"Art has a value that doesn't test the same way that math and science do...I took as many art classes as I could but I actually did better in my other subjects as well because I was so happy."
– Chester Arnold, Artist, Sonoma, CA
We are passionate about our mission to ensure every student has access to art in every grade. One reason why? Research shows that students who study creativity and the arts have higher test scores across the board in every subject area.
The past two years have presented major challenges in educating public school students at all grade levels, in all subjects. Our steadfast goal is to ensure teachers and local arts organizations have access to funds to support art education in and outside the classrooms.
In this newsletter, meet the artists who help make this possible by designating 40% of their art sales during the Sonoma Plein Air Festival, and enjoy watching the inspiring Chester Arnold, who offers his take on why art is so important for children.
Meet the Artists of Sonoma Plein Air 2022!
It's the 20th anniversary of Sonoma Plein Air and we are delighted to invite new artists and returning favorites. Here are the juried artists who will join us in September:
Eric Fe Guan
Alison Leigh Menke
W. Jason Situ
Robert G. Steele
Please visit our website for full-size images and links to each artist's website!
Art in school makes a difference in people’s lives, and in the third of our video series, The Community Speaks, we meet Chester Arnold, Sonoma Treasure Artist and longtime art instructor whose work is currently featured in a retrospective "Reports to the Contrary: A Persistent Vision" at the Fresno Art Museum.
The artist jurying is complete - and in just a few weeks we will be able to release the names of all participating artists in the 20th anniversary Sonoma Plein Air Festival!
Our all-volunteer foundation is busy planning the events and keeping in touch with our grant recipients. Read on for the heartwarming comments from the kids who benefit from the programs our donors fund, and watch a video from a Sonoma public school graduate who built a life around his art.
Sonoma Plein Air teams with Art Escape to keep art alive during challenging times...
Flowery School Art Experiences Flourish
Though pandemic distancing restrictions reduced the number of students that could participate, Art Escape was able to schedule classes in October, Novmeber and December 2021 for Flowery's After School Wednesday program. Third through fifth graders joined in two-hour sessions filled with diverse art projects. In fall, students participated in printmaking, bookbinding, collage and more. Through the generous support of Sonoma Plein Air donors, these classes are now scheduled throughout the school year!
Sonoma Teens Explore Art in the City
During pandemic restrictions, teems everywhere have been seriously impacted by the loss of socialization and independence. Sonoma Plein Air provided the primary funding for two field trips of 10 Sonoma teens each to the Legion of Honor in San Francisco.
Here’s what some of the participants had to say:
"This trip was cool and special. It was my first time going to the city and now I know how different it is from Sonoma. I also made some new friends that I've never met before."
"It was the BEST day ever. I got to know new people who ended up being new friends. I also have a new favorite painting."
"My favorite part of today was walking around the museum. I loved it because of all of the different types of art we got to see. Lunch was also amazing, and it was fun to talk with new friends."
"Going to the art museum in the city was an amazing experience. I enjoyed the car ride and seeing all the fabulous artwork.”
"I think if Art Escape gets the funding they should do a trip like this again! It was really cool being able to go around the city and museum. I would never have had the chance to go there without this trip. Thank you so much for inviting and including me in this super awesome experience!"
A special thanks to all our donors who make experiences like this possible.
Art in school makes a difference in people’s lives, and in the second of our video series, The Community Speaks, we meet local businessman and artisan Steve Chiurco, who designs and fabricates custom metalwork projects. Influenced by a couple of wonderful art teachers in junior high and high school in Sonoma, Steve created Steel Geisha Designs with his wife, Anastatia, in 2006.
Steve is a firm believer in the importance of arts education for kids. He told us, “I was better at using my hands than my mind, and then eventually got better at using my mind over my hands.”
He added, “When you are happy doing something, it just seems that other opportunities, like making money at it, may fall into place.”
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10th
The 20th Anniversary Sonoma Plein Air Festival Art Show & Sale
In 2022, we will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Sonoma Plein Air Festival! The support of generous donors, art buyers and artists have allowed us to fund $1.7 million dollars of arts education for public school students in Sonoma Valley. The impact on students is profound. Read on as Middle School Art Teacher Cheryl Coldiron shares her student work, and is interviewed about the importance of art in our schools.
