‘Art from the Heart’ exhibit celebrates 32 years of creativity

Sonoma State University students, alumni, artists and community members alike gathered in the Sonoma State Art Gallery on Saturday night to celebrate the 32nd annual “Art from the Heart” exhibit.

The gallery displays a variety of astonishing art pieces donated by students and other artists, and in addition provided an auction, music and refreshments.

The gallery expanded through a couple of rooms in the University Art Gallery.

Along the walls and on the stands in the middle of the room there were dozens of types of artwork.

Paintings, sculptures, prints and other mediums captured the attention of many attendees.

As people gathered around the works, it was easy to overhear discussion of their thoughts on each one, especially with the artists themselves.

“I want to be able to support my son,” said event-goer Louise Bostrom, mother of Eric Thomas Bostrom, who created the piece “Daesh Attack”.

She says she has witnessed how hard he’s worked over the years and how far he’s come with his art.

“I’ve been there from when he was simply scribbling on paper, to when he earned his degree in art,” she said.

It was touching to witness the support family and friends showed.

It was especially enjoyable to get to chat with the artists themselves when approaching the pieces.

For instance, a rather popular piece was “Everik Masquerade 37”, a beautiful marionette puppet that represented a figure in a black and gold masquerade gown.

The artist, Mary Naler, carried the puppet around to display it to many groups of people as well as mingle with them.

“Only the head’s made out of wood,” she replied when asked about how it was made.

“Everything else on it was made with plastic, plush, wood and canvas. I wanted to give it a different feeling.”

Lists would also be placed next to the artwork for event-goers to place bids on the pieces.
People were given a chance to look at the value of any piece they desired and to place their price for buying it.

By the end of the night, many works were sold and lucky attendees walked out with a new piece of art.

The exhibit gave attendees the chance to explore the diversity of the submissions, and brought awareness to the art gallery.

Gallery Director and Professor of Art History Michael Schwager was also present.

“This exhibit is my 25th year attending in a row,” he said.

He mingled with the attendees and artists and said he was pleased to see how it all turned out.

“I’d like to thank all of our volunteers this year,” Schwager said, “It’s important that we really bring awareness to the different kinds of art we represent in the gallery, especially the art from Seawolves. The awareness really helps keep the gallery going and assist the event in bringing in more people every year.”

When asked about the theme of the event, Schwager replied “There’s never really a direct theme to ‘Art from the Heart’ as a whole. Rather, it’s a large span of themes that all connect to each other.”

This was important to mention, given that when other people gathered around the works, there was a great amount of discussion about the themes of each piece, in both their subject and how they’re made.

The important aspect to recognize about each piece, however, is how the diversity of the works in the gallery highlight the heart each creator placed into their art.

Every piece told a story, not just in the subjects of each piece, but how they were made.  
For instance, a piece called “Memorias” by Johnny Kanwan, which represents a sugar skull, was discussed quite a bit.

“It was exciting to see artwork of Latin culture, since I’ve grown up in Latin America and the representation is very important,” stated Hutchins professor Roberta Kralj-Rogers.

“Art from the Heart” had a major turnout with many different people, artists and non-artists alike. It brought many together to share their mutual passion for art, and fund raised consciousness in a diverse, heartfelt manner in a college setting.