Thursday, July 2, 2020

‘Peanuts’ Gang Goes Back on Display This Month in Sonoma County

Posted By on Thu, Jul 2, 2020 at 2:11 PM


Fans of the  “Peanuts” comic strips have something to look forward to this summer, as the popular Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa is scheduled to reopen on Wednesday, July 8.

Following guidance from the State of California and the County of Sonoma as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Charles M Schulz Museum will reopen with several Covid-19 safety measures in place to provide a safe, low-risk environment for all visitors and staff. When the doors open, the public is invited to view several new features, including new exhibitions and a selection of rarely seen items from the Museum’s archives.

“In this time of daily unease, we are grateful to be reopening our doors and providing a place for people to have a joyful escape,” said Jean Schulz, widow of “Peanuts” creator Charles Schulz and museum board president, in a statement. “I think we could all use some good cheer right now.”

The museum closed its doors to the public on March 16 when Sonoma County issued the shelter in place order in accordance with the state’s efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19. That sheltering order is now eased for indoor museums in Sonoma County allowing them to reopen with safety guidelines in place.

As such, the Charles M Schulz Museum is implementing policies such as requiring visitors wear face coverings and maintain social distancing rules that will be denoted in the museum’s high-traffic areas by Snoopy paw prints on the floor.

Current exhibitions at the museum include “Lucy! Fussbudget to Feminist,” the first exhibition to focus exclusively on “Peanuts” character Lucy, and which opened just one day before the museum’s temporary closure. Also on view is “Greetings, Charlie Brown! The Peanuts-Hallmark Connection” and a new exhibition, “Girl Power in Peanuts,” that opens at the end of July.

The Charles M Schulz Museum also hints that a new addition is also on the way and will be revealed in mid-July in the museum’s Biographical Gallery. For now, the museum is only saying that four large cases with built-in drawers will be installed to allow more artwork, correspondence, and personal effects from Charles Schulz to be shared with the public.

“We’re taking this opportunity to curate the cases from scratch,” museum curator Benjamin L. Clark said in a statement. “In the nearly 20 years since the museum opened, new objects, stories, and information have come to light, giving us a better understanding and a more complete view of Charles Schulz. These updated cases will reflect our best and latest research in a way that we’re excited to share.”

The museum also reopens under new leadership, as outgoing museum director Karen Johnson recently announced her retirement after 15 years heading the institution. Gina Huntsinger, the current general manager of Snoopy’s Home Ice for the past three years and the Museum’s marketing director for 12 years prior, will be stepping into the role of director.

“While this is an unusual way to start my tenure as the museum’s director, I am so excited to return to my roots of celebrating the legacy of Charles Schulz and his art,” Huntsinger said in a statement. “During the temporary closure, the staff took the opportunity to deeply clean and revitalize the building. We are looking forward to welcoming the public back and sharing some laughs—even if under the cover of our masks!”

For those who are high-risk for Covid-19, or limiting travel and out-of-house activities, the museum has also increased its online offerings, including a ‘Schulz Museum at Home’ webpage full of free resources and activities to enjoy from home.

The museum has also introduced online art and cartooning classes for kids, teens and adults that allows students to join artist instructors virtually from many different locations and time zones. Those classes include a new “Peanuts” live drawing series led by staff artists that continues with a class on “How to Draw Woodstock” on July 13 and “How to Draw Snoopy” on August 10. In addition, the museum hosts an online panel discussion on July 27 on the topic of “Exploring Intersectional Identities Through Queer Comics.”

“This fall marks the 70th anniversary of Peanuts,” Huntsinger said in her statement. “Whether you join us in person or online, we invite you to connect with Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and the 'Peanuts' gang and see why this comic strip has endured for so many generations.”

The Charles M Schulz Museum reopens, Wednesday, July 8. For more information on hours and safety protocols, visit
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Derby Weekend in Petaluma Raises Funds for Redwood Empire Food Bank

Posted By on Thu, Jul 2, 2020 at 9:15 AM

  • Alden Corrigan Media

Located on 15 acres in East Petaluma, Sonoma Valley Stables is the North Bay’s top spot for horses and their humans to train for the sport of Hunter/Jumper, also known as show jumping. Owner Ned Glynn and a world-class team of trainers teach a full range of riding and jumping programs that are customized for the horse and its rider.

In addition to training young riders in the North Bay, Sonoma Valley Stables has a history of giving back to the community with its annual Derby Weekend. Despite this year’s Covid-19 pandemic, the Stables was able to host its third annual Derby Weekend last Friday, June 26, to Sunday, June 28.

The event, which safely hosted 60 rider participants and their families over the course of three days, raised over $25,000 to support the Redwood Empire Food Bank’s “Every Child/Every Day Initiative” to end hunger in the community.

In the past three years, Sonoma Valley Stables has raised over $70,000 for Redwood Empire Food Bank by hosting the Derby Weekend event and receiving donations from sponsors.

“We are at a critical moment in time as we continue to innovate, adapt and expand our services,” Redwood Empire Food Bank CEO David Goodman said in a a statement. “The ongoing and generous support of our partners, like that of Sonoma Valley Stables, is imperative for us to keep up with the food demand this pandemic has brought on.”

Redwood Empire Food Bank's "Every Child/Every Day Initiative" is currently providing hot and healthy meals through the summer to the nearly 1,000 Sonoma County children who risk experiencing hunger over the summer months. The initiative will serve more than 41,000 hot and healthy meals this summer through August.