I wanted to let you know about our most recent art project at Adele and Altimira MIddle Schools.
We just completed a multi-day integrated curriculum project about Endangered Species. Students were given time to research an animal of their choice; then conduct additional research about what the animal looks like, their habitat, what they eat, how and where they live, unusual facts, an so on.
They were taught how to create a mini-book, where they wrote about their animal and drew small illustrations on the pages. Finally, using earlier lessons about color and composition, they created their Endangered Species Painting. (All students are eligible to enter their paintings in a National Contest as well).
Thank you very much for the funding to purchase the painting paper, paint supplies, brushes and more!
In Sonoma, we are well-attuned to the impact the pandemic has had on tourism and how wineries and restaurants have pivoted to different business models. While less visible, the arts and cultural sector of the economy may have been hit the hardest of all – not only have artists lost employment but people have lost in-person access to cultural events.
In June, we received full permission from the City of Sonoma to plan the Sonoma Plein Air Art Show and Sale on the Plaza. With safety top-of-mind, our all-volunteer board is hard at work planning and promoting the events, hosts are readying accommodations for the artists, and 34 nationally-renowned artists will soon be on their way to Sonoma for a week to paint the natural beauty of the area.
Now, more than ever, is the time to support artists, the arts and art education!
Put these events in your calendar!
Quick Draw at the Farmer’s Market: Tuesday, September 7
Gala Dinner and Auction at Jacuzzi Vineyards: Friday, September 10
Art Show and Sale in Sonoma Plaza; Saturday, September 11
Important Information about the 2021 Sonoma Plein Air Gala
The evolving nature of COVID means we will continually monitor the latest medical advice and protocols so we can come together at Jacuzzi Vineyards in a gala setting in about 6 weeks. For now, this means we will require that all gala attendees are fully vaccinated. Following restaurant models, meals will be individually plated and service staff will have shown proof of vaccination and wear masks. Dining tables will be appropriately spaced and, as always, we will do our best to honor all dinner seating arrangements.
We hope this will give you the confidence to join us for this all-important fundraiser. In past years, the gala has raised 60% of the annual funds for the Sonoma Plein Air Foundation. The youth of Sonoma Valley are headed back to the classroom – some for the first time in over a year of distance learning. What kind of learning environment do we want for them?
One that is safe, supportive, engaging and challenging.
One that prepares them for adulthood with an appreciation for creative expression.
They need our support to keep art education alive – because the arts nourish all our hearts and souls.
The Sonoma Plein Air Foundation Board of Directors Cathy Good & Cheryl Shimek, Co-Presidents
Barbara Wells, Treasurer
Pat Meier-Johnson, Secretary
Keith Wicks, Founder
Gerry Brinton, Irene Cook, Gretchen Gardner, Judy Hallden, Ellen Hoover, Nancy Evers Kirwan, Nikki Parr, Nancy Pollock, Linda Rosso, Dana Simpson-Stokes
We will follow the most up-to-date requirements provided by the City and County of Sonoma with regards to physical distancing and numbers of people permitted in the Sonoma Plaza art show area at any one time. Currently, masks are not required outdoors for vaccinated people.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED for SONOMA PLEIN AIR FESTIVAL EVENTS!
Week of September 6-11
Distribute marketing materials around town, set-up and take-down, decorations, artists' assistants, and other fun jobs at an Artists' Reception, Quick Draw, Gala and Festival.
Happy July! Before you head into the holiday weekend, we wanted to share the good news that Sonoma Plein Air 2021 is a GO! We are excited to be back to share art with the community and raise funds for art education in Sonoma Valley. We also want to introduce you to a talented young artist that reminds us why art is so important to young people, and how they can make a difference!
This year's Sonoma Plein Air Gala theme is "Under the Sonoma Sky," inspired by this painting by Anton Pavlenko, the recipient of the 2019 Artists' Choice Award.
Join us on Friday, September 10th atJacuzzi Family Vineyards, where we will celebrate art and raise funds for art education for the youth of Sonoma Valley. Tickets are available on our website.
