Art in Sonoma County: Current Gallery and Museum Exhibitions in May 2016

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.

James Ford Grant, "JIU JIN SHAN"

James Ford Grant, “JIU JIN SHAN”

Calabi Gallery
May 7 through July 2, James Ford Grant
*** Opening Reception, Saturday, May 7 from 4 to 7 p.m.
On view are mixed media sculptures, acrylic paintings with mixed media materials on canvas and panels, digital monoprints, and photographs by James Ford Grant.
456 Tenth St., Santa Rosa

Charles M. Schulz Museum
Through December 4, Mr. Schulz Goes to Washington
Peanuts and politics brushed elbows many times! Pig Pen ran for class president, and Lucy eyed the White House. “Snoopy for President” regalia became popular during elections of the 1960s and 70s, and Schulz himself received multiple White House invitations.
2301 Hardies Lane, Santa Rosa

Barbara Elliott, Wonderland

Barbara Elliott, Wonderland

Christie Marks Fine Art Gallery
May 5 through June 18, Barbara Elliott: Selected Works
*** Opening Reception, Friday, May 6, from 5 to 8 p.m.
Elliott creates photographs with Polaroid image transfers, as well as other alternative processes including cyanotype, Van Dyke Printing, and the platinum/palladium process. Her subject is always the human form, whether alive or inanimate, and one senses a haunting humor while recognizing an understated elegance.
312 South A Street, Suite #7, Santa Rosa


Simmon Factor; Here, There and Everywhere

Simmon Factor; Here, There and Everywhere

Chroma Gallery
Through May 29, Simmon Factor: Live on The Walls
*** Artist reception: Friday, May 6, from 5 to 8 p.m.
Recent narrative paintings and collages by artist, teacher, gallerist, and former owner of Village Art Supply, Simmon Factor.
312 South A Street, Santa Rosa

Cloverdale Arts Alliance Gallery
Through May 19, Poetry
Guest Artists are Judy Anton and Ann Frowick. Resident Artists displaying new art include Laura Paine Carr, Pamela Heck, Terry Holleman, Sharon Kozel, Paul Maurer, and Hanya Popova Parker.

May 21 through July 14, Novel
*** Opening reception, Saturday, May 21, from 5 to 7:30 p.m.
Showing the work of resident artists, Laura Paine Carr, Pamela Heck, Sharon Kozel, Terry Holleman, Paul Maurer, and Hanya Popova Parker; with guest artists, Jane Gardner and Shane Gidcumb.
204 N. Cloverdale Boulevard, Cloverdale

Corrick’s Art Gallery
Through May 29, Gen Zorich and Nichibei Potters
*** First Friday art opening, May 6, from 5 to 7 p.m.
Also, My Daughter the Framer (located inside Corrick’s) is hosting an Art at the Source Showcase Exhibition.
637 Fourth Street, Santa Rosa

Fulton Crossing
May 20 through June 12, Art at the Source Showcase Exhibition
*** Artist reception, Friday May 20, from 5 to 8 p.m.
Showcasing work by Art at the Source artist participants.
1200 River Rd., Fulton

Serena Hazard

Serena Hazard

Gallery at First
Through June 1, Serena Hazard; One Woman Show
The show features natural and abstract landscapes by Serena Hazard.
First Presbyterian Church
1550 Pacific Ave, Santa Rosa

Gallery One
Through May 8, Representational Abstractions
Featured Artist, Donna DeLaBriandais, along with Else Gonella, Bernie Healey, Hella Merrill, and Helen Moreda.

May 9 through June 12, Art at the Source Showcase Exhibition
*** Artist reception, Saturday, May 14, from 5 to 8 p.m.
Showcasing work by Art at the Source artist participants.
209 Western Ave., Petaluma

By Ken Berman

By Ken Berman

Graton Gallery
Through May 22, Rik Olson—What Was I Thinking?
New prints by Rik Olson, with Guest artists; Rose Easterbrook, Peter Fronk, Adriane Hatkoff, and Susan Peterson.