While planning for this year’s Derby Weekend, Sonoma Valley Stables was initially concerned that the COVID-19 pandemic would cancel the outdoor event, but Sonoma County Supervisor David Rabbitt informed Glynn and the staff that the county would allow equestrian activities like Derby Weekend to take place.

“After careful consideration, we decided to move forward with hosting Derby Weekend this year,” Glynn said in a statement. “We believed this event would be beneficial for many during this challenging time, especially since our local food bank is working extra hard to meet the needs of our community right now. We took every effort to make sure the riders, attendees, and staff felt safe and comfortable throughout the entire event.”

To follow safety guidelines, Sonoma Valley Stables regularly disinfected the facility, placed hay bales eight-feet apart to ensure physical distancing, used a non-contact thermometer to check temperatures, and cancelled their Saturday evening party. ShadyLady Sun Protection, one of this year’s sponsors, also donated face coverings for participants to wear.

Derby Weekend started a few days early for most of the riders, as the Stables hosted a clinic with equestrian coach and event judge Cynthia Hankins. This clinic was an opportunity for the young participants to learn what judges look for during riding and jumping competitions to gain an edge in the Derby.

The official event kicked off on Friday, June 26, with morning Hunter classes, and the Hunter competitions continued through Saturday. Hunters-over-fences champions were Nico Alario and Chaparral's Hawkeye for the pony class, Aliana Ashburn and Educated Guess for the 2’0”, Aimee Lafayette and Gucci St. Anne for the 2’3”-2’6”, Amy Brubaker and Frascati for the Jr/Am 2’9”-3’0”, Kylee Arbuckle and Brown Sugar for the professional 2’9”-3’0”, Avery Glynn and Nostalgic for the Jr/Am 3’0”-3’3”, and Arbuckle and Opulence for the professional 3’0”-3’3”. MacLean Sennhenn and Franktown’s Heaven’s Sake took first for the Cross Rail Hunters. Francesca Mortensen and Well Said won the Walk-Trot over Poles competition.

On Sunday, June 28, four different derbies took place. Elsa Warnelius-Miller and Illumination won the 2’0” derby, Nico Alario and Chaparral’s Hawkeye was crowned champion of the pony derby, Lafayette and Gucci St. Anne came in first for the 2’6” derby, and to wrap up the weekend, Margaret Pogue and Edesa’s Iggy Pop took the victory for the 3’0” derby. Finally, Estaban La Paz was crowned this year’s Best Horse.

Sonoma Valley Stables plans to host Derby Weekend again next year. For more information on the facilities’ horses and trainings, visit
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Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Surreal Santa Rosa Art Show Looks at the Occult in America

Posted By on Wed, Jul 1, 2020 at 5:06 PM

Columbia, the little-known symbol of early America, is examined in the virtual "Occulture" art show.
  • Columbia, the little-known symbol of early America, is examined in the virtual "Occulture" art show.

It may sound supernatural, but the Occult is very much a real movement that fits in somewhere between religion and science. It's a term that came about 500 years ago when people began practicing astrology and alchemy, and it became a belief system in natural magic that made land in the earliest days of America.

Santa Rosa artist Cade Burkhammer is a student of the Occult in America, and he’s traced its movements and influences in his artwork. Best known as the creator and artist of the Wise Fool Tarot Card set, Burkhammer now turns his attention to American mysteries in a new solo virtual exhibition, “Occulture.”

The art show features 30 new paintings and drawings inspired by America’s history of Occult practices and the country's modern day problem with Kleptocracy and environmental peril. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the exhibit will be available to view virtually on YouTube beginning Saturday, July 4.

Originally from Ohio, Burkhammer traveled the country as a young man, living in New York City and Austin, Texas, before moving to San Francisco in 2000. More recently, Burkhammer got married and moved to Santa Rosa. He also artistically moved into the Backstreet Gallery & Studios in Santa Rosa’s South of A (SOFA) Arts District near Juilliard Park.

As an artist, Burkhammer is interested telling stories that incorporate Surrealism and Symbolism in his work.

"I appreciate Narrative art, and I think Surrealism and Symbolism are very narrative and creative, very imaginative," he says. "And I like the history of them, the way that Symbolism was a response to the industrial revolution and World War One, and they went back to the ancient Greek mythologies for their inspirations. The Surrealists and Dadaists did something similar during World War Two, but they added political and spiritual ideals to it."

Picking up where those artists left off, Burkhammer is interested in creating a new art movement that addresses technology, wealth and social class disparities and the climate crisis.

"I want to bring back the narrative interaction with the audience," he says. "Kind of mix the imaginative with the facts of what’s going on right now."

Before this current “Occulture” project, Burkhammer spent 15 years creating his Wise Fool Tarot Deck, which was released in 2017.

"I had to do about 80 paintings for that," he says. "I mostly worked on it in my free time, and spent a lot of time researching it as well as raising funds to print it."

For those who don’t know, tarot cards are much like playing cards, but instead of Kings and Queens, the cards illustrate figures like magicians, emperors, stars, moons and even Death itself. In the Occult world, tarot cards are seen as tools for divination such as predicting the future or answering secret personal questions.

After completing his own Wise Fool Tarot Card deck, Burkhammer also did the illustrations for a new version of a deck created by renowned writer RJ Stewart called the Dreampower Tarot. Currently, Burkhammer is working on a set of oracle cards, which differs from tarot cards in that their meanings are more up to the interpretation of the artist.

"Oracle decks have less dogma to them," Burkhammer says. "This one is a Nightmare Oracle deck that’s saying that we are kind of living in a nightmare right now. The American dream is nightmarish right now."