The gala is a delightful celebration of art where art lovers mingle and dine and view the "best of the best" paintings created during the Sonoma Plein Air week. The artists hold a peer vote for the best painting of week, and gala attendees bid at silent auction to take home their personal favorites. You can see the award winners from past festivals on our website.
We are able to gather on the Sonoma Plaza
With COVID-19 restrictions removed, we have been given the go-ahead to present the Sonoma Plein Air Festival, including a Quick Draw event during the Tuesday Night Farmer's Market. September 7, and the Art Show and Sale on the Sonoma on Saturday, September 11. Here are the participating artists. We look forward to seeing you there!
Meet the Artist: Elsa Winter
Class of 2021 Sonoma Valley High School
Lewis E. Cook Scholarship Winner
Each year, a deserving senior from Sonoma Valley High School receives a $1,000 grant to help in their pursuit of the arts in any form. This grant is made from a fund established by former board member Susan Cook in honor of her late son. We are delighted to announce Elsa Winter, the 2021 Lewis E. Cook III Scholarship Winner.
Elsa uses art as a tool to elevate her other passions. Since Elsa was young, she has been surrounded by an artistic atmosphere and has immersed herself in different creative ventures. After taking her first art classes at Sonoma Valley High School, she fell in love with the power of art and applied her creativity to a variety of pursuits; starting a club to turn recycled materials into jewelry and art pieces, designing and selling Black Lives Matter t-shirts to donate the proceeds to the Innocence Project, interning in graphic design to develop her skills in the digital space, and collaborating with the Campus Beautification Club to create and execute an 800 square foot mural. She will attend UC Santa Barbara as an Environmental Studies major in the fall, and plans on both focusing on bringing a creative perspective to the environmental movement and possibly minoring in Art & Design. She believes that art serves as a catalyst to create a more innovative future, and is excited to continue devoting her creativity to fuel the greater good.
Elsa Winter's pencil illustration of Mother Nature, created from the prompt, “Stop,” in her AP Art class at SVHS.
Click the image to see the mural Elsa created in coordination with the Sonoma Valley High School Campus BeautificationClub.
We are thrilled that our friends at Bartholomew Estate have been able to re-open the Sonoma Plein Air Gallery, located within their historic, mission-style winery building. Come view the exhibition of Sonoma Plein Air artists’ works by reserving a private time. Stroll through the exhibit to enjoy the art and perhaps fall in love with a piece to bring home. 25% of the proceeds from art sales are a tax-deductible donation that directly supports art education in local public schools and community organizations, something near and dear to our hearts!
For your safety and social distancing, they are now accepting reservations for 30-minute private viewing sessions in the Gallery, for single party groups of up to six people, Wednesdays through Sundays. Admission is complimentary. While you are there, make a reservation for a seated, outdoor tasting of their beautifully crafted, estate wines from organically farmed vineyards.
Art Rewards the Student (A.R.T.S.) program brings, free to the schools, experienced teaching artists to Sonoma fourth and fifth grade students. In school classrooms, and in the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, students experience art-making projects themed to the Museum’s current exhibition that spark creativity and critical thinking. This year, all lessons were taught virtually and the program explored how art can connect people, build communities, and help create a kinder, more tolerant world.
Sonoma Plein Air helps to fund this important program and exhibition which this year is a mix of online and in-person at SVMA, The Arts Guild of Sonoma, and El Verano Elementary Schools.
The Arts Guild Show, was exhibited at the Guild at 140 E Napa St, Sonoma.
While we are waiting for final approvals, we are planning and have faith we will be able to gather once again for Sonoma Plein Air Festival week - with Quick Draw, a Gala on Friday, September 10 and the renowned Art Show and Sale on Saturday, September 11. Please check our website for future announcements!
Spring has arrived and with it comes not only the beautiful colors of our annual mustard bloom but also the promise of a decline in Covid-19's impact on our lives as the population of vaccinated individuals continues to expand. It has been a trying time for all and we wish you all health and happiness in the coming months.
