Art from the Heart celebrates 30th anniversary

The aim of the event was achieved: people came to have a good time and left with an original work of art they can call their own. The Sonoma State University’s Art Gallery had a celebration for the 30th year of Art from the Heart on Saturday evening.

Before the event, the gallery held a free preview of the artwork on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday so bidders could come to the event with an idea of what art pieces they wanted to bid on. Started in 1984, this event has grown to have primacy in Sonoma County’s fundraising events.

The fundraiser money helps to benefit the University Art Gallery’s display, advertisement and lectures for art majors at Sonoma State University. This silent art auction was a gathering of art admirers who enjoy each other’s company and bond through conversations over the art and inspiration.

The Dave Getz Jazz Trio played admirable instrumental music in the background to create a pleasant relaxing environment. The bidders came to enjoy a Saturday night where they could sip on wine, nibble on h’orderves and competitively bid on the art pieces that appealed to their eye, all while the artists felt prideful when the art they donated was being bid on.

It is an accomplishment for the artists to realize their art was not only a measure of fulfillment to themselves, but others enjoyed their creation as well.  

Exhibitions Coordinator, Carla Stone, talked about how not just anyone can donate their art, they have to be asked to donate first. All the works are donated from professional artists locally in Sonoma County and across the United States. Their goal is to keep the auction of fine art selective and of worth.

Fran Campanian, a photographer, donated a piece for the third year in a row.  Her unique style is reflected in her art, appearance and personality, which allows her to stand out from the crowd. 

The piece that she donated this year, called “Love Nets,” is a collage consisting of six pictures of zoomed in legs covered with fishnets.  She picked colors of black and red for the fishnets due to their bold colors, which, in retrospect, reflects her personality.

Her art brings her joy and with her creative mind she is able to successfully complete outstanding projects. She is known for her series of pictures of shoes where she has different pointed stilettos and plays around with color assortment and style.  To see more of her pictures visit 

The setup of the auction has three different sections of art whereby the bidding ends at different times for each. In the last few minutes of each bidding section, the bidders strategically plan and anxiously hope they do not have competition.

Once the announcer says the bidding for that section is over, the winners celebrate their new purchase. Then the art is carried and packed by the volunteers where their new owners can pick them up after the event. The event was well organized and put together and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

After long weeks of work, adults who enjoy art, wine, music and food come here to unwind and enjoy themselves. They forget about all their worries and stress and enjoy the laid-back environment. The turnout of this event was so successful that it was difficult to make one’s way around the gallery.

After all the bidding was over, the white walls were almost empty and the art was on its way to their new homes. Now the walls are open and ready for new art for the University Art Gallery’s next exhibition.