Burkhammer’s “Occulture” exhibit is also a story of America, and his paintings on virtual display this weekend use ancient mythology to relate today’s problems to the mythological influences he has studied.

That mythology includes the Greek and Roman Furies, who ancients believed were goddesses of vengeance that punished men for crimes against nature. Burkhammer turns those ancient Furies into the “Furies of Industry,” depicting elements of Earth, fire, air and water that are being destroyed by modern society.
Artist Cade Burkhammer turns the element of air into a Fury of Industry in "Occulture," available to view online starting July 4.
  • Artist Cade Burkhammer turns the element of air into a Fury of Industry in "Occulture," available to view online starting July 4.

Burkhammer also depicts modern gods and goddesses such as Columbia, which was the feminized personification of the United States up until the Statue of Liberty and then Uncle Sam replaced her as symbols of American independence. Even today, Columbia can be seen as the logo for Columbia Pictures, and she is still the namesake of the country’s federal capital, the District of Columbia.

In this exhibit, these gods and goddesses are depicted as reminders of the United States' pre-Christian origins, such as the Freemasons who were among the country’s founding fathers. Burkhammer’s art also delves into environmental issues and tackles the modern-day cult of capitalism.

"As a Pagan, we worship the ground, the Earth as a living being, and I see our natural church being destroyed for unnecessary technology,” he says. “I think that’s another type of Occult that’s negative and dark."

Artistically, the paintings on display in Burkhammer’s show are a blend of photo-realism and expressionism that he developed over the years.

"To be recognized as an artist, you need something that’s either very traditional and acceptable or something that’s extraordinary and original," he says. "I didn’t want to do the traditional, so I’ve always gone towards being experimental."

Burkhammer’s experimental technique includes combining mixtures of latex and enamel paint to further juxtapose the styles of realism and expressionism in the subject mater. His process also finds him adding charcoal, graphite, ink or spray paint to his drawings.

Originally, Burkhammer was hoping to show “Occulture” in person, though with the shelter-in-place restrictions still happening and concerns of Covid-19 still spreading in the community; he is filming the work as it hangs in the hallway of Backstreet Gallery. “Occulture will be available to view as a virtual exhibit beginning Saturday, July 4. Visit Burkhammer’s YouTube page to see the show.
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Monday, June 29, 2020

Several North Bay Fall Events Already Planning Pandemic-Related Postponements

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2020 at 1:50 PM

The Gravenstein Apple Fair is one of many North Bay events canceling their plans this fall due to Covid-19.
  • The Gravenstein Apple Fair is one of many North Bay events canceling their plans this fall due to Covid-19.

Last March, Covid-19 forced California to cancel most social gatherings and events through the spring of 2020. Soon after, it was clear that summer 2020 would follow suit as fairs, festivals and other fun events were postponed or called off in the wake of the virus’s continued spread.

Now, autumn 2020 looks to suffer the same fate socially as the last two seasons. Many North Bay–based events and harvest celebrations are postponing their fall gatherings before July even begins, as Covid-19 continues to gain ground in the state and the Bay Area with increasing numbers of new cases each week.

In Sonoma County, fall traditionally begins prior to Labor Day—which is scheduled for Sept. 7 this year—as harvest-related events get rolling in August. One such event, now canceled, is Sebastopol’s popular Gravenstein Apple Fair.

Agricultural organization Farm Trails hosts the fundraising fair that celebrates the locally grown Gravenstein Apple. On the fair’s website, the Farm Trails team writes, “Though we can hardly imagine August in Sebastopol without the Apple Fair, we are fully on board with the County’s decision to cancel large gatherings. We are so grateful for the health care workers and first responders on the front lines and for all of the essential businesses (farmers/producers, nurseries, grocery store workers, postage and parcel services, etc.) who continue to sustain and support our lives during these unprecedented times. We are also appreciative of the sacrifices our entire community is making by staying at home to help flatten the curve.”

The fair organizers also note that Gravenstein apples will still be falling in Sonoma County this fall, and they hope to find ways to mark the occasion with virtual events or DIY activities.

“We’re doing everything we can to make sure that Farm Trails continues to make good on its mission to preserve farms forever in Sonoma County,” says Farm Trails Board President Vince Trotter, in a statement. “With our main fundraiser off the table, we’re certainly facing some financial challenges this year, but our farmers are fighting through this, and so will we. We’re cutting our expenses to the bone and looking at some creative ways to bring in revenue and make the 2021 fair better than ever.”

Other popular harvest and culinary events canceling their 2020 gatherings include the massive Taste of Sonoma wine-tasting extravaganza, the annual Heirloom Expo of food providers and enthusiasts best known for its giant pumpkin contest and the Sonoma County Harvest Fair’s Grand-Tasting and World Championship Grape Stomp Competition—though the Harvest Fair’s professional wine and food competitions will still be held remotely.

In Marin County, the arts are often a major part of the fall season, with festivals and fairs showcase both international and local artists and crafters.

One of Marin’s largest gatherings each fall is the Sausalito Art Festival, taking place on Labor Day weekend for more than 60 years. This year, the Sausalito Art Festival Foundation will pause production of this signature event due to the uncertainty of the pandemic and other current challenges associated with event production. On the festival’s website, the Foundation says it will plan a new iteration of the event “to meet a shifting arts and entertainment landscape.”

In addition to pandemic concerns, the Sausalito Art Festival Foundation writes that restrictions to access of the waterfront venue, competition for headlining musical talent and increased security costs and concerns are also factors in their decision to reimagine the event for 2021.

