Finally the rain storms are on their way out and the mustard is in full bloom across the County, a stunningly beautiful welcome for all the visitors to our special Sonoma Valley. The winter weather has been a big challenge this year, with floods taking the place of the drought of the last five years. We expect our glorious Sonoma weather to remain now, with sunny days and mild evenings. Perfect conditions for strolling around the town and visiting the Arts Guild.
We recently welcomed our new gallery coordinator Laura Leipzig to our fold. Laura is full of good ideas for upcoming events, including live performances and a street faire, so stay tuned and check out our website frequently for those updates. She has taken over the management of the gallery with great enthusiasm. We welcome her can-do spirit and the infusion of youth-centered entertainment and events that she will bring to us. Laura is also involved in dance arts, frequently performing in a dance group in Healdsburg.
New art is installed every month. Our Installation Committee works diligently to display each piece in the best possible position, and adjusts lighting for the clearest impact.
One of our most popular community events, this year we scheduled the annual Invitational to take place in January rather than last December. We also renamed it the Art In Community event to more appropriately reflect the real reason for the exhibition, which is to invite outside artists to exhibit their work with us in the gallery for the month. In most cases, these artists do not show in any other gallery, so we like to give them the opportunity to be seen and heard. We always have a huge crowd at this opening reception, and this time was no exception. Our intent is to always support art in the entire community, to make art in Sonoma inclusive, accessible and welcoming, so this will always be an annual event.
Our 40th Anniversary
We celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Arts Guild in March. We launched the celebration with great fanfare in the press and online event sites and had a very big crowd at the Opening Reception on March 3rd. For weeks ahead, we reached out to all of the first members who had joined the Guild way back in 1977. The three founders were not able to attend, but five of the first artists exhibited their art, along with some art of others from those years. They were in attendance at the reception for meet-and-greet opportunities, regaling the crowd with manyentertaining stories of the past.
We were glad that our new City Manager Cathy Capriola attended, evidence that in her new position she wishes to work closely with the arts community. Also present were Councilmembers Madolyn Agrimonti and Amy Harrington. Two more highlights of the evening were the presentation of a City recognition by the Mayor of Sonoma, Rachel Hundley, who graciously stayed for the entire evening to chat with everyone in the crowd, and a commendation from Congressman Mike Thompson’s office. Thanks to all in City and County government for supporting our efforts.
A special article this month on the history of the Arts Guild can be viewed here on our website.
Our President, Kirk Hinshaw, has developed a list of exciting exhibitions for this year. In addition to the big show of the 40th anniversary, there are unique and different events for every month to come. One of them will be in April, our fundraiser for Pets Lifeline animal rescue shelter. We invited students at Presentation School to draw, paint or collage 50 canvases, the subject being either their own pet or one in the shelter. Presentation art teacher Rosemary McNeeley and artist Lia Transue lent their expert direction to the project. All proceeds from that exhibition will go to Pets Lifeline. Opening Reception: Friday April 7th from 5 to 7pm, be sure to arrive early to purchase your favorite artwork.
In September we will launch our first national juried exhibition. We will receive applications from many artists across the country. The Jurors are the highly respected Donna Seager and Suzanne Gray, owners of Seager/Gray Gallery in Mill Valley. The entire Arts Guild gallery that month will be devoted to all of the selected entries. That Opening Reception will take place on September 1st.
Those are just two of the special exhibitions for the year, so stay tuned for more news each month. Meanwhile, you can check us out on this website, on Facebook under Arts Guild of Sonoma, and we are listed every month on all the major online event sites. Our website carries interviews of the artists, a special History article developed for our 40th anniversary, and lots more entertainment.
As a reminder, we now have an online store for your browsing enjoyment.
Thank you for being such a wonderful supporter of the arts!
The Board of Directors, Arts Guild of Sonoma