May 24 through July 3, Marylu Downing & Ken Berman: Curves & Angles
*** Artists Reception, Saturday, May 28, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
9048 Graton Road, Graton


Animus, by Elisabeth Sunday

Animus, by Elisabeth Sunday

Hammerfriar Gallery
Through June 25, “Grace”, photographs by Elisabeth Sunday
For 26 years Elisabeth Sunday has traveled alone and lived among various original peoples of Africa. Sunday’s photographs reveal an interplay of invisible forces that connect her subjects with the world of nature. Utilizing a flexible mirror of her own design, she photographs reflections that blend and dissolve the boundaries between her figures and their environment.
132 Mill Street, Ste.101, Healdsburg



Healdsburg Center for the Arts
Through May 22, Look! Book Arts
Featuring work by more than 75 artists, printers and poets, this exhibition provides a look at diverse forms of bookbinding, printing, calligraphy, paper marbling, and other arts and crafts associated with traditional forms of making books by hand. Closing Tea and Salon on Sunday May 22, from 2 to 4 p.m.
9130 Plaza Street, Healdsburg

By Tony Speirs

By Tony Speirs

Kitty Hawk Gallery
Through May 29, Unreliable Narrator
*** Opening reception, Saturday, May 7, 5 to 8 p.m.
Solo exhibition of recent paintings by Tony Speirs.
125 N. Main St., Sebastopol





By Tom Holland

By Tom Holland

Museums of Sonoma County
Art Museum
May 1 through July 24, Tom Holland: Five Decades of Art
This is the first major retrospective of Holland’s work, featuring paintings from his student days in the 1950s to large-scale pieces done this year. Check the website for related events.
511 B Street, Santa Rosa

History Museum
Through May 15, Building the American Dream: Sonoma County After the War
The impact of the postwar period on Sonoma County cannot be overstated. From its agrarian roots, the county emerged into a modern suburban landscape. With its growing population, cars proliferated, housing and shopping centers grew, drive-ins, rock and roll, and even poodle skirts became part of the scene.
425 Seventh Street, Santa Rosa

Occidental Center for the Arts
Through May 7, X Posed
Showing artwork by participants of the ongoing Thursday Night Drawing Group.

May 10 through May 16, Salmon Creek Student Art Show
*** Reception, Thursday, May 12, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
3850 Doris Murphy Court, Occidental

Paul Mahder Gallery
Through June 4, Transition
Showing glass sculpture and pastel drawings by Ann Wolff; and new paintings by Gurpran Rau.
222 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg

Petaluma Arts Center
May 14 through July 10, Zeitgeist– Capturing the Moment through Art
*** Artists Reception, Saturday, May 14, from 4 to 7 p.m.
Juried exhibition featuring artwork from Northern California and Hawaii.
230 Lakeville Street, Petaluma

By Roberta Ahrens

By Roberta Ahrens

Pie Eyed Open Studio
Saturday & Sunday May 14 and 15, from 12 to 4 p.m., Roberta Ahrens
Ahrens’ creates astonishingly intimate floral images on a monumental scale rendered on hand-prepared cracked linen canvases. Her hallmark is bold color and design on fragile like surfaces suffused with the rich historical depth of medieval illuminated manuscripts and the ancient frescoes of Pompeii.
2371 Gravenstein Hwy South, Sebastopol
Look for the ART + PIE sign and turn at the Giant Yellow Duck!
Lauri Luck, 707-477-9442

Takayuki Zoshi, Praying Monk

Takayuki Zoshi, Praying Monk

Pigment + Paste
Takayuki Zoshi’s Contemporary Buddhist Sculpture
*** Opening Reception for the artist Thursday May 19.
Open 2 weekends in May, Saturday and Sunday May 21 & 22 and Memorial Day Weekend May 28 through 30.
6780 Depot Street Ste. 100, in The Barlow, Sebastopol




Bill Geisinger, Container

Bill Geisinger, Container

Ren Brown Collection Gallery
May 6through July 4, The Magic of Fire
*** Reception, Saturday May 7, from 2 to 4 p.m.
Reception includes a talk about the firing process by Bill Geisinger.
Showcasing the work of fifteen northern California wood-fired ceramic artists. The beauty these artists have created ranges from large sculptural and wall-hung to small functional pieces. A single firing may last as long as ten days, and often requires the joint efforts of a team of potters to keep the fire going around the clock.
1781 Coast Highway One, Bodega Bay