Another Marin fall staple, the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival, also recently announced its 2020 fest would be canceled due to Covid-19.

“For over sixty years our little festival has been a wonderful celebration of Mill Valley’s unique culture and community,” says festival executive director Steve Bajor, in a statement. “This year the responsibility to act prudently to ensure everyone’s safety is our top priority. Like so much we are missing, we are hopeful that the festival will return next year for us all to enjoy.”

Artists previously juried into the 2020 show will instead be featured on the festival’s website and will be invited to show their work in person at the next event, now scheduled for Sept. 18 and 19, 2021, in Old Mill Park.

Other fall arts events in the North Bay forgoing 2020 include Open Studios Napa Valley’s self-guided art tours, usually planned for two weekends in September, and the Sonoma County Art Trails, normally scheduled for two weekends in October. Still other major events canceled this fall include the Sound Summit music festival that celebrates Mount Tamalpais State Park each September at the historic Mountain Theater, and the Napa Valley Film Festival that was slated to happen in November.

“We appreciate the tremendous support and well wishes from our community during these uncertain times,” said Cinema Napa Valley Chairman Patrick Davila, in a statement. “Rest assured we will use this time to strengthen our commitment to our mission and develop new avenues to fulfill our vision. I look forward to seeing all of you in 2021 for our 10th year anniversary.”
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Thursday, June 25, 2020

North Bay Protests Continue to Call for Social Justice

Posted By on Thu, Jun 25, 2020 at 10:28 AM


It’s been one month since George Floyd’s death on May 25, after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes.

In the weeks that have followed, a nationwide movement of protest against police brutality and social and racial justice has spread to all 50 states.

The North Bay’s ongoing protests and rallies have hit major cities like Santa Rosa and San Rafael, as well as the smaller locales such as Healdsburg and Mill Valley, with events honoring Black lives, celebrations of Pride month and other socially conscious movements.

This month-long wave of protests is not slowing down, and the final week of June is packed with a schedule of peaceful events in Marin, Sonoma and Napa County.

The gatherings get started today, Thursday, June 25, with a Mill Valley Peaceful Protest beginning at 1:30pm. The protest march will kick off at the Safeway parking lot at 1 Camino Alto, and move down Miller Ave near Tamalpais High School, before traveling downtown to Old Mill Park. The event encourages participants to bring Black Lives Matter signs, and guest speakers are slated to appear. Face coverings are required and water and snacks will be provided.

Also today, June 25, the Spahr Center hosts a Rally for LGBTQ+ and Racial Justice at 4:30pm in downtown Fairfax. The Spahr Center is Marin County’s only nonprofit serving the LGBTQ community and everyone in the county living with and affected by HIV. Today’s rally takes a stand against incidents of racism and transphobia that has occurred in Fairfax recently.

Notably, 17-year-old transgender teen Jasper Lauter was verbally harassed last Saturday in Fairfax by a man and a woman who were also harassing a Black Lives Matter bake sale. The incident was caught on video and shows the man and woman mocking and insulting Lauter, who posted the video to his Twitter account.

Today’s Rally for LGBTQ+ and Racial Justice begins at the downtown steps in Fairfax and participants are asked to wear face coverings and follow social distance guidelines. Following the rally in Fairfax, the Spahr Center is leading a caravan of cars to San Rafael, where a peaceful gathering to stop racism is happening at 1050 Court Street.

Other North Bay protests planned for the week include a Black Lives Matter Meet-up on Friday, June 26, at Walnut Park in Petaluma. The protest begins at 1pm and participants are to wear all black. Protest signs are encouraged and face coverings are mandatory.

On Saturday, June 27, Santa Rosa’s Junior College campus once again becomes the scene for a major protest event. The Cycle for Life will be peaceful Critical Mass-style bike protest that plans to ride from the SRJC lawn on Mendocino Avenue through town to Old Courthouse Square in a yet-to-be-determined route of approximately six miles. Non-bikers can also attend, and the event kicks off with a protest sign-making session on the SRJC lawn at noon before the 1pm ride and march.

Once the ride is over, speakers, performers, and vendors will be on hand in Old Courthouse Square to keep the event going strong into the evening. The Cycle for Life will support Black Lives Matter and Pride, and the family-friendly event is also requiring social distancing and face coverings to be mindful of Covid-19.

Also on Saturday, June 27, the Bake Sale for Social Justice is back on in Fairfax, happening at 100 Bolinas Road near the Fairfax Community Farmers Market from 4pm to 6pm. All money raised at the bake sale will be donated to the Equal Justice Institute, The Spahr Center and Trevor Project. Organizers ask that people wear a mask and follow state social distancing guidelines.

Sunday, June 28, begins with Pride Is a Protest, a rally and march in Napa organized by The Peoples Collective for Change. Meeting at Napa’s City Hall at 10:30am, the rally is in honor of LGBTQ demonstrators who essentially founded the gay rights movement with the Stonewall Riots, which took place in New York City beginning on June 28, 1969.

The Napa protest will also stand in solidarity with black, brown and Indigenous people, and PCC Napa hopes to demonstrate that LGBTQ people and their allies are committed to racial and social justice.

Also on Sunday, June 28, Fairfax Parkade is the setting for an afternoon Anti-Racism Rally to reimagine public safety and stop the spread of racism locally. The rally begins at the Parkade lot between Sir Francis Drake Blvd and Broadway Boulevard at Noon with a community discussion and guest speakers and performers.

