Sonoma County, the destination for art, offers visitors and residents alike a rich variety of fine art galleries as well as non-profit arts organizations and inspired alternative exhibition spaces. The hills, vineyards and coastline of Sonoma County are home to Galleries showcasing emerging, nationally and internationally recognized artists and artisan craftsmen—from conceptual art pioneers to master painters, sculptors, printmakers and photographers. Find these Galleries in the Sonoma County Art Gallery Guide Map.
Formed in 2005, the SCGG is an association of fine art and artisan galleries, museums, community arts organizations, art associates and sponsors dedicated to exhibiting and promoting the visual arts in Sonoma County. SCGG also provides arts advocacy, media promotion and member networking to help increase public interest in and economic support for the visual arts in Sonoma County.
SCGG continues to “put Sonoma County art galleries on the Map”, and we are clearly getting the word out that Sonoma County is “the destination for art”! The fourth annual Gallery Guide Map will be printed in April 2009. This year we are printing and distributing 30,000.
Thank you so very much for your confidence and your support. We are working to expand our horizons in 2009 and hope you will be part of that effort as well - even if it is simply distributing the Gallery Guide Map through your gallery, events, and in your local area.
Sincerely, The Sonoma Gallery Group Board of Directors
SCGG in the NEWS:
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT: Jan 31, 2008
Destination Art: Along its byways and back roads, Sonoma County is blessed with galleries offering quality work just a leisurely drive away
By DAN TAYLOR
By the time visitors arrive at Bodega Bay's coastline art galleries, they've already seen some beautiful landscapes, framed by the car windows.
"We drive through beauty to get here," said Dan Rohlfing, co-owner of the Bodega Heritage Gallery, just off Highway 1.
Inside his gallery, there's a different kind of scenery: desert landscapes by some of California's most respected past painters. A big man with a bigger smile, Rohlfing finds amusing irony in that.
"I tell people, 'Come out to Bodega Bay and look at the desert,' " he joked.
For anyone interested in a relatively short drive and a leisurely stay at a gallery, the scenery available is unlimited. The Sonoma County Gallery Group, made of up some 60 galleries, aptly titled its new map and brochure "Destination Art." No matter which direction you pick, you'll find good art, much of it local, often in galleries that are off the commuter corridor but still nearby.
The Graton Gallery is housed in a quaint storefront on the tiny town's central block, defined by a stop sign at either end, just off Highway 116, just north of Sebastopol.
"We're at this bend in the road on the way to Bodega Bay, so we get a lot of tourists," said painter and gallery co-owner Pam Lewis. "We're also a favorite destination for a lot of people who come up from San Francisco for the wine and stop to see art."
Run by eight partners, all artists, the gallery shows not only their work but exhibitions by others and a wide range of crafts.
The current "Invitational #2" show features paintings, prints and other work by 25 Northern California artists, including painter Craig Nelson, the director of Fine Art, Drawing and Painting at San Francisco's Academy of Art College.
"We're a hometown gallery but these are big guys," Lewis said. "We have a network of artists. We have criteria. And it's comfortable here. We make friends."
Visitors can linger awhile in the outdoor sculpture garden that runs along one side of the gallery.
"This becomes a really nice gathering place in warm weather," said Lewis, stepping outside briefly on a recent chilly morning. "It offers kind of a respite back here."
The rewarding part of any gallery hunt is the discovery that one might find a nice display of art almost anywhere in the area, even tucked away in the Ray Design Studio near Santa Rosa's Railroad Square. That's where Spring Maxfield's new Micro Gallery currently displays notebook sketches, maquettes and studies from the studios of internationally recognized Sonoma County artist Ned Kahn.
For a nice drive and a chance to see a lot of art in a short time, it's hard to beat Bodega Bay, home to three galleries: Bodega Heritage Gallery, and just upstairs from it, the Local Color Gallery, with the Ren Brown Collection not far down the road.
Rohlfing, a retired East Bay middle school teacher, and his wife and partner, Linda Sorenson, a San Francisco attorney, exhibit work by California artists of the past at Bodega Heritage. They live in Bodega Bay now, and opened their gallery last July.
"We sell mostly from our Web site, but we needed a place where we could show our paintings," Rohlfing explained. "Some of our clients fly out to see us."
Rohlfing readily rattles of background histories for the painters whose work he displays: James Swinnerton was a pioneering Hearst newspaper cartoonist, and Disney artist Joshua Meador crafted the animated, slashing "Z" for "Zorro" once seen on the '60s television series.
At Local Color, framer Gary Smith and six artist partners concentrate on work by current Sonoma County artists.
PD news article > D.I.Y. art tour