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.
Arts Guild of Sonoma
May 2 through May 31, May Member’s Show
*** Opening reception, Saturday, May 2 from 4 to 7 p.m.
Showing work by Featured Artists Thena Trygstad and Kirk Hinshaw, and recent work by Arts Guild Members Sophie Acheson, Patricia Akay, Barbara Aliza, Anji Bartholf, George Dawnay, Dee Dushkes, Irene Guidici Ehret, Zaza Feterly, Yvonne Giambroni-Martin, Christine Gonzalves, Susan Heeringa-Pieper, Carol Larson, Jackie Lee, Nancy Martin, Brian Martinelli, Loran May, Helen Mehl, Ruby Newman, Bev Prevost, Joan Shepherd, and Lyn Swan.
140 East Napa Street, Sonoma
Through May 30, Spring Selection
The exhibition features contemporary artists Michael Ramos, Alejandro Salazar, Jim Spitzer, and Christian Velastegui, and many others.
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
Through May 10 Shinga Shell: Abstractions
The show features the vibrant abstract paintings of Sonoma County artist Shinga Shell. In her work, graphic marks and icons overlay brilliant fields of color. Some of the paintings are contemporary echoes of the raw street art of Jean-Michael Basquiat.
312 South A Street, Santa Rosa
Cloverdale Arts Alliance Gallery
Through May 14, Tempo
Group show with Guest Artists Jonqui Albin, Robin Spencer-Crompton, Peter Crompton, and Rebeca Trevino. Pamela Heck is the featured resident artist.
May 15 through July 16, Medley
*** Opening reception, Saturday, May 16, 5 to 8 p.m.
Group show with featured guest artists.
204 N. Cloverdale Boulevard, Cloverdale
Through May 17, Musings
Featuring work by Pamela Powell and Rik Olson. Also showing are guest artists, Elizabeth Peyton, Vi Strain, Nancy Wheeler Klippert, Nancy Ricciardi, Shawn Lux, and Holly Jordan.
May 19 through June 28, three
*** Artists Reception, Saturday, May 30, from 2 to 5 p.m.
Featuring oil paintings by Sandra Rubin, glass art by Carla Sarvis, and pastels by E. Ryder Sutton. Also showing work by guest artists Kerri Brandau, Brian Cluer, Jennifer Whitfield, and Ron Sumner.
9048 Graton Road, Graton
Through June 22, Ain’t Natural
*** Artists reception, Saturday, May 2, 6 to 9 p.m.
An exhibition of mixed media work by four artists. Jenny Honnert Abell’s mixed media work has cemented her need to create fantastic imagery that can tackle her demons and challenges in life. John Hundt’s collaged landscapes are completely believable in their respective contexts, in which a verisimilitude of perspective is maintained in spite of the impossibility of the situation pictured. Sherry Parker’s work shows an intense response to the poetics of life suspended between the real and the surreal. For Scott Wilson, obsessions with both comparative anatomy and natural history are constant, and are underlying themes in the majority of his work.
132 Mill Street, Ste.101, Healdsburg
Healdsburg Center for the Arts
Through June 7, Under Pressure: Printmaking in Modern Times
Featuring the work of 16 Northern California printmakers who use mediums steeped in traditional printmaking techniques, while re-interpreting, re-defining and re-envisioning the imagery and dimensionality of printmaking. Curated by Sue LaBouvie and C.K. Itamura, the exhibiting artists are Todd Barraklow, Luz Marina Ruiz, Colin C. Teague, Max Dubois, Barbara Winer, Bryan Kring, Laurel Prieto, Rik Olson, C.K.Itamura, Jeff Hantman, isabel Proust, Nicholas Collins, Elaine Nehm, Judith Corning, Lyn Dillin, and Shari Arai DeBoer. For list of related events and workshops see their website.
9130 Plaza Street, Healdsburg
Ice House Gallery
Through May 23, The Beatles at the IceHouse Gallery
An exhibition of classic black and white photographs of the Beatles by Curt Gunther who traveled with, and documented the band during their first American tour in 1964. This group of images captures John, Paul, George and Ringo on the doorstep of international fame.
405 East D Street, Studio B, Petaluma
Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation, Heron Hall Art Gallery
May 1 through August 30, Breathing Space—Paintings by Susan Ball
*** Opening reception Sunday May 3, from 3 to 5 p.m.
On view are new large-scale paintings and drawings by Susan Ball inspired by the Laguna de Santa Rosa.
900 Sanford Rd., Santa Rosa
Museums of Sonoma County
Through May 24, Andy Warhol to Kara Walker: Picturing the Iconic
This inaugural exhibition features a selection of prints from the 1960s through the present focusing on the concept of the “iconic.” The collection includes work by Pop icons Andy Warhol, Robert Indiana, Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist, Jasper Johns, and Ed Ruscha, as well as by a selection of major contemporary artists including Bruce Nauman, Enrique Chagoya, Jeff Koons, Kara Walker, Lorna Simpson, John Baldessari, and many others.