Sunday, June 28, wraps up with an evening Black Lives Matter Vigil at Mill Valley City Hall. The event begins at 9pm and is followed by a movie screening, and organizers ask participants to bring blankets and sleeping bags in addition to face coverings.
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Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Salvador Dalí Exhibit Debuts in Sonoma

Posted By on Tue, Jun 23, 2020 at 1:09 PM

“Flordali I” by Salvador Dalí. Credit to editor W.U.C.U.A. Jean P. Schneider.
  • “Flordali I” by Salvador Dalí. Credit to editor W.U.C.U.A. Jean P. Schneider.

Salvador Dalí is best known for painting surrealist works featuring melting clocks and long-legged elephants, though the multi-faceted and famously mustachioed artist was also a sculptor, filmmaker and wine connoisseur among other talents.

Dalí even wrote a book on the subject of wine, 1977’s The Wines of Gala, an eccentric guide that features California wine as one of the “Ten Divine Wines” of the world. Throughout his life, Dalí connected wine with art and other emotional experiences, and is credited with saying, “A real connoisseur does not drink wine but tastes of its secrets.”

Now, wine and Dalí come together once again as Wine Country becomes the setting for a new exhibit of the iconic artist’s prints and sculptures, presented in collaboration with The Dalí Universe­—one of the largest private collections of Dalí artworks in the world—and SBHG Gallery at Cornerstone Sonoma.

“The Dalí Universe­” exhibit opens Friday, June 26, and runs through August at the Cornerstone Sonoma outdoor marketplace. The showings run 11am to 5pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and curator Bertrand Epaud will be in town through the first week of the exhibit to offer expert insight into the artworks. Individual pieces are also available for private viewings that can be scheduled by appointment Mondays through Thursdays.

“We are honored to house this stunning collection from the undisputed master of Surrealism, Salvador Dalí,” said Karin Rogers, director of business development at the collective Sonoma’s Best Hospitality Group, which runs Cornerstone’s SBHG Gallery. “Dalí’s thought-provoking works feel rather suited to the surreal times in which we are living, and we look forward to sharing these pieces with the Bay Area and our local community.”

The exhibit will display eight of Dalí’s surrealist prints and will include a collection of nine of his bronze sculptures, which are a previously unknown aspect of Dalí’s work. In addition to painting and writing, Dalí was fascinated by the medium of sculpture, and he created original models and designs that were made into surreal objects based on the subjects in his paintings, such as the melting clocks of his painting “The Persistence of Memory,” and the recurring elephants that appear in works such as the painting “Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening.”
“Triumphant Elephant” Copyright ©IAR Art Resources.
  • “Triumphant Elephant” Copyright ©IAR Art Resources.

For more than 40 years, Beniamino Levi, an Italian art dealer and collector who worked with Dalí during the 1960s, has headed The Dalí Universe collection of art. Fascinated by Dalí’s ability to use different mediums, Levi began collecting Dalí art and sculpture when he opened Galleria Levi in Milan in 1955. The Dalí Universe’s flagship exhibition space is located in Paris, France, though the company tours and loans Dalí artworks to over one hundred prestigious museums and locations worldwide.

Cornerstone Sonoma’s expansive outdoor marketplace includes many independently owned retail shops and wineries, a distillery and a restaurant. The Cornerstone property also includes art-inspired gardens, event venues and the Sunset Gardens & Outdoor Test Kitchen, where gourmet food and wine pairings will be available for purchase and served by Sonoma-based Ramekins Culinary School while the exhibit displays Fridays through Sundays.

Cornerstone Sonoma and the SBHG Gallery will observe strict hygiene and social distancing guidelines in conjunction with Sonoma County’s most current Covid-19 safety measures. Additionally, many of the marketplace's tenant vendors have updated their services and hours during the COVID-19 outbreak and are taking extra precautions to insure the safety of the community.

‘The Dalí Universe’ is on display Fridays–Sundays, Jun 26–August 30, at Cornerstone Sonoma, 23570 Arnold Dr. in Sonoma. 11am to 5pm. Free admission. For more information, visit
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Monday, June 22, 2020

Pride Month in the North Bay Wraps with Busy Week of Events

Posted By on Mon, Jun 22, 2020 at 12:16 PM


When the Covid-19 pandemic forced North Bay residents to shelter-in-place in mid-March, Sonoma County Pride was one of the first organizations that made the difficult decision to cancel its planned summer event, namely the 2020 Pride Festival & Parade scheduled for June 6.

This development does not mean that Pride Month 2020 is canceled, but several planned get-togethers have been delayed or updated to accommodate the social distancing that is required to stop the spread of Covid-19. Now, as June reaches its final week, Sonoma County Pride and other North Bay LGBTQI+ groups are hosting events to celebrate Pride Month while remaining safe and healthy.

On Thursday, June 25, the Museum of Sonoma County invites everyone to get an interactive history lesson during an online look back on “The Lesbian History of Sonoma County” with  presenters Tina Dungan and Shad Reinstein, creators of the Sonoma County LGTBQI Timeline.

For those who don't know, Sonoma County found itself at the intersection of the women’s movement and gay rights movement in the 1970s when a confluence of lesbian women moved to the area. These women opened businesses, produced theater and musical events, created Women’s Studies programs at Sonoma State University and Santa Rosa Junior College–two of the first such programs in California–and helped lead political fights that such as the defeat of Prop 6 in 1978, which sought to ban gay and lesbian people from working in public schools.

