Farewell Elaine our Santa Rosa Columnist, visit SR Street art with Leslie Graves

Santa Rosa Snippets

Santa Rosa Columnist Elaine Holtz says goodbye in her final column while Leslie Graves takes the pen and shows the community the inside happenings of Santa Rosa.

Along with being a published poet, Elaine is producer/host of "Women's Spaces," on radio station KBBF.  Her program is dedicated to interviewing ordinary women who are doing extraordinary things. She is also the head of  the Sonoma County Commission on Human Rights (CHR), a member of the Measure O, Oversight Committee, and has served on the Community Advisory Committee.
Along with being a published poet, Elaine is producer/host of "Women's Spaces," on radio station KBBF. Her program is dedicated to interviewing ordinary women who are doing extraordinary things. She is also the head of the Sonoma County Commission on Human Rights (CHR), a member of the Measure O, Oversight Committee, and has served on the Community Advisory Committee.

Discover Art in Downtown Santa Rosa – Leslie Graves

Visiting public art in and around Downtown Santa Rosa is a great way to enjoy an afternoon solo or with family and friends while remaining socially distant. Almost in every direction you look, existing public art pieces and new installations are creating a smorgasbord of designs, colors, and mediums for you to see and your soul to feast on. Some of the new installations are a part of the Open & Out program which has been extended to January 31, 2021*. There are more than a dozen art installations as part of the program, below is a bit about a few of them.

“A Tapestry of Our People: Social Justice on the Street” by SCAPE: Sonoma County Artists Propelling Equity and Sonoma County Monarch Project led by Rima Makaryan is located outside of Beer Barron with street murals & paintings attached to the outdoor dining walls. Colorful circles with symbols fill the street and local activists are depicted in the paintings. Find a guide to the symbols by visiting @socomonarchproject

The “United States Portal Service” is interactive art. This golden mailbox, located in Courthouse Square, is open to receive your questions, grievances and love notes to the future or the past. There’s a portal team of professionals led by artist Jessica Yoshiko Rasmussen who collect the deposited notes and write back, posting the original note and responses on Instagram @United.States.Portal.Service and, mailing back responses if you include a return address.

Phoenix Rising by Nathan Gomez @Nato_Gomez88 outside of Perch + Plow and a colorful piece, Ollins, by Martin Zuniga and a group of young artists are both in Courthouse Square. Learn more about all the pieces, artists who created them and find a map for an art walk by visiting www.openandoutsr.com/art

Venture down Mendocino Avenue to pause at the Press Democrat Building to view the 2002 wall mural of “50 Who Shaped Sonoma County,” an ArtStart project by Mario Uribe and many others. This depiction of local leaders of the 20th Century lays in contrast to the bright future depicted just down the street outside of Three Disciples Brewery. “The Trinity Mural” also by Sonoma County Monarch Project is three larger than life murals depicting Sonoma County activists: Rose Hammock, Joy Adodele, and Bernice Espinoza who are among today’s social justice and equity leaders. Three cheers to those who had a hand in creating this prominent mural, solely celebrating Black, Indigenous, and People of Color!

Around the corner down 7th Street visit the Museum of Sonoma County’s outdoor Sculpture Garden free to enjoy 10 am – 1pm Thursday – Sunday.

Giant hands in American Sign Language spell out L-O-V-E  by the Velvet Bandit on the wall of BREW, a fun space that serves up coffee, eatsd and beer.
Giant hands in American Sign Language spell out L-O-V-E by the Velvet Bandit on the wall of BREW, a fun space that serves up coffee, eatsd and beer.

From there head up Healdsburg Ave where you will find “LOVE” by Zack Rhodes @solditfor50, giant hands in American Sign Language spell out L-O-V-E on the wall of BREW, a fun welcoming space that serves up coffee, beer, and good eats with a side of lots of love for everyone. For the best view of Zack’s “LOVE” take your order “to go” to the top of the 7th Street Parking Garage across the street.

Before getting a bird’s eye view, try to spot the work of The Velvet Bandit. Look for RBG wearing an “All Rise” mask and a blue Honest Abe wearing a “Vote” mask. The Velvet Bandit’s wheat paste art can be found all over Santa Rosa and Sonoma County. The anonymous bandit now has more than 600 individually painted pieces of street art throughout the county. They are put up under the cover of night to the delight of those looking for new ones to spot each day. Many of them have clever sayings that capture our time, like a recently spotted cup that read “2020 NOT MY CUP OF TEA.”

