Santa Rosa's ArtQuest students return for their annual look through the lens


For the third year in a row, autumn has been marked in our offices by the arrival of the ArtQuest kids, talented teens in the fine arts magnet program provided by Santa Rosa High School, who spend the semester with us and their cameras under the able supervision of instructor Tanya Braunstein. This year, the students chose to turn the lens on their surroundings, working to create a portrait of one slice of home that feels most immediate to them.

As is always our greatest sorrow, we are only able to reprint one shot from each artist, but the greater swathe of their work, including the pieces reprinted here, are on display on the second floor of the Wells Fargo Center for the Performing Arts. When there for a holiday show, remember to go up to the second floor galleries and enjoy a wider spread of this talented team’s work. It’s been a unique pleasure to work with these students and see their eyes grow literally wider through the use of a second set of eyes—their cameras.

Zandra Wilkerson printed up extreme infrared contrasts with her shot of the Bodega church made famous by Alfred Hitchcock.

Claudia Lippitt-Brecher did photojournalist work in David Ehreth’s Alexander Valley Gourmet kitchen, shooting workers and Ehreth making pickles and sauerkraut.

Genna Tomassi visited the Yulupa community gardens at harvest.

Jackie Hunter joined the Sea Scouts at the behest of a friend, and there discovered a veritable cavalcade of nautical objects and gruff pleasantries. Sea Scout leader Mr. Waters is pictured here.

Megan Melendez made several trips to Santa Rosa’s Luther Burbank Home and Gardens over the course of the semester, looking for symmetries, architectural features and the odd bloom. Here she captured all.

Nichole Menezes was wandering about Juilliard Park when she caught sight of this utterly asleep gentleman. At least we’ve all fervently hoped that he was napping; his  pure relaxation suggests other.

Alana Tchirkine used her friend Alana Fichman as a model, shooting on and around Healdsburg’s Hacienda Bridge.

Nusnin Vattanawase sometimes helps out at her family’s restaurant, Thai Taste in Santa Rosa. For this project, she staked out in the kitchen, taking photojourno shots of her family and their employees at work.

Tessa Brunsmann discovered Tierra Vegetables just down the road from her house for this project. She and her mother have since made several trips to this wonderful farm known for its chipotle peppers.

Bekah Reidelbach traveled all the way up to Hopland’s Solar Living Institute to play with images of the oversized goddess that honors those grounds.

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