Our March newsletter features the work of the young artists of Sonoma Valley High School during the 2020-2021 school year who continued to create despite the challenges of distance learning. We also have some announcements from our Board and peek into the future for 2021. As always, we thank you for supporting valuable art programs and experiences for the youth of Sonoma Valley over the past 20 years.
Art in the Time of Covid
@Sonoma Valley High School
Several months ago, the arts education faculty used the remaining 2020 SPAF grant funds to create take-away student art supply kits for projects that involved painting, sculpture and textiles. These kits were then distributed in the now familiar drive-by approach. With the kits and a large amount of creativity, along with the help of the SVHS Visual and Performing Arts staff, these young artists engaged, explored and experimented in a range of media. Enjoy the results of their efforts by clicking to see their work!
Changes on the SPAF Board
We are pleased to announce that Barbara Wells has joined the Sonoma Plein Air Foundation Board of Directors! Many of you may recognize Barbara as she has been a key member of our Festival Gala event team over the past years, managing the onsite activities related to the Silent Auction purchases and your generous donations.
Barbara will be mentored by longtime Board Member Gerry Brinton to take on the role as Treasurer, as Gerry remains on the board as an at-large director.
And Will the Show Go On??
At the start of this year, we were asking ourselves this question again and again. To help us answer it, we conducted surveys of Board members and Artists and kept a very close eye on all information and updates Covid related.
Everyone responded with cautious optimism and a strong desire to be part of a Sonoma Plein Air Festival in 2021.Given that, we are happy to announce that the Board is planning on holding our Festival from September 6th to 11th, 2021. Due to Covid considerations, the Festival may look a little different but we anticipate seeing many of you in person come September.
Watch for details in upcoming newsletters and on our website in the coming months.
The Sonoma Plein Air Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization that funds youth art education in community organizations and public schools in Sonoma Valley.
Autumn in the Sonoma Valley brings cooler temperatures and (fingers crossed) the need to get out the umbrella and the rain boots. This newsletter features an update on the activities of one of Sonoma Plein Air's partners, Art Escape, along with the remembrance of a favorite Festival Artist and a review of our September event, #SonomaPleinAir2020. As always, we thank you for supporting valuable art programs and experiences for the youth of Sonoma Valley over the past 18 years.
Art to Gogh: Art Escape Sonoma
Starting in September and continuing through December, Art Escape's mobile art studio, Art Van Gogh, is delivering a variety of free art projects to the children of Sonoma Valley. September's projects included a Mini Weaving Kit and a Clay Kit. In October, demand increased for projects such as the Doodle Kit and the Sugar Skull kit. Each kit comes with all needed supplies along with instructions in both English & Spanish.
Response to date has been great -- many community families are taking advantage of these creative non-screen related projects. Art Escape expects to distribute an additional 360 kits in November and December, ranging from Leaf Rubbing Journal kits to Finger Puppet kits to Snowflake and Popcorn Garland Kits just in time for the holidays.
Greg LaRock, Landscape Artist
On October 11th, we lost a well-loved member of the Sonoma Plein Air family, artist Greg LaRock. His wife Laurie shared the following on social media:
"In the most heartbreaking day of our 27 years together, Greg passed away last Sunday afternoon. Two days prior, he and I were rollerblading in our neighborhood, something we loved to do. In an instantaneous and tragic turn of events, Greg fell hitting his head which resulted in a traumatic brain injury precipitating his passing. The loss is both inexplicable and unimaginable. I will miss my lifelong partner, husband, and soulmate as I know many of you will miss your friend, teacher, and mentor. Greg knew compassion like no other man I have ever known and gave it without hesitation. His spirit lives on in those of us who knew and loved him and in his timeless and beautiful paintings. In a final act of kindness and compassion, Greg had designated himself an organ donor and we know he will live on in others who never even knew him."
The photo below captures Greg at the 2017 Sonoma Plein Air Festival with his Artist Choice Award winning painting. He left an incredible body of work -- many of which were seen and enjoyed at our Festivals over the years. Our deepest sympathy goes out to his family and many friends.
And The Show DID Go On...