“The Lesbian History of Sonoma County” presenters Tina Dungan and Shad Reinstein are longtime lesbian activists, historians and educators. Dungan is a lifelong Sonoma County resident who came out as a lesbian in the early 1970s while a student at SSU. Since 2007, she has been working with others through the Lesbian Archives of Sonoma County and she teaches through the Older Adults Program at SRJC.

Reinstein has been involved in local and national LGBTQI culture and politics since coming out after the Stonewall riots, most notably co-producing the documentary film, Mom’s Apple Pie: The History of the Lesbian Mothers’ Custody Movement.

Dungan and Reinstein first collaborated to create the Sonoma County LGBTQI Timeline in 2018, and they have also co-created a talk on "The LGBTQI History of Sonoma County," 

“The Lesbian History of Sonoma County” is presented over Zoom on Thursday, June 25, at 7pm. The online program is free, though pre-registration is required at

After learning about the past, get involved in a discussion of the present on Friday, June 26, as The California Census Office hosts a moderated panel talk on "Including the LGBTQ + Community in the Census" over Facebook Live.

The California Census Office’s Mignonne Pollard will be moderating the conversation, which features input from Meghan Maury, Policy Director at the National LGBTQ Task Force, Jeremy Payne from the Equality California Institute, and Eddie Martinez and Yesenia Mendoza from the Latino Equality Alliance & Mi Centro.

In addition to celebrating Pride, the discussion will answer questions on intersectionality in terms of the census as well as the impact of Covid-19 and how everyone can help lift up the LGBTQ+ community in 2020. Tune in on June 26 at 1:30pm on Facebook.

Saturday, June 27, features two of the biggest Pride events of the month in the North Bay. First up, "Unmask Your Pride" brings Sonoma County Pride to your computer with a virtual event. Local performers and artists will offer an evening of live music, comedy, drag queen and drag king performances and more that is meant to spread some much-needed love and showcase Sonoma County's vibrant LGBTQI+ community. "Unmask Your Pride" live streams June 27 at 6pm. The virtual show is free, though registration is required on Eventbrite.

Also on Saturday, June 27, Napa Valley's LGBTQI+ Pride movement gets moving, quite literally, with the Pride Night Cruise in downtown Napa. This socially-distant event invites folks to decorate their cars with Pride and drive up and down Jefferson, where Pride banners and other festive decorations will be on display. KVYN 99.3 FM The Vine will broadcast a specially curated playlist of Pride music for cars to blast as they cruise, and prizes will be awarded for best decorated cars.

"While it's unfortunate that we can't be together in person this year, we are happy to be able to provide a fun night in celebration of Napa Valley Pride," said cruise organizer Rob Doughty in a statement. "We are hoping our LGBTQ+ community and all of our allies will join us."

The Pride Night Cruise begins at 7pm on June 27. In addition to the cruise, attendees can join the official after party at Napa Valley Distillery, beginning at 9pm. Masks and social distancing will be in effect. The event benefits North Bay initiative LGBTQ Connection.

For more information on these and other events, visit
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Friday, June 19, 2020

Six Ways to Celebrate Juneteenth in the North Bay

Posted By on Fri, Jun 19, 2020 at 9:43 AM

The Juneteenth Flag, a symbolic representation of the end of slavery in the United States, is the brainchild of Ben Haith, founder of the National Juneteenth Celebration Foundation.
  • The Juneteenth Flag, a symbolic representation of the end of slavery in the United States, is the brainchild of Ben Haith, founder of the National Juneteenth Celebration Foundation.

may not be an official national holiday in the United States, though it is one of the country’s longest-running celebrations.

Since 1866, June 19 has marked the end of slavery in the country, as that was the date in 1865 that Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the Civil War had ended and federal orders to free the enslaved. Today, 49 of the 50 US states and the District of Columbia recognize Juneteenth as either a state holiday or a day of observance. The only state that does not recognize Juneteenth is Hawaii.

Juneteenth is often a local community celebration that honors Black freedom and Black people’s unique contribution to the struggle for justice in the US, though the day is taking on new meaning in 2020 as the movement for Black Lives Matter and the protests against police brutality gain strength in every state, even as the Covid-19 pandemic is turning many in-person events into virtual gatherings.

In the North Bay, today, June 19, is a chance to address systematic racism and lift up black voices, and local group Uplifting Black Leaders of Sonoma County opens the day with a Juneteenth Festival at Pioneer Park in Northeast Santa Rosa from noon to 6pm.

Uplifting Black Leaders is the same group that has organized recent protest marches at the Santa Rosa Junior College, and today’s Juneteenth Celebration will have food vendors, black owned business vendors, games, kids activities, music, performances and speakers coming together to celebrate the emancipation of slaves. The free, family-friendly event is open to all, and organizers ask participants to wear face coverings.

In Petaluma, a Defend Black Lives event will converge at 208 Petaluma Blvd North, on the corner of Petaluma Boulevard and Washington Street today, June 19. The event is part of Six Nineteen, a nationwide series of events organized by the Movement For Black Lives (M4BL).

Six Nineteen will see major marches in cities across the US, and Petaluma’s event, beginning at 1pm, will begin with participants taking a knee in silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in memory of George Floyd, who died in police custody after a Minneapolis officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for that length of time.

After the initial remembrance, Petaluma’s event encourages people to stay and display signs as long as they want, and organizers ask that all participants wear masks and observe social distancing.

In Napa County, Calistoga’s Pioneer Park has seen several Black Lives Matter demonstrations over the last month, and local group Calistogans for Change is hosting a Juneteenth Peaceful Protest today, June 19, at 3pm. Masks are required and social distancing rules are encouraged.

