County artists featured

Four exceptionally talented artists who live and work in Sonoma County will be presented in an exhibition at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art that highlights a few of the talented artists living and working in Sonoma County.

The museum hosts this exhibition in partnership with the Sonoma County Community Foundation. The exhibit opens Saturday, March 15, and runs through Sunday, April 27.

A members’ opening reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. today, Friday, March 14.

The four artists are Stan Abercrombie, Erik Castro, Maura Harrington and Miles Votek. They exhibit exceptional creative excellence and will also be honored with a cash prize, catalogue and exhibition.

There were three jurors for the exhibition, Peter Hassen, an artist who was in “Undiscovered,” an exhibition the museum sponsored in 2012; Pat Lenz, artist and arts advocate who runs Slaughterhouse Space, an alternative arts organization in Healdsburg; and Kate Eilertsen, director and chief curator of the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art. They invited colleagues – curators, artists, gallerists – to recommend artists they thought were extraordinary who had never had a museum exhibition and were not currently represented by a gallery.

The trio traversed an area roughly the size of Rhode Island, considered more than 40 artists, made 20 studio visits and selected the four whom they felt best represented the mission. This exhibition shows visitors that artists, who live and work in Sonoma County, are committed to their practice, involved with their community and vitally engaged with the present.

Each one of the four artists in “Discovered” has a distinct, yet connected vision of the world today.

Abercrombie, with his encyclopedic knowledge of art and architecture, assembles objects and images into two- and three-dimensional combinations that inspire abundant curiosity and mystery.

Castro’s poignant photographs and videos allow viewers to step into the world of people they typically observe from a distance. Choosing subjects who we see and ignore every day, such as homeless children, he forces viewers to look at difficult subjects and confront their feelings of despair.

Harrington juxtaposes scenes from her local, natural environment with the fluorescent, artificial world that surrounds us. This contrast presents a startling, eerie and familiar aura.

Votek, is an interdisciplinary artist exploring utopian visions of California through contemporary video and ceramics. His romantic, apocalyptic worlds collide in his struggle to make sense of the failed dreams of Western idealism.

Each of these four artists, from different regions of the county, of diverse ages, provoke us to think outside the box, to step outside of our minds, and to see through a new pair of eyes.

The Sonoma Valley Museum of Art is located at 551 Broadway. 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.

Established in 1998, the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art is a membership supported nonprofit organization that provides seasonal exhibitions of contemporary and modern art and educational and public programming for children, youth and adults.

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