Viewing public art in downtown is not complete without a visit to what locals refer to as “The Hand” outside the Mall on B Street. Now more than ever, visiting this piece can be a conversation starter about how art plays a pivotal role in how we see and interact with our world differently through time. Larry Kirkland, used Carrara marble to create his Algraria Sculpture in 1996 and he intended his work to represent the thousands of settlers, farmers, men, women and children who have worked the rich soil of our area. Recently, the whiteness of his medium has been a whitewashing of the history of Indigenous people who originally inhabited this land as well as the constant omission of people of color from recorded history. Over the past few months and on separate occasions, the hand was covered in black paint and then tagged with the names of those who were killed by police – only to be power washed by the mall management. If it is true that idle hands are more apt to cause or get into trouble, maybe the bit of color that is now worn into the hand’s crevices and pores means it is currently keeping busy with the work of questioning how things have always been and spurring on meaningful conversations that may lead to change. Continue reading below.

For more about the seemingly endless array of public art pieces to find throughout Santa Rosa, visit these online resources:

City of Santa Rosa Public Art https://srcity.org/756/Public-Art

Out There Santa Rosa https://outtheresr.com/outer-spaces

Creative Sonoma https://www.creativesonoma.org/art-right-here

Sonoma County Monarch Project https://www.socoimm.org

The Velvet Bandit https://www.thevelvetbandit.com

*The 500 and 700 blocks of Fourth Street will remain closed to vehicular traffic thru 1/31/2021.

Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things

During a fire when one is asked to evacuate, they must make the difficult decision whether to bring their animals or leave them behind. As we have seen how rapidly a fire can spread, many do not have, the time or means to evacuate their pets.

In October 2017 After the Tubbs fire, Santa Rosa resident, Jennifer Petruska decided to put out food and water for surviving cats. During one of these outings, she met an owner needing help to recover her cats who had survived. Having successfully reunited those two cats, Jennifer quickly built a team of like-minded volunteers to help in this effort, eventually rescuing more than 700 cats in Sonoma County with more than 100 volunteers eventually earning the Santa Rosa City Merit Award.

Jennifer Petruska and one of the rescued cats.
Jennifer Petruska and one of the rescued cats.

Petruska also started working outside Santa Rosa during the Camp Fire when she was called in to help rescue animals and quickly built a team of 100 volunteers. Nearly 2,300 cats ended up being recovered for the largely devastated community. “There is nothing like being able to hand back an important piece of someone's life who has just lost everything,” Petruska said. Along with rescuing animals the organization also puts out feeding stations that are equipped with cameras, so they know the animals are feeding there.

At present Petruska is in the process of Sonoma County Pet Rescue and Reunification becoming a nonprofit along with developing a web page. If you have any questions or concerns about your animal who was lost in a fire email her at sonomacountyprr@gmail.com Anne they will be glad to see if she can help.

Condolences to Junk Artist 3D Edddy, AKA Edward Arthur Born family.

3D Eddy’s signage at his studio.
3D Eddy’s signage at his studio.

3D Edddy passed away on October 8, 2020 surrounded by close family, friends, and his wife of 52 years Nassu. He was Born on July 27th, 1946 and was 74 years old when he passed.

3D Edddy was an artist and Sonoma County resident since 1969. He was a self-taught artist specializing in, “Junk Art.” He started as the protégé of Helvi Wamsley, a San Francisco oil painting master. Friends describe him as a modest and creative man who believed in community, family and service with a humorous and surprising personality which expressed itself in the amazing display of Junk Art at his home on Ludwig Ave in Santa Rosa. One of many warm memories of him was watching 3D with Arya Litonia Madarang-Born, the latest granddaughter, teaching her how to create art out of what you had available.

3D Edddy is survived by his wife, Nassu, his children, Wesley Ernest Malatino and Mica Edward George Born, several grandchildren and great grandchildren and now joins his daughter Jorigana McInerny Born. Nassu is blessed by all those who send their condolences and good wishes. A memorial service will be planned once the virus threat is over see his art here. See Eddy creating here and view his gallery to purchase some of his art: https://www.3dedddy.biz

Something to Think About for Thanksgiving:

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

– Melody Beattie is an American author of self-help books

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