On the Calistogans for Change Facebook page, organizer Nicole Sierra Drawsky writes, “The goal of this demonstration is to show ongoing support and solidarity for the Black Lives Matter Movement. Our end goal is to support the changing of systems that allow for brutality and racism, and to raise awareness for those who have been harmed or killed every day because of institutionalized racism.”

Marin City has been the epicenter of Marin County’s Black Lives Matter movement, and today’s Juneteenth Rally in Marin City’s Rocky Graham Park continues to bring the community together. Today’s event, beginning at 3pm, is all in on spreading knowledge and power, and the rally’s highlights include guest speakers, black-owned business vendors and more.

San Geronimo Valley is the scene of another Marin County gathering this weekend in support of Black lives. On Saturday, June 20, the Rally in the Valley meets up at the intersection of Nicasio Valley Road and Sir Francis Drake Boulevard at 1pm. Organizers suggest bringing signs supporting Black lives and calling for an end to police brutality, and masks and social distancing will be required.

One of the biggest Juneteenth events in the North Bay this year will be held on Zoom, as the Sonoma County Juneteenth Celebration goes online due to Covid-19.

Mrs. Marteal Perry originally founded the Sonoma County Juneteenth Celebration as Santa Rosa’s Juneteenth Celebration in 1954. A staple in the Santa Rosa community, Perry worked tirelessly for the local underserved community, heralding social causes like clean water issues, child welfare and many more.

This year’s virtual Sonoma County Juneteenth celebration, taking place Saturday, June 20 at 1pm, will feature a program of diverse and inclusive entertainment and education led by Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow Foundation. Formed in 2006, the foundation works toward improving the education of students surrounding Sonoma County and the North Bay.
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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Eventful Father’s Day Weekend in North Bay Includes 24-Hour Protest & Virtual Variety Show

Posted By on Wed, Jun 17, 2020 at 11:17 AM


Slowly, but surely, the North Bay is re-opening. After more than two months in self-isolation due to Covid-19, residents in Sonoma and Napa County are starting to return to shops, restaurants and other social venues.

In addition to relaxing shelter-in-place orders, the Black Lives Matter movement and protests against police brutality continue to take to the streets in spots like downtown Santa Rosa, meaning that Father’s Day weekend 2020 is shaping up to be a busy few days in the North Bay.

Of all the events taking place between June 20 and 21, the most ambitious endeavor is the planned 24-Hour Protest in Santa Rosa. Organized by a group of young activists, the planned protest aims to make a stand against police brutality and to champion peace and justice. On the event’s Facebook page, organizers write, “We want to shed light on police brutality in our community and are trying to create a platform where all people of color can come and express the change they feel is important. We want to provide a safe environment for everyone to come together and HEAR each other on the issues they feel are important to make a change. “

With that goal, the protest will begin on Saturday, June 20, at 1pm in Doyle Park near downtown Santa Rosa where organizers will be handing out calling cards with demands for local, county and state government representatives for protesters to call. The event then marches to Juilliard Park, where group activities, educational talk and an open mic stage will cover topics such as knowing your rights and how to effect change the community.

A silent candle-lit march in remembrance of lives lost to police violence then moves the protest to the Old Courthouse Square, where protesters will camp out overnight until a Father’s Day brunch on Sunday morning caps off the event. The protest organizers ask participants to adhere to Covid-19 precautions such as wearing a face covering and keeping socially distant when possible.

“The purpose of this protest is to give a voice to the people who need it most. This is absolutely a protest 10000% in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and want to give the opportunity to them and others alike to express the change they feel needs to happen within our community,” write protest organizers on Facebook.

In the art world, many North Bay galleries and arts groups are re-opening to the public after months of closures. One such group is the Arts Guild of Sonoma, which announced the reopening of its gallery this week, just in time to participate in the National Arts Drive on June 20.

The national grassroots fundraiser is a multi-city community experience taking place across the US. During the “Drive,” artists will showcase their work in ways that can be seen in-person from a safe distance.

“While online showcases of creativity are abundant, nothing compares to an arts viewing experience in person,” says Heidi Luerra, founder and CEO of organizing group RAW Artists. “While arts events have gone dark, this is our creative response to ensure artists are still seen, heard and supported.”

The National Arts Drive was originally set to take place in Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Los Angeles, New York (Brooklyn), San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C., but has quickly spread to multiple cities, and the Arts Guild of Sonoma is participating from 1pm to 4pm on Saturday. “We are taking every precaution to make sure all remain safe and will adjust as need be with changing circumstances,” writes the arts guild in a statement.
"Covid Humor I: Vallejo Masked" by BJ Beck shows as part of the Arts Guild of Sonoma's National Arts Drive event.
  • "Covid Humor I: Vallejo Masked" by BJ Beck shows as part of the Arts Guild of Sonoma's National Arts Drive event.

Not every venue is ready to re-open, namely small music and events venues like West Sonoma County’s beloved Occidental Center for the Arts. Last month, the center first took to the web to combat social distancing and share an abundance of music and fun with the Arts In Our Hearts Virtual Variety Show, featuring a cavalcade of performers. The free streaming show was such a hit that the arts center is doing it again on June 20 at 8pm, with another stellar line-up of popular Bay Area and North Bay artists including T Sisters, Jon Gonzales, Dirty Cello, Mimi Pirard, Nina Gerber, Emily Lois and a dozen others performing. The virtual variety show will stream on YouTube, and the center has also created some fun playlists featuring many great performers who’ve been at OCA.

