News Release
University Affairs Office
1801 E. Cotati Avenue
Rohnert Park, CA 94928-3609
(707) 664-2057
    February 27, 2004
    Contact: Carla Stone, Gallery manager, (707)


Art Gallery Celebrates 25th Anniversary with Group Exhibition

The University Art Gallery is pleased to announce The 25th Anniversary Exhibition, a selection of paintings, sculpture, photographs, prints, and drawings by regional, national, and internationally recognized artists whose work has been featured in Art Gallery exhibitions since it opened on the Sonoma State University campus in 1978.

The 25th Anniversary Exhibition remains on view through Sunday, March 21. Participating artists are Terry Allen, Rebeca Bollinger, Lowell Darling, Stephen De Staebler, Richard Diebenkorn, Chris Finley, Lorraine Garcia-Nakata, Wally Hedrick, David Hockney, Robert Hudson, Dennis Leon, Elizabeth McKinne, Richard Misrach, Ron Nagle, Nathan Oliveira, Peter Shelton, M. Louise Stanley, Inez Storer, William T. Wiley, and Tom Wudl.

Over the last 25 years, the Art Gallery has been visited by thousands of students, faculty, staff, and members of the public from the campus and local communities as well as from across the country, says Gallery manager Carala Stone.

They have come to see more than 100 exhibitions of modern and contemporary art by more than 800 artists. They have attended hundreds of lectures by artists, critics, curators, and scholars, such as Enrique Chagoya, Peter Frank, Donald Kuspit, Hilton Kramer, Manuel Ocampo, Marcia tucker, James Turrell, and William Wegman. And they have read dozens of catalogs and brochures, published by the Gallery that provides insight into the artists and their work, she says.

The Art Gallery, with its 23-foot ceiling and 2,4000 square feet of exhibition space, was designed to accommodate the monumental painting and sculpture popular with many artists during the 1970’s.

It was immediately recognized as one of the largest and best-equipped spaces devoted to changing exhibitions of contemporary art in Northern California. On Friday, April 7, 1978, the University Art Gallery opened its first exhibition, a survey of work by 24 prominent Northern California artists organized by acting director Inez Storer.

The roster for the exhibition—including William Allan, Robert Arneson, Richard Diebenkorn, Nathan Oliveira, Cornelia Schulz, and William T. Wiley—reads likes a “Who’s Who” of Bay Area contemporary art that in may ways created the standard for high-quality exhibitions the Art Gallery has always tried to follow. As Storer said on the occasion of the opening, “With this exhibit, we hope to set the integrity of the future life of the Gallery.”

The Art Gallery has continued to evolve in response to the changes in the art world and its audience. Since 1990, exhibitions have been organized in recognition of the contemporary art world’s increasing cultural diversity, such as Body/Culture: Chicano Figuration, and the expanding use of new technology in visual art with exhibitions like sound, image, object, which included artists using video projection and digital images.

The 25th anniversary of the founding of the University Art Gallery is a milestone that provides an ideal opportunity to reflect on the Gallery’s rich history and numerous contributions to the cultural life of Sonoma State University, Sonoma County, and the North Bay Region, says Michael Schwager, Gallery Director since 1991. He's optimistic about the Art Gallery’s future.

“Twenty five years is a good moment to pause and look back at all the Gallery has accomplished—and also to look at what lies ahead. In spite of all of the budget cuts the university and its many programs face, Sonoma County’s interest in visual art has never been higher. We’ve been right in the middle of the County’s art scene since 1978, and the next twenty five years look just as exciting.”

The University Art Gallery is open Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m. – 4:00, and Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call (707) 664-2295.


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Last Modified: 02/27/2004