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ArtsSonoma Festival launched

  • Rob Micka, left, checks out Helen Moon-Wainwright the "living statue" as she poses during the Arts Council festival held at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts.

There was some boogie-woogie, a bit of scratching and a thrown pot or two.

Saturday's kick-off event for the two-week ArtsSonoma &‘10 Festival was as eclectic as it comes, and then some.

Billed as a "Day With the Arts," the all-day event at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts was part art-show, rock concert, dance recital and learning fair.

Arts Council Festival


It also was a call to arms against what Santa Rosa architect and artist Warren Hedgpeth labeled "cultural bankruptcy."

"We have the wine festivals and insurance symposiums, but we need these cultural events for the analog world, for the playing of instruments and for the reading of poetry," said Hedgpeth.

Hedgpeth was among 55 visual artists who presented their wares at the kick-off event.

Another was Santa Rosa artist Diana Lee, whose demonstration of drawing on a "scratchboard" drew a crowd.

Using a sharp cutting tool, Lee cut into a piece of clayboard that was topped with a white chalky substance and black overlay. The thin white lines that were revealed with each cut eventually formed the image of an old man.

"Oh my, is this your work? Fabulous," Bernadette Howard said to Lee.

Howard, a Sebastopol painter, said Saturday's event represented a welcome opportunity to network with other artists and the public at a time when economic woes are forcing galleries to scale back or close.

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