'Nixon (Vote McGovern),' 1974, by Andy Warhol.

'Self-Portrait,' 1978, by Chuck Close.

The Sonoma State University Art Gallery, on the college’s campus on Rohnert Park, is not on everyone’s daily commute, so there’s a danger that some of their excellent art exhibits will get overlooked.

“Personal Identities, Contemporary Portraits,” opening with a reception from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 4, is definitely worth a brief detour. The show, which runs through Dec. 12, includes 30 works by contemporary artists, including Andy Warhol, Chuck Close and Robert Arneson.

But these portraits are not the conventional museum images you might imagine.

“It is a mark of contemporary life that personal identities have become increasingly complex, and are in a state of constant redefinition,” SSU Art Gallery Director Michael Schwager explained. “Similarly, contemporary art continues to evolve and redefine.”

To put it in slightly less scholarly terms, he’s jazzed about the show.

“This is one of the most interesting shows I’ve organized in the 19 years I’ve been at SSU,” Schwager said.

Gallery hours are 11 a.m.-4 p.m Tuesday through Firday, and noon to 4 p.m. on weekends. The campus is at 1801 E. Cotati Ave. Information: (707) 664-2295, http://www.sonoma.edu.org/