37 artists teamed up with us to bring you a virtual online festival -- the artwork in the show was beautiful and the opportunity to 'click thru' to purchase a painting and visit each artist's website added another dimension to getting to know these talented individuals. We look forward to seeing them and all of you in person at the 2021 Sonoma Plein Air Festival in early September next year.
Monday, September 7th at 10 am
and 37 artists are waiting for you...right here!
The 2020 Sonoma Plein Air Festival on the Plaza has been cancelled...but the show goes on!
We've all been going through challenging times during the pandemic, and it's tough to predict what our future will look like. But we know one thing for sure: ART MUST BE A PART!
We are not giving up on art education! Schools and the community organizations serving them will be able to carry over funds, and we have limited funds available for new grants to keep art alive for the youth of Sonoma.
We are here to support the professional artists who make our annual festival a success. Many have traveled to Sonoma for nearly two decades! All of the artists have lost opportunities to sell their work this year.
August 2020 (Update 09/22/2020: If you would like to learn more about the Tree Of Possibilities project, please click here and you can view their latest video.)
As August draws to a close, this month's newsletter features a very special announcement and highlights summer activities funded by Sonoma Plein Air and conducted by three of our community partners. Each unique project enabled Sonoma Valley youth to experience art and self-expression during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. We thank you for supporting valuable art programs and experiences for youth over the past 18 years.
Tree of Possibilities: Teen Services Sonoma
Outside Operation Bicycle in Vailetti Plaza on Highway 12 in The Springs, you will find a unique, wonderful sculpture made from recycled bicycle parts and culinary items representing two social enterprises at Teen Services Sonoma, Operation Bicycle and Lovin' Oven. Metal sculptor Marty Munson, with assistance from teens Alondra Perez and Leila Whitney, designed and built the 13-foot kinetic sculpture incorporating flattened spoons and metal leaves imprinted with words about hopes and dreams for the future created by teenagers from across Sonoma Valley.
Sonoma Plein Air Board member and fine artist Pat Meier-Johnson functioned as the Project Coordinator, bringing the Tree to fruition despite an interruption by Covid-19. The Tree of Possibilities was funded by Creative Sonoma and Sonoma Plein Air Foundation.
Home Art Kits: HeART of Sonoma
Over 250 home art kits were assembled and distributed to children in Sonoma so they could create a heart and participate in the latest HeART of Sonoma initiative sponsored by the Sonoma Valley Arts Task Force. The hearts are now on display around Sonoma so keep an eye out for these colorful creations -- they will brighten your day and make you smile!
Virtual Arts Camps: Sonoma Community Center
Over the summer, kids and teens were offered Virtual Arts Camps by the Sonoma Community Center in lieu of onsite experiences that had been planned.
Two Virtual Fiber Arts Camps for youth ages 10-17 years old were held in July featuring celebrated fiber instructor Pia Andersson, who came to the Center for class lessons in the Fiber Arts Studio. Camp was live online using ZOOM video conferencing. Participants learned specific hand sewing, macrame and weaving techniques while completing a fun range of fiber art projects and crafts. All supplies & materials were provided via curbside pick-up.
A Virtual Clay and Art Camp took place the end of July. Children explored the world of clay, fiber and multi-media art through a combination of guided pre-recorded videos and live ZOOM video conferencing. Projects aimed to provide a positive, energy filled studio experience at home and the follow-along camp workbook was available in both English and Spanish.
The Show Must Go On...
On Monday, September 7th, the artists of Sonoma Plein Air would have started painting. On Tuesday, September 8th, the Quick Draw would go on at the Farmer's Market in Sonoma Plaza. On Wednesday and Thursday, you might have spotted an artist painting along Fifth Street, or Highway 12, or tucked into a private vineyard. On Friday night, you could have been dining under the stars at a gala dinner. And on Saturday, September 12th, you would be in the Plaza, scouting out the beautiful paintings. But not THIS year.
THIS YEAR, by special arrangement, 37 artists have teamed up with Sonoma Plein Air to bring the show online in a virtual festival coming to YOUR screen.
