The Sonoma Valley Museum of Arts is hosting a reception for the annual Art Rewards the Student (ARTS) exhibit from 5 to 7 p.m. today, Friday, April 18.The exhibit will run through April 27.Initiated in 2000, ARTS is the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art’s longest-running education program that places teaching artists in fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms throughout Sonoma Valley at no cost to the schools. Activities and current SVMA exhibition themes are integrated with the public school curriculum and the California Visual and Performing Arts Framework.Each year ARTS provides museum visits, studio activities and art instruction in the classroom to more than 750 fourth- and fifth-grade students in Sonoma Valley.This year’s exhibit, “Sense of Place” features the artwork of students from Dunbar, El Verano, Flowery, the Presentation School, Prestwood, Sassarini, Sonoma Charter, St. Francis Solano, and Woodland Star Charter. Past and current SVMA exhibitions “Site & Senses: The Architecture of Aidlin Darling Design” and “Discovered: Exceptional Artists of Sonoma County,” provided the foundation for the 2014 ARTS program.The projects were all led by SVMA’s teaching artists Julie Cavaz, Deborah Colotti, Kathy Dewey, Diane Egger-Bovet, Jan Hansen, Yoli Holman, Rosemary McNeely, Sarah Parker, and Jill Valavanis.Students were encouraged to connect to a particular environment or geographic location, engage their visual and tactile senses, evoke memory, imagine new possibilities, explore personal connection to Sonoma, and were challenged to make and document – via drawings, maps, text, photos – an important discovery of their own.Leading the museum-visit portion of ARTS were SVMA’s volunteer museum guides Susan Bundschu, Leigh Cavalier, Lucy Hamlyn, Regina Kilgore, Karin Skooglund and Kathleen Watson.This year ARTS is generously funded by the Sonoma Plein Air Foundation. Additional support was provided by Rosemary and Kevin McNeely and Megan and Paul Segre.

The Sonoma Valley Museum of Art is located at 551 Broadway. Regular museum hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults. Children K–12 are admitted free, as are SVMA members. Additional information is available at or by calling 939-7862.