Living ‘Color’

Color is central to art not only as an element but also as an idea, a concept examined in the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art’s upcoming exhibition “Color Theory: The Use of Color in Contemporary Art.”

The show opens March 31 with works by nine extraordinary artists from across the country.

“While color is present in all the works, as the sole focus of some and merely a by-product for others,“ said Guest Curator Katrina Traywick of Traywick Contemporary Gallery in Berkeley, “it is the artists’ use of materials and non-traditional processes that frame a contemporary dialogue”.

Participating artists are Elaine Buckholtz, Chris Duncan, Portia Hein, Charles La Belle, Joe Macca, Diana Guerrero-Macia, Jessica Snow, Jen Stark and Lucrecia Troncoso. Their works of art employ video, photography, collage, site-specific painting and installation.

The imagery ranges from the bucolic to the outrageous, said Museum Director Kate Eilertsen. “These exciting artists have taken a fresh approach with their materials, processes, and techniques to show us how limitless color theory is today.”

Eilertsen said the exhibition is an updated look at Josef Alber’s 1963 “Interaction of Color,” which established principals of color theory based that are still taught today.

“Color is the essence of landscape, mood, our perception of the physical world,” she said.

Programming planned during the exhibition includes a visit from artist Elaine Buckholtz, who pulls color and line from well-known paintings and reconfigures them in video. And Dr. Karen Schloss of the “Berkeley Color Project” and artist Jessica Snow will investigate the myths and truths of color theory from Impressionism to the present.

The exhibition will run concurrently with the Museum’s A.R.T.S. (Art Rewards the Student) program. Now in its 11th year, the A.R.T.S. program trains and places volunteer artists in every fourth and fifth-grade classroom in Sonoma, and provide activities and curriculum that coincide with “Color Theory.” Each class will visit the Museum during the exhibition and will have an exhibition of student work May 23–June 10.

“Color Theory” will open with a Members’ Preview on Friday, March 30 from 6 to 8 p.m. The Museum is located at 551 Broadway in Sonoma. Hours are Wednesdays through Sundays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information contact 939.7862 or

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