Last month we shared with you what two of our community partners, Art Escape & Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, did to support art education for children in our schools. This month we introduce you to 4 young artists from the art program at Sonoma Valley High School along with connecting you to the 2020 Film Festival created by the Media Arts program. We want to highlight some of the creative young people who benefited from generous donations to the Sonoma Plein Air Foundation and thank you for your interest in and support art education for the next generation.
Sonoma Valley High School ARTISTS
Angelina Carabini (Class of 2020)
"Creating art whether it's in the classroom or out has become an outlet for expressing my love and curiosity towards nature and its animals."
Ronaldo Castillo Mendoza (Class of 2021)
"Art for me means a way to express everything you feel, to let off steam, to give your point of view of something through images and colors, and personally when I draw I relax a lot, because it is something that I love."
Zanett Velzaquez (Class of 2020)
Zanett has always harbored a passion for creativity in a variety of media including painting, photography, origami, drawing, embroidery and knitting.
Elsa Winter (Class of 2021)
Ever since she was a young child, Elsa has been interested in art -- influenced by her graphic designer mother. She has created jewelry, painted jeans and continues to fill up an abundance of sketchbooks.
2020 SVHS FILM FESTIVAL
The Media Arts Program at SVHS provides a doorway into the digital arts through filmmaking classes, animation, scriptwriting, film theory and story telling. Each year several hundred young people are introduced to the process of making films -- the results are dozens of student shorts many of which you can see by clicking this link.
Lewis Cook, Jr. Scholarship
In 2011, Lewis and Susan Cook of Glen Ellen, CA, created this scholarship in memory of their son, Lewis E. Cook III, who died unexpectedly that year. Since then, each year, a deserving senior from SVHS receives a $1,000 grant to help in their pursuit of the arts in any form. We are grateful to the Cook family and proud to announce the 2020 Scholarship recipient:
Luisa Perez Aceves
Luisa is a dedicated student who is the first in her family to go to college. She was an active student on campus, participating in the AVID program, athletics and clubs during her four years at Sonoma Valley High School. She is considering an Art major when she attends UC Santa Cruz in the fall.
We were ready...set...and before we could say GO, our world changed. After delay and deliberation about postponement, we decided to postpone the 2020 Sonoma Plein Air Festival. Since that decision, we've been keeping up with how the schools and community organizations we fund are keeping art at the forefront for the youth of Sonoma. Schools will be able to carry over any remaining funds from their 2019 grants. Here is a look at what two of our community partners have done.
When the school closure was announced, our grantee Art Escape immediately began considering ways to continue to deliver art experiences to students. Preparing and delivering Art Kits became be the viable solution. The kits were distributed during two drive-thru pickup days at Art Escape and during school homework pickup days.
Flowery School's March after school class students received a customized kit that included the printmaking projects that they had been working on, plus the supplies and instructions to finish the project at home. The kit contents included a lino block, dip-dyed rice paper, oil pastels, printing paper, and some other fun activities.The April group of students received kits with the supplies to make a DIY treasure box. This included wooden boxes, glue sticks, tissue paper, sequins and decorations, along with instructions and several project prompts
Kindergarten- third grade students at El Verano received a kit with all the materials and illustrated instructions to make a suncatcher at home. Included were crayons, wax paper, and string. Students enrolled in the Mosaic program at El Verano received a Mini Paper Mosaic kit. This included school glue, all sorts of patterned paper, mat board, and colored pencils.
Sonoma Valley Museum of Art
Sonoma Plein Air funds the A.R.T.S. (Art Rewards The Student) program at Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, which brings the museum to 4th graders and culminates in a wonderful exhibit. Because of the pandemic, this year's show went online.
The class participated in conversations about power, about special skills that comic heroes have, and about themselves. If they could have a special power, what would it be? The students named their powers and then built their own iconic self-portraits encased in beaded, shiny mixed mediums.
Since 2002, our all-volunteer organization has brought together great artists and art collectors for an annual show and sale that provides much-needed funds for youth art education in Sonoma Valley. While we take a hiatus from the Festival, please know we are brainstorming ideas and we are NOT giving up on funding art for Sonoma’s kids!
We have limited funds available for new grants for the 2020-2021 school year. If you are able, and would like to help ensure the future of art in schools, we would be grateful for your support.
