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Sonoma State gallery salutes the murals of Sonoma County

“Spray It Like You Mean It: Contemporary Murals of Sonoma County”

Presented online by Sonoma State University Art Gallery, Jan. 25 through Feb. 28, at artgallery.sonoma.edu.

1. Joshua Lawyer, MJ Lindo and Hepos

“Good vs. Evil,” 2019

Roseland Village, 883 Sebastopol Road, Santa Rosa

2. Erik Burke

“A Difference of Skin,” 2013

Roseland silos, north side of Sebastopol Road, near the intersection with Boyd Street, east of Dutton Avenue, Santa Rosa

3. Bud Snow

“Spirit Wall,” 2013

Roseland silos, seen from Highway 12, looking south, just east of the Dutton Avenue exit, Santa Rosa (the north face of the structure where Burke’s “A Difference of Skin” is located)

4. Bud Snow

“Celebration of Life,” 2019

Roxy Theater, 85 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa

5. Ricky Watts

Phoenix Theater Mural, 2013

201 Washington St. (south side of building), Petaluma

6. Saskia, Lilia and Marije Rechin

“Beauty Not Forgotten. The Pomo People,” 2019

Alley on Sonoma Avenue at Santa Rosa Avenue, Santa Rosa

7. Jet Martinez

Maple Avenue Mural Project, 2010

Maple Avenue at Santa Rosa Avenue, between Hendley and Brown Streets, Santa Rosa

8. Chor Boogie

“Birds and the Bees,” 2017

Hampton Way off Sebastopol Road, Santa Rosa

9. Chor Boogie

“The Lady of Life and Death,” 2018

17496 Sonoma Highway, Boyes Hot Springs

10. basal ganglia studio (from local artist Joel Jones)

Keller Street Parking Garage Installation, 2020

Keller Street parking garage, interior, 114 Keller St., Petaluma

11. Ryan Petersen

Mural in progress, 2020

Keller Street parking garage, exterior, 114 Keller St., Petaluma

12. Conor Buckley and Eric Lister

“Brainsplosion 005,” 2019

505 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa

13. Amandalynn

“The Good Life,” 2020

Forestville Laundromat, exterior, 6658 Front St., Forestville

14. Amandalynn

“Roger’s Garden,” 2020

Second Street at Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa

15. Saskia, Lilia and Marije Rechin

“Nameless,” 2019

Santa Rosa Avenue at Sonoma Avenue, Santa Rosa

16. Maxfield Bala

Petaluma City Mural, 2014

Water Street at Washington Street, Petaluma

COMMUNITY MURALS:

1. 505 Santa Rosa Avenue murals

505 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa

2. SCAPE Mural Project / The Monarch Project

Various locations, Sonoma County, including a movable mural currently located at Three Disciples Brewing, 501 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa

3. American Alley Murals

American Alley, between Petaluma Boulevard and Kentucky Street, south of Washington Street, Petaluma

4. Roseland community murals

Various locations, Roseland neighborhood, Santa Rosa

5. Artstart murals

Various locations, Sonoma County, including a mural of California poppies on Petaluma Hill Road at Snyder Lane, south of Santa Rosa

With museums and many galleries closed during the pandemic, arts leaders at Sonoma State University have figured out a way to take art lovers both outdoors and online to enjoy creative work.

“Because of COVID, all indoor art activities have come to a screeching halt,” Santa Rosa arts advocate Spring Maxfield said.

As the guest curator of the new online art exhibit “Spray It Like You Mean It: Murals of Sonoma County,” presented online by the University Art Gallery, Maxfield has organized an alternative to closed museums and art galleries.

Not only can frustrated art lovers see the show at artgallery.sonoma.edu, featuring photos of large local murals by different artists, fans also can note their locations for future self-guided driving tours.

“If people are feeling at itch to get out, they can seek out these murals,” Maxfield said.

Maxfield was brought in to choose which murals to include in the exhibit, but the project had its beginning at the university’s Rohnert Park campus gallery.

“Sonoma County over the past decade or so has become a tremendously vibrant region for murals,” said Jennifer Bethke, lecturer and art historian at Sonoma State and interim director of its art gallery. “We were interested in highlighting this development.”

Bethke traced the rise of large outdoor murals throughout the county back to 2013, when Ricky Watts of Sebastopol painted his mural on the Phoenix Theater in Petaluma; Bud Snow of Oakland painted her “Spirit Wall” at the Roseland silos and Erik Burke of Reno painted “A Difference of Skin,” also at the silos.

“We had prominent artists coming in from outside the area doing some pretty prominent work,” Bethke said.

One of those was internationally acclaimed spray paint and street artist Chor Boogie of San Rafael. In 2018, Boogie collaborated with 20 teenage students on a mural in Boyes Hot Springs. It blends bright images of vineyards, springs, Dia de los Muertos icons and constellations named for animals.

The Artstart public art and apprentice artist training program, which started in Santa Rosa in 1999, also brought local murals to prominence.

“We seem to have arrived at a moment of ‘murals Renaissance’ in the county, with lots of experimentation and quite a plethora of impressive artistic accomplishment on display,“ Bethke said. That has included Boogie’s collaboration, murals in Roseland and other Santa Rosa neighborhoods and in downtown Petaluma, she said.