511 B Street, Santa Rosa
May 2 through June 8, Art & Storytelling: the body map series
*** Opening Reception and DJ Dance Party, Friday, May 1, 8 to 11 p.m.
Featuring a selection of “body maps” along with video interviews of participants. The work derives from a community-based arts initiative started by the Museum to gather the diverse stories about the land and people of our region.
425 Seventh Street, Santa Rosa
Occidental Center for the Arts
May 5 through May 11, Salmon Creek Student Art Show
*** Opening Reception for the Artists, Thursday, May 7 at 6 p.m.
Showing artwork by students at Salmon Creek School.
May 15 through July 5, Summer Solstice
*** Opening Reception Friday May 15 from 5 to 7 p.m.
An exhibition of work by Sonoma County artists interpreting the Summer Solstice. Juried by artist E. Ryder Sutton.
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
Through June, From Inspired Hands: The Art of the Wappo People
The exhibition is a celebration of Wappo artistry and culture. The Wappo people were stewards of Pepperwood for thousands of years and used baskets for everything from gathering seeds to fishing to cradling infants to cooking. Each basket, created by some of the world’s finest weavers, is an intricate work of art that holds strong spiritual significance.
2130 Pepperwood Preserve Rd, Santa Rosa
Petaluma Arts Center
Through May 31, The Art of Rock ‘n Roll
On view are iconic photos, curated by Joseph McDonald, from the Rock ‘n Roll era as well as vibrant posters that announced the great rock concerts of the time. The exhibition includes photographs by Baron Wolman, Ed Perlstein, Jim Marshall and Curt Gunther, along with posters by Alton Kelley, Pat Ryan, and Stanley Mouse. A Groove Room with surround sound, and listening stations at selected photographs will be set up to enhance the total musical experience. For dates, times and tickets for special events, visit the Events page at petalumaartscenter.org.
230 Lakeville Street, Petaluma
Ren Brown Collection Gallery
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
May 6 through July 5, Two Photographers
*** Opening Reception, Saturday, May 9, 5 to 9 p.m.
Wine Country Retrospective, photographs by Lance Kuehne, and The Nature of My Journey, photographs by Jeff G. Allen.
132 Petaluma Boulevard North, Petaluma
Santa Rosa Junior College, Robert F. Agrella Art Gallery
Through May 14, 2015 Student Art Show
This event showcases artwork by SRJC art students and presents an opportunity to see what classes the SRJC Art Department offers in design, ceramics, drawing, photography, painting, printmaking and sculpture.
1501 Mendocino Avenue, Santa Rosa
Santa Rosa Junior College, Petaluma Campus
Mahoney Library Gallery
Through July 26, Alcatraz Florilegium
On view are 31 works by artists of the Northern California Society of Botanical Artists. The collection was created in collaboration with the Garden Conservancy and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy to create a series of botanical drawings and paintings to document the Gardens of Alcatraz.
680 Sonoma Mountain Parkway, Petaluma
Sebastopol Center for the Arts
May 21 through June 14, Art at the Source Preview Exhibition
*** Opening Reception, Thursday, May 21, 6 to 8 p.m.
This preview exhibition features the work of the 167 artists participating in the Art at the Source Open Studio event on the first two weekends in June.
282 High Street, in the Veterans’ Memorial Bldg., Sebastopol
Sonoma State University, University Art Gallery
Through May 16, BFA Exhibition2015
The exhibition of work by students who have graduated from the BFA program at the SSU Art Department. Kadie Sue Anderson, Peter Brennan, Will Elias, Ashley Farlan, Daniel Gardner, Hilary Gattian, AliHaselbeck, Sarah Heyward, Dayana Leon, Isaac Lopez, Sarah Newcombe, Hadley Radt, Corriene Robertson, and Cameron York.
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 Spinster Sisters Restaurant
Through June 7, dress code(x)
A solo exhibition of recent work by C.K.Itamura featuring two and three-dimensional mixed-media works on paper, hand drawn, printed, and sculpted into forms that resemble mysterious dresses, cocoons, and other wrappings.
401 South A Street, in the SOFA Arts District, Santa Rosa
The Art Wall at Shige Sushi
Through May 31, Suzanne Jacquot—Abstract Painting
A recipient of the SFMOMA SECA award, artist Suzanne lives and creates her art in Sonoma County.
8235 Old Redwood Highway, Cotati
Upstairs Art Gallery
May 9 through May 31, My Painting Passion—Capturing the Essence
*** Artist’s Reception, Saturday, May 9, from 3 to 6 p.m.
Cynthia Jackson-Hein’s plein-air paintings capture the beautiful but melancholy evidence of abandoned homesteads, of history and dreams overcome by drought or modern mega-farms.
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.
Thank you Satri. It’s great to have all this information in one spot!
Thanks for your comment Carol. There is much art to appreciate in Sonoma County.