A Press Democrat Blog


Dan Taylor on the fine arts scene.

Eilertsen named artistic director of Sonoma Valley Museum of Art

Kate Eilertsen, executive director of the Sonoma Museum Valley Museum of Art since 2009, has been appointed to the museum’s newly created post of artistic director. In her new role, Eilertsen will focus primarily on the downtown Sonoma museum’s exhibitions and educational programs. “This is a dream come true, to really concentrate on developing the artistic programs for this museum,” Eilertsen said in a statement issued Monday. This past winter, Eilertsen curated the first retrospective exhibit of work by Eleanor… Read More »

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 »

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 Valley Museum shows ‘Ferlinghetti’ film

Sonoma Valley Museum of Art will screen the documentary film “Ferlinghetti” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 18, in conjunction with its current exhibit, “Cross Pollination.” The exhibit features the writings, paintings and graphic works of Lawrence Ferlinghetti, 93, Beat era poet and co-founder of San Francisco’s City Lights book store and publishing company. The 82-minute film “Ferlinghetti,” 2009, directed by Christopher Felver, includes archival photographs and historical footage, and appearances by Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Dennis Hopper, Dave Eggers and… Read More »

Ferlinghetti art and poetry show in Sonoma

Best known as a Beat era poet and co-founder of San Francisco’s City Lights book store and publishing company, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, 93, is also a lifelong artist. The Sonoma Valley Museum of Art opens “Cross Pollination,” an exhibit of his writings, paintings and graphic works, on Saturday, June 23. The show also includes some of his notebooks and sketchbooks, on public display for the first time. Ferlinghetti’s first collection of poems, “A Coney Island of the Mind,” published in 1958… Read More »

Sonoma Valley Museum of Art sells artful cards

Already had enough of Christmas cards? Try “art cards” instead. On Saturday, Dec. 10, the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art will display and sell fund-raiser “art cards,” baseball card-sized works of art created by community leaders and friends of the museum. Participating artists include famed San Francisco poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, painter Keith Wicks and author and photographer Ann Jones. All of the cards are priced at $49 each, and the identity of the artist who created each card won’t be… Read More »

Storyteller at Sonoma Valley Museum

The Sonoma Valley Museum of Art always likes to match its special events to its current exhibits, and the museum has come up with a winning combination this time. The exhibit is “Six Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: Original Etchings by David Hockney,” which opened June 4 and runs through Aug. 28. The event is an evening with storyteller Cathryn Fairlee, Pacific Regional Director of the National Storytelling Network. Fairlee will spin yarns including the tale of Rumpelstilzchen, who… Read More »

After-hours mixer at Sonoma Valley museum

For some inexplicable reason, museums seldom seem to get due respect as a great venue for special occasions. I’ve never understood why. I once attended a banquet at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., with priceless artifacts everywhere, and columnist Art Buchwald as guest speaker. It was memorable, to say the least. Fortunately, the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art in Sonoma has long recognized its own strength as a site for social events, hosting a series of “Mix” parties aimed… Read More »

A ‘trashion’ show in Sonoma

Sonoma artist Margaret Hatcher designs costumes from unusual materials, like old shopping bags. It’s a choice. She’s into recycling. So when word gets out that she’s involved in putting on a “Trashion” show, that’s of interest.  And she’s looking for other designers who want to get in on the act. In conjunction with the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art and its forthcoming exhibit, “Eco Chic: Towards Sustainable Swedish Fashion,” running Feb. 19-May 15, the Sonoma Community Center is sponsoring a… Read More »

TGIF at Sonoma Valley Museum of Art

During an interview last February, Kate Eilertsen, executive director of the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, very clearly expressed one of ther dreams for the downtown Sonoma museum. “I want to make it active all the time, a place where art happens,” she said. “My big dream for this museum is to have it be a place of activity, 24-7. It’s not all going to happen in one year, but hopefully in five.” She is making a start toward that… Read More »