The Sonoma Plein Air Foundation has distributed the 2019-2020 school year grants totaling $172,362 dollars.
We are able to provide arts education funds directly to schools and the community organizations that provide instruction for school-age children in Sonoma Valley through the generous donations of our patrons, supporters and art collectors who purchase art at the annual Sonoma Plein Air Festival.
Here are some of the projects that will be funded this year:
Middle school and high school field trips to the Legion of Honor, de Young Museum and di Rosa Preserve
Media Arts program at Sonoma Valley High School
Art in Action curriculum at Flowery, Dunbar and Prestwood Elementary Schools
Maker Room at Sassarini Elementary School
Sculpture and Mosaics at El Verano Elementary School
Art programs at Woodland Star Charter School
"Art Rewards the Student" at Sonoma Valley Museum of Art
After School programs at Art Escape
Sculpture Art Installation at Teen Services
Middle and high school "Small but Grand" show at Arts Guild
Art@The Farmer's Market with the Sonoma Community Center
Our all volunteer board works throughout the year to make Sonoma Plein Air happen. A special thank you to Mandy Weltman who has led the board for the past few years, inspiring us and connecting us to our mission! As she steps down from this role, we are grateful that one of our newest board members, Jennifer Parr, will join forces with long-time board member and past president Cathy Good to share the leadership of the organization.
We are getting ready for 2020!
The 18th annual Sonoma Plein Air Festival will bring 36 juried artists to the region for one week to paint, show and sell their work to benefit youth art education in Sonoma Valley. Artists are encouraged to apply between January 2 and February 28. All the information and application will be posted exclusively at JuriedArtServices.com.
Would you like to volunteer with the Sonoma Plein Air Foundation? Please e-mail us and let us know of your interests and abilities. We'd love to hear from you!
The Sonoma Plein Air Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization and 40 percent of each painting's purchase price is a donation to support art education in the community and public schools in Sonoma Valley.
Watch for them from the coast to the valley, at wineries, ranches, regional parks and protected Sonoma Land Trust sites. But the best place to watch them paint up close is on and around the Sonoma Plaza tomorrow beginning at 5 pm during the Farmer's Market. At 7 pm all paintings will be brought to the southeast corner of the Plaza (First Street East and East Napa Street) placed on easels and priced for immediate sale.
On Friday, the artists will bring what they consider their best painting of the week for judging by their peers and silent auction at our festive gala, which is the largest fundraiser of the year to support art education for the youth of Sonoma Valley. A few tickets remain, but sales will close tomorrow. Don't miss this!
The main event is Saturday on the Plaza, and the weather promises to be great for art collectors. Remember 40% of every painting sale is a donation that goes directly to the Sonoma Plein Air Foundation (you will receive a receipt for a tax deduction) to fund art education for public school children in Sonoma Valley.
Eric Bowman is a two-time Artists' Choice Award winner at Sonoma Plein Air, which means his work was voted "best in show" by a jury of his peers. In 2012, Eric's moonlight image captivated, and in 2019, he captured early autumn in a timeless stand of eucalyptus.
Eric Bowman is a Southern California native, transplanted to northwest Oregon.
He has exhibited in some of the country's most prestigious galleries and museums including the Autry Museum of the American West, the Briscoe Western Art Museum, the Gilcrease Museum, the Kaiping Art Museum (China), the Academy Art Museum, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles and the Salmagundi Club in New York city. Eric is a Signature Member of the California Art Club and the American Impressionist Society.
Eric’s paintings are found in private and corporate collections throughout the U.S. as well as England, Australia, China, Canada and Mexico. He had been profiled in feature articles with Southwest Art, Art of the West, Western Art Collector, International Artist, Pratique Des Arts (France), Fine Art Connoisseur and Plein Air Magazines.
In September, come see more of Eric Bowman's work painted on location in Sonoma, and add your choice to your art collection!
It's time to mark your calendar:
Tuesday, September 10, 5-7 pm
QUICK DRAW on Sonoma Plaza
Watch the artists paint and acquire your favorites on the spot!
