Art Gallery

Current Show

The Sonoma Academy Art Gallery is currently featuing an exhibition of new works by mixed-media artist and Sonoma Academy art teacher Hillary Younglove. You can view a virtual tour of the show here.

The artist states: 

The concept for an art project using actual correspondence came from a dream I had a year before the Santa Rosa, California fires in 2016. After the fires, with boxes of letters still intact, I set upon a path to create a multi-media installation using 30 years of correspondence, journal entries and pages from sketchbooks.

I am part of the last generation of letter writers, remarkable when you think about it. People have been writing letters for over 3,750 years. Now they type and send off a text message without much thought or labor. In a certain way I would describe this project as a personal reflection on how electronic media depersonalizes communication. Letter writing was once an art form and for those who love writing, a form of expression. From each unique script to the thought that went into each letter, sometimes written over a few days, a message was conveyed. Someone took the time to communicate with you.

Newspaper clippings, drawings, a dried flower, even the mark of a kiss that touched the writer’s lips could be sent anywhere in the world to be touched by the recipient. The paper could be uneven, drenched with the salt of actual tears. The digital era, while immediate, has lost a touch of the personal, the tactile component that has always been a part of correspondence.

Before I started writing via email in 1992 on average I would send and receive about two to three letters a week, most of which I stored away in boxes. I never thought about what I would do with those boxes and for many years they traveled with me as I moved from place to place. They were my sole possession along with my art books and supplies.
Until, I had a dream, in which I took all the letters and gave them a new life - a life that would represent the passages that we all go through from adolescence to midlife. All the reflections, hopes, insecurities and discoveries. As I embarked on re-reading letters untouched since the day I received and opened them I came across a curious fact. Back in the early 1990’s my best friend and I had referred to an art project in our correspondence that we would someday create together using our letters. How prescient.

While digital art is relatively new and exciting, the technology to view it will rapidly be replaced, rendering the artwork ephemeral unless constantly updated. The marks made by ancient cultures are still here today. Where will our digital marks and photos be in as little as 20 years? I reflect on this with my students. Will they have those markers of passage that I possess in my 50’s? The cherished letters and photos of a life well lived? Will it matter to them?

I am working on two visual representations that follow different aesthetic principles. One is a reconstructed narrative where the letters are in plain view and organized around a central image and the other is a raw archeological meandering akin to an expressionistic collage. This multimedia project will also include paper mache heads made of letters and a soundtrack with voices reading the correspondences. The artwork is made from old sketchbooks, journals, letters, photos and audio recordings. All of these elements come together in one installation in June of 2020.

The Art Gallery

Since the inception of the school, before we even had a proper gallery space, we have had professional artists showing, lecturing, and giving class demonstrations. We believe that exposure to the arts is an inherent part of education, and therefore, expose students to a variety of artists and styles that are not typically shown in Sonoma county. Over the last 14 years we have shown a diverse group of artists from all over the world including: Pakistan, Tibet, Sweden, Germany, England, France, Russia, Mexico, Bosnia, the Philippines, Iran, and Cuba as well as local Bay area artists. We have partnered with the San Francisco Art Institute and the Chalk Hill Artist Residency and will be showing some of the artists selected through their program.

Gallery hours are 8:00 am through 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday (except during school holidays).

Gallery Guidelines

The Sonoma Academy Gallery looks for original artwork that takes an innovative approach and shows a sophisticated execution. Chosen artists should enhance the arts curriculum. Established and emerging artists interested in showing are encouraged to look over these guidelines.

Shows are generally up for two months unless another arrangement has been made between the artist and the school. In exchange for showing and taking no sales commission we require all artists to give a lecture or class demo. A stipend of $80 is provided for a class demo or short lecture.

Artists are responsible for hanging and taking down their own shows after 3:30 pm on weekdays or on the weekend as arranged between the artist and the school. Please bring your own hanging supplies. A dolly is available to transport the work from your car up to the gallery.

It is suggested that artists create their own labels, which include the name of the piece, medium, date, price, and artist contact information. Otherwise a binder with the same information can be left on the gallery table.

If something sells, the purchasing party will contact the artist directly to arrange the sale. The school takes no commission.

Gallery Size
Dimensions of the wall space: 
  • Two walls are 6' 8” 
  • One wall is 10’ 5”
  • One wall is 8’ 7”
  • One wall is 33’ 10”
  • One wall is 3’
Please submit a link to your website or blog for consideration and send it to Hillary Younglove. Shows are booked one year in advance.
2500 Farmers Lane 
Santa Rosa, CA 95404 
(707) 545-1770

Sonoma Academy Is...

...the only private, independent, college preparatory high school in Sonoma County. On our beautiful campus nestled at the base of Taylor Mountain in Southeastern Santa Rosa, our students are able to explore their interests and passions in a rigorous and inspiring environment that develops a lifelong love of learning and prepares them for college and beyond.

Sonoma Academy admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.