. Many eateries, wineries, and civic buildings also present changing art shows in their spaces.
*** Designates an Opening Reception.
Area Arts Gallery
Through March 20, The Art of Janis Joplin
Joplin’s paintings, like her songs, are for and about the people and stories that filled her heart. The images on view share the roots of the woman who sang Me and Bobby McGee, and Oh, Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes-Benz.
105 Fourth Street, Santa Rosa
Arts Guild of Sonoma
March 5 through March 30, March in The Gallery
*** Opening reception, Saturday, March 7, from 4 to 7. p.m.
On view is recent work by Arts Guild Members; Roberta Alexander, Barbara Aliza, Anji Bartholf, George Dawnay, Irene Guidici Ehret, Zaza Fetterly, Yvonne Giambrone-Martin, Christine Gonzalves, Susan Heeringa-Pieper, Kirk Hinshaw, Carol Larson, Christine MacDonald, Nancy Martin, Brian Martinelli, Bev Prevost, Joan Shepherd, and Lyn Swan.
140 East Napa Street, Sonoma
Through March 28, Art Inspired by the Natural World
This group exhibition encompasses a range of interpretations of nature, including landscapes, animals, and botanicals, as well as abstract renditions. The gallery features an eclectic array of artwork from the 19th, 20th and 21st century. Special event, Wednesday, March 11, at 7 p.m., Gallery Talk, Tapestries of Egypt –An Experiment in Creativity, by David Williams, followed by discussion with Joyce Ertel Hulbert on contemporary tapestry weaving.
456 Tenth St., Santa Rosa
Charles M. Schulz Museum
Through June 7, Ghosting Schulz
Schulz proudly wrote, drew, and lettered every Peanuts strip. He did, however, employ cartoonists who assisted him with other cartoon endeavors such as his sports-related comic strip It’s Only a Game and Peanuts comic books. Learn about Jim Sasseville, Dale Hale, and the artists of Charles M. Schulz Museum Creative Associates, who have attempted to capture Schulz’s indefinable line.
2301 Hardies Lane, Santa Rosa
March 11 through April 4, Dreamings: Australian Aboriginal Art
*** Opening Reception, Saturday March 14, from 12 to 4 p.m.
The tradition and symbology of Australian paintings reaches back thousands of years, when these patterns were first used for ritualistic body painting and sand mosaics. Though seemingly abstract, the multilayered paintings reflect the Aboriginal experience of reading the veiled secrets of the desert environment, its plants, animals and pathways.
312 South A Street, Santa Rosa
Cloverdale Arts Alliance Gallery
Through March 19, Prelude
Featuring resident artist, Paul Maurer, with guest artists, Joel Bennett and Rene Dayan-Whitehead.
March 20 through May 14, Tempo
*** Opening Reception, Saturday, March 21, from 5 to 8 p.m.
Group show with resident and guest artists.
204 N. Cloverdale Boulevard, Cloverdale
Dog House Studio
Saturday and Sunday, March 14 and 15, Robyn Beattie
This two-day event showcases photographs by Robyn Beattie. The Studio will be open from 12 to 4 p.m. each day, and Lauri’s delicious pies will be served.
2371 Gravenstein Hwy South, Sebastopol
Turn at the Giant Yellow Duck
Lauri Luck, 707-477-9442
Through April 5, Small Works 2015
Annual juried exhibition of small work, showing 175 artworks created by 115 local artists selected by juror, Linda Schroeter.
9048 Graton Road, Graton
March 20 through April 22, Solutionaries; A Real World Quest to Change the World
A unique blend of science, art and magic, this interactive exhibit invites participants, young and old, to join the quest to restore our planet. Designed for elementary and middle school children and their families, this first-of-its-kind interactive exhibit takes viewers on a quest to discover seven “Solutionaries”, heroes who have implemented strategies to solve climate change.
132 Mill Street, Ste.101, Healdsburg
Healdsburg Center for the Arts
March 18 through April 19, Art of Gastronomy
*** Opening Reception Saturday, March 21, from 5 to 7:00 p.m.
The work for this national juried exhibition was selected by jurors Spring Maxfield, Charlie Pendergast, Vicky Kumpfer and C.K.Itamura, and includes a variety of media. For a list of related programs and events check their website.
9130 Plaza Street, Healdsburg
Ice House Gallery
March 14 through April 11, Birds
*** Opening reception, Saturday, March 14, from 5:30 to 8 p.m.
Celebrating the art of rendering birds. Dick Cole, Sylvia Gonzalez, Diana Majumdar, Robert Poplack, Michele Rosett, Stephanie Sanchez, and Joanne Tepper share their interpretations of birds in various media.
405 East D Street, Studio B, Petaluma
Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation, Heron Hall Art Gallery
Through April 29, Celebrating the Wild
Featuring original illustrations and paintings by Molly Eckler.
900 Sanford Rd., Santa Rosa
Occidental Center for the Arts
March 6 through May 4, Rebirth
*** Opening Reception, Friday, March 6 from 5 to 7 p.m.
A juried exhibition exploring what it means to start over, to come alive again, to go through transitions and transformations. Juried by Sonoma County painter and teacher, Susan St. Thomas.
3850 Doris Murphy Court, Occidental
Paradise Ridge Winery Sculpture
Through May 31, 2015, 20@20: 20 artists at 20 years
A year-long outdoor sculpture exhibition by 20 artists; includes a selection of emerging artists along with a core group of internationally acclaimed established artists. The work is set in a stunning natural setting with meadows, and oak groves, in the historic Fountaingrove neighborhood in northwest Santa Rosa.
