A Press Democrat Blog


Dan Taylor on the fine arts scene.

Local museums join national free Museum Day program on Saturday

If you’ve been curious about the “Artistry in Wood” woodworking show at the Sonoma County Museum in Santa Rosa or the “Kitchen Memories” kitchen memorabilia exhibit at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art in Sonoma, Saturday (Sept. 28)  is your day. Both museums will offer free admission as part of the nationwide Smithsonian magazine’s ninth annual “Museum Day Live.” Saturday hours at both museums are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free admission at Sonoma County Museum is for “Artistry in… Read More »

Axis Dance Company of Oakland to perform in Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park

Sonoma County’s contemporary dance fans have two chances to see local performances by the internationally recognized Axis Dance Company of Oakland. Axis, known for choreography that integrates dancers both with and without physical disabilities, will perform at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, at the Glaser Center, 547 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. The performance will be followed by a question-and-answer session with Axis dancers, and a workshop class with dancer Bernadette Alverio of the Studio Gray dance studio in Santa Rosa.… Read More »

Sonoma County Museum gets $160,000 outreach grant

The Sonoma County Museum received a $160,000 two-year grant from the  James Irvine Foundation, a California-based philanthropic nonprofit. The grant will support the museum’s community outreach efforts to increase active involvement in the arts among Sonoma County’s low-income, culturally diverse immigrant families through art workshops in non-traditional venues. The museum plans a series of four multi-part art and storytelling workshops working with Sonoma County artists Mario Uribe, Linda Schroeter, Fred Vedder and Paul Gaudreau. The workshops will involve multi-generational families… Read More »

Sonoma County Museum opens ‘Mail Call’ exhibit

For generations of soldiers serving overseas, the next best thing to going home was getting mail from home. “Mail Call,” a traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C., celebrates the history of this of treasured correspondence. The show opens upstairs at the Sonoma County Museum with a reception from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, and runs through April 21. The exhibit also is augmented with items from the Sonoma County Museum collection and… Read More »

New photo exhibit at Sonoma County Museum draws a crowd

The Sonoma County Museum’s “IMBY” exhibit is a hit. More than 400 people attended the opening reception last Friday, Jan. 25. A lecture about the show on Sunday, Jan. 27, also was well-attended, said Pat Lenz, one of the exhibit’s organizers. The exhibit’s title is new take on the old idea of “NIMBYs,” the folks who show up at public hearings to say they really don’t oppose the construction of the latest big facility of some sort, as long as… Read More »

Landscape paintings at Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley museums

Sonoma County art lovers who favor scenic vistas have two choices this month, with exhibits of landscape paintings on display at two local museums: (1) Sonoma County Museum’s two exhibits of work by 19th-century American master Thomas Cole — “Thomas Cole: Peace at Sunset” and “Wild Land: Thomas Cole and the Birth of American Landscape Painting” — continue through Jan. 13 in Santa Rosa. “The California Landscape: Conservation & Collections at the Sonoma County Museum” is also running in conjunction… Read More »

Sonoma County Museum is both subject and site of coming art show

You’ve heard of NIMBYs. Those are the folks who show up at public hearings to say they don’t oppose the construction of the latest big facility of some sort, as long as it’s “not in my backyard.” Now it’s time for the “IMBYs.” “In My Back Yard” is a concept promoted by Sonoma County artist and curator Pat Lenz. What it means is that art photographers take pictures of arts display spaces, such as galleries and museums, from all angles,… Read More »

Enrique Chagoya exhibit opens at Sonoma County Museum

A night at the museum needn’t be a stuffy affair. The Sonoma County Museum opens its new exhibit, “Enrique Chagoya: Death and Taxes in Fantasylandia,” with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, complete with live music and a tequila bar.     Tickets cost $15 at www.sonomacountymuseum.org. The exhibit, running through Nov. 4 at the museum, 425 Seventh St., Santa Rosa, is just as playful in spirit as the reception. The show presents works created by… Read More »

Painter Chester Arnold speaks at Sonoma County Museum

  Internationally known Sonoma painter Chester Arnold will speak about his work, as well as art and the world in general, at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 12, at the Sonoma County Museum. A longtime art professor at the College of Marin, and well-known for his own work, Arnold won additonal attention six years ago, when he and his students painted, from photographs, portraits of some 2,000 U.S. soldiers killed in the Iraq War. Admission to the 90-minute talk costs $8.… Read More »

Chester Arnold paintings on display at Sonoma County Museum

Sonoma painter Chester Arnold is on the quiet side, but he’s an interesting guy. Born in Santa Monica, the son of a career soldier, Arnold spent most of his childhood and adolescence in post-World War II Germany. “Munich was a great city to grow up in,” he once told me. “It’s full of art and history. There was a built-in contemplation in that life, or maybe I was hard-wired to be contemplative anyway. I was thinking about mortality while my… Read More »