Art Returns to Sonoma Plaza This Summer

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Already a popular spot for outdoor gatherings, Sonoma’s Historic Plaza is getting an artistic addition this summer, as Sonoma Valley Museum of Art and the City of Sonoma present the new public art installation, “A Delicate Balance.” 

On view in the downtown plaza from May 4 to October 19, the exhibition will feature 8 large-scale sculptures by four outstanding artists from diverse backgrounds—Bruce Beasley, Catherine Daley, Peter Hassen, and Jun Kaneko. 

Bruce Beasley is an American abstract expressionist sculptor born in Los Angeles and currently living and working in Oakland. He studied sculpture at UC Berkeley under the instruction of Peter Voulkos and helped found the famous Garbanzo Works foundry in west Berkeley. Beasley continues to explore various sculptural mediums ranging from cast aluminum to Lucite to bronze to granite to wood. His works are in collections of major museums around the world including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Musee d’Art Moderne, Paris; and the National Art Museum of China, Beijing; among other prominent institutions.

Catherine Daley’s sculptural works range from large installations to small and delicate pieces in bronze, aluminum, plexiglass, wood, steel and granite. Her Aurora series is based on the stunning beauty of the Aurora Borealis and allude to light, water and music. Daley teaches art at Sonoma Academy and serves on the board of Pacific Rim Sculptors. Her works have been exhibited throughout California at Sonoma State University, Marin MoCA, Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, Paradise Ridge, Pepperwood Preserve, and Oakwilde Ranch.

Peter Hassen is a conceptual artist working in sculpture, painting, printmaking, photography, video and landscape intervention. He has exhibited work in national galleries and on public lands for more than two decades. The Cycles series focuses on themes of nature, science, and spirituality. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Hassen received his BFA from University of Colorado in Boulder and now lives and works in Sonoma.

Jun Kaneko was born in Nagoya, Japan, and studied painting with Satoshi Ogawa during his adolescence. He came to the United States in 1963 to continue his studies at UC Berkeley, Chouinard Art Institute (CalArts), and Scripps College. He studied with Peter Voulkos, Paul Soldner, and Jerry Rothman during the time now defined as the California Clay Movement. Kaneko later taught at various U.S. art schools, including Scripps College, Cranbrook Academy of Art and Rhode Island School of Design. Based in Omaha since 1986, Jun Kaneko’s artwork appears in numerous international and national solo and group exhibitions and is included in more than seventy museum collections.

Comprised of abstract and representational sculptures in metal, granite, and plexiglass, “A Delicate Balance” explores the relationship between the natural world and humankind’s technology, and viewers are reminded of the fragile nature of life.

“SVMA is pleased to partner with the City of Sonoma to bring the art of such diverse and stellar artists,” says SVMA Executive Director Linda Keaton in a statement. “Providing public art fulfills SVMA’s mission of Building Community Around Art.” 

The sculptures will be installed on May 4 and a formal opening reception, attended by some of the artists, is being planned for late June pending Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. In addition to the partnership between the City of Sonoma and the SVMA, this public exhibit is made possible with support from Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce, Creative Sonoma, Elaine and Graham Smith, Dana Simpson-Stokes and Ken Stokes, Leslie and Mac McQuown, Bank of Marin and Steel Geisha Designs. Get more information at svma.org.