Stephanie Hamilton-Oravetz-Ruskins, Venice St. Marks

Stephanie Hamilton-Oravetz-Ruskins, Venice St. Marks

Riverfront Art Gallery
May 11 through July 3, Late Spring Show
*** Opening and Art Walk Reception, Saturday, May 14, 5 to 9 p.m.
Featured Artists, Photographs Stephanie Hamilton-Orovetz, and Grant Kreinberg.
132 Petaluma Boulevard North, Petaluma





Santa Rosa Junior College, Robert F. Agrella Art Gallery
May 1 through May 17, Student Art Show 2016
*** Opening on Day Under The Oaks, May 1, from 4 to 6 p.m.
Showcasing artwork by SRJC students.
1501 Mendocino Avenue, Santa Rosa

Sebastopol Center for the Arts
May 19 through June 12, Art at the Source Open Studio Preview Exhibition
*** Opening Reception, Thursday, May 19, from 6 to 8 p.m.
Each of the 157 artists has one original artwork on view.
282 High Street, in the Veterans’ Memorial Bldg., Sebastopol

Sebastopol Gallery
Through June 12, TREEN
*** Artist’s Reception on Saturday, May 7 from 5 to 7 p.m.
Small handmade functional household objects made of wood by Sebastopol wood-turner, Kalia Kliban.
150 N. Main St, Sebastopol

Sonoma State University, University Art Gallery
Through May 21, BFA Exhibition 2016
Features the work of 10 students in the Art Department who are graduating this Spring with their Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), an advanced degree requiring an additional year of focused study in their chosen medium.
1801 East Cotati Avenue, Rohnert Park

Sonoma State University Library, 2North Gallery
Through May 27, John LeBaron: A Lifetime of Photography
With an artist’s eye, enhanced by his years as a photojournalist and photography teacher, John LeBaron shared his view of the natural world – landscape, faces, shapes and textures, light and shadow.
Sonoma State University Library
1801 East Cotati Avenue, Rohnert Park

Sonoma Valley Museum of Art
Through June 12, Modern Twist: Contemporary Japanese Bamboo Art
Modern Twist explores the evocative, sensual and sculptural power of contemporary bamboo art. It brings 38 exceptional works by 17 Japanese artists, displaying many of these technically innovative and imaginatively crafted works for the first time.

Thomas Ingmire: Contemporary Calligraphy
Internationally renowned calligrapher Thomas Ingmire transgresses the boundaries of painting as well as the beauty of language in this exhibition of artist’s books, calligraphic works, drawings and sketchbooks.
551 Broadway, Sonoma

The Art Wall at Shige Sushi
Through May 29, Lewis Bodecker —Paintings and Drawings
The abstract paintings and drawings by North Bay artist, Lewis Bodecker (1926-2009), from the collection of Kevin Berry and Maureen Baumgartner, often employ patches of color—usually subtle, but sometimes quite vibrant—overlaid with scribbling and other linear marks, including letters and numbers. Bodecker studied art at Sonoma State University and taught classes there.
8235 Old Redwood Highway, Cotati

Cathy Locke; The Magician

Cathy Locke; The Magician

Upstairs Art Gallery
Through May 29, Cathy Locke; The Magic Series
*** Opening Reception Saturday May 7, from 2 to 5 p.m.
Influenced by paintings of Russian fairy tales, artist Cathy Locke created paintings that explore the inner workings of a child’s mind. The artist will talk about her paintings at the reception on May 7.
306 Center St., Healdsburg.



Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, Sculpture Garden
Through June 2017, Root 101
On view in the new Sculpture Garden is the inaugural exhibition of recent work by Bruce Johnson. The work is comprised of colossal wood sculptures made from salvaged old growth redwood, which he has been working with for over 50 years.
50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa

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About Satri Pencak

Independent Curator, art writer
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