4545 Thomas Lake Harris Drive, Santa Rosa
www.celebratesculpture.com or www.prwinery.com
Petaluma Arts Center
Through March 8, Work & Play: The Eames Approach
The exhibition features work by the legendary design duo, Charles Eames and Ray Eames, who were major influencers of design aesthetic and culture in 20th-century America. Also showing is work by their daughter Lucia, and granddaughter Llisa.
March 14 through April 5, Art Shapes the World
*** Opening Reception, Saturday, March 14, 4 to 6 p.m.
This 4th Annual Youth Exhibit features artwork by K-12 students in the greater Petaluma area.
230 Lakeville Street, Petaluma
Ren Brown Collection Gallery
Through March 15, Mikio Watanabe: Mezzotints
Japanese born artist, Watanabe, does meticulous images of the female figure in black and white, and scenes from nature—fish, birds, frogs, fruit and butterflies—in color. The artist will be in the gallery during the reception. Housed in a refurbished building with shoji and a small, serene Japanese garden, the gallery shows contemporary art by Japanese and regional Northern California artists.
1781 Coast Highway One, Bodega Bay
Riverfront Art Gallery
March 11 through May 3, Showin’ On The River!
*** Opening reception, Saturday, March 14, from 5 to 9 p.m.
This annual juried photography show features 57 images by 41 area photographers.
132 Petaluma Boulevard North, Petaluma
Santa Rosa Junior College, Robert F. Agrella Art Gallery
Through March 12, 30 Years of SRJC Printmaking
*** Closing Reception on Thursday, March 12, from 4 to 6 p.m.
Original prints, works composed with printed elements, and other works on paper made by the Santa Rosa Junior College printmaking teaching staff of the last thirty years (1985-2015). Also on display are technically relevant historical examples of etching, engraving, mezzotint, woodcut, linocut, serigraphy, and stone lithography.
1501 Mendocino Avenue, Santa Rosa
Santa Rosa Junior College, Petaluma Campus
Mahoney Library Gallery
Through March 26, Pepperwood Preserve
Paintings by Marsha Connell.
680 Sonoma Mountain Parkway, Petaluma
Sebastopol Center for the Arts
Through March 29, Peoples
The focus of this juried exhibition ranges from representation of the body to the essence of human experience. Gallery II presents Five Beyond the Bridge, work by Chester Arnold, Frances McCormick, Kurt Kemp, Jennifer Sturgill and Mark Perlman. Gallery III is showing In My Imagination, paintings inspired by people and their stories by Mary Sanders.
282 High Street, in the Veterans’ Memorial Bldg., Sebastopol
Sonoma County Museum
Through April 6, Indivisible: African–Native American Lives In The Americas
Since the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas, the lives of Native and African peoples have been closely intertwined. Blended tribes worked to preserve their land and rebelled against displacement. Their unique African-Native American cultural practices through food ways, language, writing, music, dance and the visual arts have thrived.
Through April 20, Alison Saar: Thistle and Twitch
Informed by artistic traditions from the Americas to Africa and beyond, and by her mixed racial upbringing, Alison Saar fuses her paradoxical responses to the black-and-white delineations of political and social forces into a powerful, visual, and kinesthetic tension.
425 Seventh Street, Santa Rosa
Sonoma State University, University Art Gallery
Through March 8, SSU Art Faculty Exhibition
The annual Art Faculty exhibition, showing work by Carlos de Villasante, Nathan Haenlein, Kurt Kemp, Jann Nunn, Mark Perlman, Gregory Roberts, Libby Black, Mads Lynnerup, and Allison Watkins.
1801 East Cotati Avenue, Rohnert Park
Sonoma Valley Museum of Art
Through May 17, Unconventional and Unexpected: Quilts below the Radar, 1950–2000
The exhibition shows how primarily anonymous, often self-taught women have often produced quilts for everyday use in their homes, that nonetheless articulate many of the same issues that have been at the core of the development of modern art during the second half of the twentieth century. The exhibition presents a selection of visually stunning maverick quilts from the mid to late 20th century, in a contemporary art framework.
Also showing: Shaker Stories—from the Collection of Benjamin H. Rose III
Dreamers, visionaries and utopian pilgrims, the Shakers thrived for more than two hundred years. Benjamin H. Rose III has assembled an exceptional, world-class collection of Shaker furniture and artifacts.
551 Broadway, Sonoma
The Art Wall at Shige Sushi
Through March 29, Janis Crystal Lipzin: Lightwork
Color photographs from Lipzin’s “Starflex Series”.
8235 Old Redwood Highway, Cotati
Upstairs Art Gallery
March 14 through March 29, The Color of Water–Watercolors by John Warner
*** Artist’s Reception, Saturday, March 14 from 1 to 4 p.m.
John Warner’s luminous and often intensely colorful paintings of coastal landscapes and seascapes from Canada to Mexico, Hawaii and the Mediterranean reflect a very personal sense of place. Warner studied fine arts at the Art Center College in Los Angeles and California College of Art and Crafts in Oakland.
306 Center St., Healdsburg, CA
If you would like to receive these posts in your e-mail each month, please sign up to follow my blog. This post also appears on my Facebook page; Satri’s Best Bets in the Visual Arts.