In choosing work for the new exhibit, Maxfield said she wanted to emphasize murals by local artists as well as some the better-known muralists who visited the county to create murals.

“Just being an advocate for public art and a cheerleader for artists, I am always interested in something like this,” she said. “I’m happy to jump in.”

With Maxfield joining the project, Bethke found the local expertise she wanted for the exhibit.

“I’ve known Spring for a long time, so she came to mind,” Bethke said. “She is very involved in the local art scene.”

Maxfield also served as the producer of the annual Great Handcar Regatta in Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square from 2008 through 2011.

More recent murals chosen by Maxfield for the new exhibit include “Good vs. Evil” by Joshua Lawyer, MJ Lindo and Hepos in Santa Rosa’s Roseland district and a couple of Santa Rosa murals by sisters Saskia, Lilia and Marije Rechin, all from 2019.

“The Good Life” by Amandalynn, painted last year in Forestville on the exterior of the Forestville Laundromat, is also featured in the show.

Bethke, who also has worked with the Museum of Sonoma County in Santa Rosa and the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, follows Michael Schwager, who retired last year after serving as director of the Sonoma State University Art Gallery for 29 years.

The mural exhibit is the first one Bethke has overseen in her new role on campus. It was prompted by a suggestion from Carla Stone, Schwager’s long-term exhibitions coordinator and collections manager.

Bethke credits Stone with the original idea for a virtual exhibit that brings local murals to potential viewers.

“It makes so much sense since we can’t be in the gallery,” Bethke said. “It’s an opportunity to do what we normally wouldn’t be able to do.”

You can reach Staff Writer Dan Taylor at dan.taylor@pressdemocrat.com or 707-521-5243. On Twitter @danarts.

“Spray It Like You Mean It: Contemporary Murals of Sonoma County”

Presented online by Sonoma State University Art Gallery, Jan. 25 through Feb. 28, at artgallery.sonoma.edu.

1. Joshua Lawyer, MJ Lindo and Hepos

“Good vs. Evil,” 2019

Roseland Village, 883 Sebastopol Road, Santa Rosa

2. Erik Burke

“A Difference of Skin,” 2013

Roseland silos, north side of Sebastopol Road, near the intersection with Boyd Street, east of Dutton Avenue, Santa Rosa

3. Bud Snow

“Spirit Wall,” 2013

Roseland silos, seen from Highway 12, looking south, just east of the Dutton Avenue exit, Santa Rosa (the north face of the structure where Burke’s “A Difference of Skin” is located)

4. Bud Snow

“Celebration of Life,” 2019

Roxy Theater, 85 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa

5. Ricky Watts

Phoenix Theater Mural, 2013

201 Washington St. (south side of building), Petaluma

6. Saskia, Lilia and Marije Rechin

“Beauty Not Forgotten. The Pomo People,” 2019

Alley on Sonoma Avenue at Santa Rosa Avenue, Santa Rosa

7. Jet Martinez

Maple Avenue Mural Project, 2010

Maple Avenue at Santa Rosa Avenue, between Hendley and Brown Streets, Santa Rosa

8. Chor Boogie

“Birds and the Bees,” 2017

Hampton Way off Sebastopol Road, Santa Rosa

9. Chor Boogie

“The Lady of Life and Death,” 2018

17496 Sonoma Highway, Boyes Hot Springs

10. basal ganglia studio (from local artist Joel Jones)

Keller Street Parking Garage Installation, 2020

Keller Street parking garage, interior, 114 Keller St., Petaluma

11. Ryan Petersen

Mural in progress, 2020

Keller Street parking garage, exterior, 114 Keller St., Petaluma

12. Conor Buckley and Eric Lister

“Brainsplosion 005,” 2019

505 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa

13. Amandalynn

“The Good Life,” 2020

Forestville Laundromat, exterior, 6658 Front St., Forestville

14. Amandalynn

“Roger’s Garden,” 2020

Second Street at Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa

15. Saskia, Lilia and Marije Rechin

“Nameless,” 2019

Santa Rosa Avenue at Sonoma Avenue, Santa Rosa

16. Maxfield Bala

Petaluma City Mural, 2014

Water Street at Washington Street, Petaluma

COMMUNITY MURALS:

1. 505 Santa Rosa Avenue murals

505 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa

2. SCAPE Mural Project / The Monarch Project

Various locations, Sonoma County, including a movable mural currently located at Three Disciples Brewing, 501 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa

3. American Alley Murals

American Alley, between Petaluma Boulevard and Kentucky Street, south of Washington Street, Petaluma

4. Roseland community murals

Various locations, Roseland neighborhood, Santa Rosa

5. Artstart murals

Various locations, Sonoma County, including a mural of California poppies on Petaluma Hill Road at Snyder Lane, south of Santa Rosa

Dan Taylor

Arts & Entertainment, The Press Democrat

Do you take fun seriously? I know I do. Tell me what you want to know about arts and entertainment in the North Bay to make the best use of your leisure time and money. As a longtime local arts journalist, I have learned where to look and who to ask.

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