Other music events happening online for those still social distancing include Petaluma’s Drive-In Concert at East Washington Place shopping center. The concert on June 20 is already sold-out for in-person (or, in-car) attendees, though the event will live stream on Facebook, with headliners Majestic: San Francisco’s Ultimate Tribute to Journey.

Also on June 20, Clif Family Winery in Napa Valley hosts a virtual Summer Solstice Concert with music from up and coming artists introduced by CLIF GreenNotes, a community of musicians and nonprofits committed to environmental justice. The virtual event will also be sharing cooking tips from Chef John, and special guest appearances from Clif Family winemaker Laura Barrett and winery owners Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford. To RSVP and receive an exclusive link to the virtual show, purchase a Summer Solstice Kit on Clif Family Winery’s website.
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Monday, June 15, 2020

New Exhibit Marks a First for Longtime North Bay Artist

Posted By on Mon, Jun 15, 2020 at 2:34 PM


Veteran artist and educator Anna B Francis has lived in Point Reyes Station for more than a decade, though there are still some neighbors who didn’t know she was an acclaimed watercolor and oil painter until they saw her work hanging at the gallery at Toby’s Feed Barn earlier this month.

“I’ve been in three shows since I came out here (in 2008), but this is the first time I’ve exhibited this whole body of work in California,” Francis says. “Since I really haven’t exhibited out here much, there are people I’ve known over the years who didn’t even know I did this sort of thing.”

On display for in-person viewing, “The Art of Anna B Francis” is the artist’s first-ever retrospective exhibit and features more than 60 works spanning 40 years of her career in art and education. Portraits of flowers, people and more hang on the wall at Toby’s during the essential store’s open hours, and the show will remain up until June 30.

Francis is a lifelong artist, who discovered the talent and the passion as early as kindergarten. An East Coast native, she received her Master of Fine Arts Degree from Syracuse University and her Bachelors Degree from University of Kentucky. She also attended the Art Students League, the School of Visual Arts and Parsons School of Design while living in New York City between 1979 and 1982.

In 1983, Francis entered the educational world after publishing her children's picture book, Pleasant Dreams.

“The idea of teaching came about when the book was in the process of coming out,” she says. “I wanted to teach children’s picture book illustration. I was also interested in teaching watercolor because I am self-taught.”

She first taught at the Silvermine Arts Center in Connecticut, where she led classes in drawing and children’s picture book illustration. Over a 24-year teaching career, Francis instructed over 2,500 students; teaching drawing and watercolor at Longwood Gardens for 15 years, teaching oil painting as an adjunct professor at Villanova University, and offering classes and workshops at several other institutions.

In her own artwork, Francis is a master of color. She draws her portraits of people with realism in mind, while her floral portraits take much more artistic license.

“In the people-portraits I focus on accuracy and recognizable likeness, my work on those portraits are close to life-size,” she says.

All of her people-portraits were drawn from live models, except for two pieces in the show. One is a dog portrait, and the other is a recreation of a baseball card of then-Mets player Darryl Strawberry.


“I was commissioned to do that by one of my teachers in my Masters Degree program, Murray Tinkelman,” Francis says. “Murray was putting together a show called ‘The Artist and the Baseball Card.’ He gave me a couple of baseball cards of Darryl Strawberry. I did some drawings, and then I saw him on TV and said, ‘these cards don’t look anything like him.’”

Living outside of New York City at the time, Francis drove into the city to rent VHS tape of “Let’s Go Mets,” the team’s official theme song, and paused the tape on Strawberry to get a more accurate look, despite the static lines on the VHS freeze-frame.

That painting traveled around the country for many years on exhibition, and in the spirit of baseball cards, Francis traded the piece to Tinkelman, a famous sci-fi and fantasy illustrator, in exchange for one of his drawings. The Baseball card piece in the show at Toby’s is a recreation of that original artwork.

For her floral art, Francis is big on color. She’s actually a color expert, having developed her own color wheel while teaching at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania, and she has taught color theory. Like her people portraits, many of the floral portraits are also very large pieces, with the largest being over 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide.

“I actually wrote an article for The Artist's Magazine on how to paint large watercolors,” she says. “They titled it ‘How to Paint Large Watercolors with Ease,’ which isn’t really true—but I wanted people to know how to do it.”

Francis’ preferred floral subject is the Amaryllis, a flower that boasts large bulbs on top of leafless stems. Francis paints her flowers with saturated watercolors, giving them a lush spectrum of color.

“I liked Amaryllis because they were easy to grow in the winter, and at the time I was living in New York, and because they would change like a live model,” she says. “They just seem to have a lot of personality to me.”

Francis has a series of Amaryllis portraits she calls “Conversations,” in which she paints the flowers as if they are in various stages of interaction with each other or the viewer. Many of those pieces are part of the retrospective exhibit.

The show also features other artifacts, such as reproductions of her children’s book.

The retrospective was meant to be up in April, though Marin County’s shelter-in-place orders in March delayed the exhibit until now.

“People are very serious about sheltering-in-place, and of course that’s good,” she says. “But, Point Reyes is a very artistic and creative community, so the show has been a huge hit here locally. People have gone two or three times because they can go and see some art, and it’s been a wonderful personal experience for me to see people happy about it; that was the real major purpose of it.”

“The Art of Anna B Francis” is on display now through June 30 at Toby’s Feed Barn, 11250 Hwy One, Point Reyes Station. Current hours are Mon–Sat; 9am–5pm, closed Sundays. 415.663.1223.
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