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Winners of “Discovered: Emerging Visual Artists” Program Announced


Winners of “Discovered:  Emerging Visual Artists” Program Announced

Jenny Harp

Five Sonoma County artists are being recognized through the fourth annual “Discovered: Emerging Artists from Sonoma County” program, produced by Creative Sonoma and the Petaluma Arts Center. The five winners’ work will be shown in a professionally juried show at the Center, opening on January 21st from 5 to 7 pm. Winners will also receive a $2,000 stipend.

These five artists reflect the tremendous diversity of the county’s visual arts community in genre, style and philosophy. Yet, they share several common themes. These works explore a culture that has less to do with the intrinsic value of things, and more to do with providing a felt experience.” 

Winners include: Jenny Harp (Santa Rosa), whose beautiful drawings remind us of the power and permanence of physical, rather than digital images; Dayana Leon (Santa Rosa), whose fluorescent paintings document the extreme, physical changes women go through to feel included in today’s society; Catherine Sieck (Occidental), who uses meticulously cut paper to illustrate her fascination with earth’s sustainability; Kala Stein (Sonoma), who uses ceramic sculpture to assemble a view of the skies; and Jaynee Watson (Petaluma), whose installations use dramatic manipulation of materials to transform emotions and feelings into physical objects. 

Jaynee Watson

“The Discovered program is a great vehicle to shine a spotlight on some of the individual artists in our county whose work hasn’t yet received well deserved recognition,” said Supervisor Efren Carrillo, Chair of the Board of Supervisors. “Receiving this award will be an important credential for all of these artists as they move their career forward in Sonoma County or beyond.”

The winners were selected through a highly competitive process. Initial recommendations were made for 80 artists to participate leading to 46 applications which were juried down to 12 finalists. Jurors made site visits to the studios of all finalists and selected the 5 winners.

“The immense diversity of subject matter, medium and insights for the many exceptional artists living and working in Sonoma County is simply astounding. From concern and respect for the natural world, to gender politics, technology and beauty, the quality is very exciting.”

The Petaluma Arts Center is located at 230 Lakeville Street in Petaluma. A series of workshops connected to the show will be scheduled from January through March. Updates on this program and the scheduled events can be found at

Catherine Sieck

Jurors for the awards include lead curator Kate Eilertsen, Michael Schwager from Sonoma State University, and local visual artist Jessica Martin.

This program is made possible by The Artist Awards Endowment Fund at the Community Foundation Sonoma County which was created by more than 50 donors from 2007-2011 with support from the James Irvine Foundation.

For more information on the Discovered program, please contact Kristen Madsen at For information on the Petaluma Arts Center, please contact Val Richman at