Plans are well underway for the 2019 Sonoma Plein Air Festival. The jury has completed their work and are pleased to announce this year's line-up. Several artists will be participating for the first time. Scroll down to see all the artist's names with a link to preview their work.
Save the date for the Sonoma Plein Air Gala at Cornerstone Sonoma. Now is the time to secure your place at the party, by becoming a patron or sponsor of this year's festival! Visit our website for more details. Individual tickets to the gala, if available, will be sold in July and August.
Sonoma Plein Air exhibit open at Bartholomew Estate Winery
Something exciting is happening on the east side of Sonoma. Bartholomew Estate Winery opened its doors in late April, and has invited the Sonoma Plein Air Foundation to create a rotating exhibit of Sonoma Plein Air artists in a gallery space adjacent to BEW's tasting room. All works are for sale and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the art programs of our local schools. The exhibit is open from 11 am to 4:30 pm daily and will be rotated on a quarterly basis. For more information about the show and the beautiful and historic Bartholomew property, please visit BEW's website.
The Sonoma Plein Air Foundation facilitates artists, art organizations, public schools and the community to create, appreciate and understand the importance of visual arts. We seek to engage youth through art education, foster artistic excellence, nurture a vibrant local arts community and bring people together for experiences that inspire a creative exchange of ideas.
We are delighted to present the 2nd annual Valley of Talent Show this Thursday, April 4th, from5 pm - 8 pm at the Sonoma Community Center. The jurors have made their selections and you will find the list of participating artists at the bottom of this newsletter. We will be the first stop on the Sonoma Art Walk, which is sponsored by the Sonoma Chamber of Commerce.
The Art Walk Opening Reception is being held at the Sonoma Community Center, from 5 pm till 5:30 pm. We will continue pouring wine and serving light bites through the evening so we encourage you to make the rounds! You can download the walking map, or pick one up at the Community Center.
While you are in the building, visit the BARBIE show! Sonoma Community Center will kick-off Trashion Fashion Week with "BARBIE: Reclaimed & Reinvented," an exhibit and silent auction in Gallery 212. See dozens of cast-off Barbies rescued and repurposed into tiny trash couture works of art by local artists.
Just up the street at the Arts Guild of Sonoma, be sure to see the annual Small But Grand Show. Each year with a grant from the Sonoma Plein Air Foundation, the Arts Guild provides canvases to students at Sonoma Valley schools. Small But Grand is the exhibit of the work created. Budding artists from Sonoma Valley High School and Adele Harrison Middle School have this wonderful venue to display all sell their work, with all proceeds going directly to the individual students!
This annual exhibition is a great opportunity to see how your contributions to youth art in Sonoma are put into action, and you may discover a piece of art from the next generation to add to your collection!
NEWS FROM THE SCHOOLS
Sassarini Elementary School's Organization of Parents and Teachers are planning a special night on May 11th - a Paint & Sip Night fundraiser for Sassarini's enrichment programs held at the Lodge at Sonoma
The ticket includes all supplies needed to paint Van Gogh's Cypresses with local artist and teacher, Kelly O., light appetizers, local wine and refreshments. Space is limited, so if you've ever wanted to try your hand at painting - get your tickets soon!
Robert Benson * Christine Hansen * Christine Zychowski * Loretta Loy-Adair * Patrica Carter * Sara Radke * Ann Young * Kirk Hinshaw * Susan Schroeder * Maureen Baker * Ann Iverson * Julia Pozsgai * Ellen McBride * Michael Biscoe * Lorraine Buckner * Lynnette Bourne * Carol Marcus * Howard Klee * Jim Rosso * Winifred Crisp-Nemiroff * Will Chubb * David Sheppard * Russ Johnson * Glenna Yee * Kathleen Truax * Terrence Dalton * Paul Goguen * Debbie Tancik * Sarah Stanley * Janeane Sanborn * Sherborn Sanborn * Sally Rosenblatt * Sophie Acheson * Shawn Smith * Patrica Driscoll * Jennifer La Pierre * Renate Kulprian * Pat Meier-Johnson * Becky Rowe * Barbara White-Perry * Keith Wicks