Exhibition

Discovered: Exceptional Artists of Sonoma County

March 14, 2014 to April 27, 2014

An awards program supporting the exposure and advancement of Sonoma County’s emerging artists.

Each one of the four artists in “Discovered” has a distinct, yet connected vision of the world today. Maura 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. Miles 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. Erik Castro’s poignant photographs and videos allow us to step into the world of people we typically observe from a distance. Choosing subjects that we see and ignore every day, such as homeless children, he forces us to look at difficult subjects and confront our feelings of despair. Stan 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. Each of these four exceptional 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.

Selecting these four artists fell to three jurors. Peter Hassen, an extraordinary artist  himself who was in Undiscovered, an exhibition SVMA sponsored in 2012; Pat Lenz, an 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. Brilliantly assisted by Flynn O’Brien who organized the many details that needed coordinating, they invited colleagues (curators, artists, gallery owners) to recommend artists they thought were extraordinary who had never had a museum exhibition and were not currently represented by a gallery. The team traversed an area roughly the size of Rhode Island, considered over 40 artists, made 20 studio visits and selected the four whom they felt best represented the excellence and diversity of artists in Sonoma County today. This exhibition proves that artists, who live and work in Sonoma County, are committed to their practice, involved with their community and vitally engaged in the issues of our time.

Discovered: Exceptional Artists of Sonoma County is made possible with the support of the Community Foundation Sonoma County.  Sonoma Valley Museum of Art is very grateful to them, and especially Karin Demarest, for their belief that art in Sonoma County matters.

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