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article imageOp-Ed: Sonoma's Studio 35 is more than an art gallery, it's community Special

By Jonathan Farrell     Aug 6, 2014 in Entertainment
Sonoma - With a bundle of canvas in her arms, artist Sonja Bakalyar was literally just walking in the door of Studio 35 on Patton Street as sculptor/painter Marsha Klein was taking her works down off the wall.
"Do you have enough room Sonja?" The two veterans of artistic endeavors and art gallery showings helped each other as one took her works down and the other put hers up. They felt very much at home in the newly established Studio 35 that had its grand opening the last week of July.
Sonja Bakalyar with some of her works  as she was eager to bring them to Studio 35 that day to place...
Sonja Bakalyar with some of her works, as she was eager to bring them to Studio 35 that day to place them on the wall.
With banners and balloons streaming outside the door, the once-single-family dwelling cottage was bustling with activity. "Come on in, please," said Charles Illgen, he was eager to introduce this reporter to not only Klein and Bakalyar but everyone. "Oh and you must meet the director of the gallery, Jude Cameron," he said, as he directed me to the kitchen, now made into an office. Cameron was trying to schedule some time for yet another artist to display his work.
Sculptor  painter Marsha Klein was taking her works down just as artist Sonja Bakalyar was coming in...
Sculptor, painter Marsha Klein was taking her works down just as artist Sonja Bakalyar was coming in to put hers up that day when this reporter stopped by in July.
Wall space was so filled that the only spot artist Bonnie Joy Kaslan could display her art was in th...
Wall space was so filled that the only spot artist Bonnie Joy Kaslan could display her art was in the bathroom. "I don't mind, she said, because believe it or not she sold one of her most expensive pieces, "and while the man was doing his business in the bathroom, he had to look at something and like it so much, he bought it,"
With no furniture and just about every bit of wall spaced filled to capacity, Studio 35 looked as if it had been in existence for some time. "It may seem that way, said artist and art instructor Gina Roman, but everything just got put together, it's amazing!" Roman will be teaching classes at Studio 35 in the fall, beginning in Sept.
Thanks in part to Cameron who while busy with scheduling and getting things ready for a grand opening event that weekend, wanted to talk to the press.
"Studio 35, said Cameron is a space and an experience that not only houses physical works of art, but helps cultivate a sense of creativity within the community through the interaction and expression of art in whatever form it takes. "Perhaps you might know of the divide between East and West," said Cameron.
Turning the kitchen of the little summer cottage on Patton Street into an office  artistic director ...
Turning the kitchen of the little summer cottage on Patton Street into an office, artistic director Jude Cameron, for Studio 35 meets with artists to schedule a time and space to display their works.
At first, I thought Cameron was speaking in terms of the traditional metaphors of occidental and oriental. Yet it was more local and to the point than some sweeping art history lesson. "There is this divide in our pleasant little town of Sonoma between the East side of town, which is where Studio 35 is and the West side of town, where the working class and the spanish-speaking people live."
"I know its not a pleasant aspect to talk about, especially when Sonoma seems so ideal and quaint, but it is a reality." "My hope, said Cameron is that Studio 35 and places like it will bridge that gap."
The entire backyard and the little cottage is all set for use. Art director Jude Cameron noted that ...
The entire backyard and the little cottage is all set for use. Art director Jude Cameron noted that art classes and art workshops will also be a regular part of Studio 35.
An art eisel is out in the backyard at Studio 35 in Sonoma  ready for any artist to use. All availab...
An art eisel is out in the backyard at Studio 35 in Sonoma, ready for any artist to use. All available space is being used, including the backyard.
Cameron quickly provided a tour showing me each space and nook, "we don't have enough wall space or floor space to accommodate all the artists and works we have as you can see."
"Yet, this is what is exciting about being a part of a project like this, art happens everywhere and artist come from all walks of life and can be from any background, making art or learning about art at any age, be they 9, 19, 29, 49 or how ever old they are. Do you know, said Cameron, an artist who will be filling this space out here in the backyard is 94 years old!"
Cameron smiled and was enthusiastic saying with arms thrown up in the air, "art is the universal language," you can take just about any life experience and if you put it into some art form, paint it, sculpt, draw it and so on, people will come to understand it"
No sooner had Bakalyar got her paintings up on the wall and an interest was stirred. Illgen no doubt...
No sooner had Bakalyar got her paintings up on the wall and an interest was stirred. Illgen no doubt was impressed as was fellow artists Klein and Roman. "My painting titles are numbers, instead of words, said Bakalyar to lessen verbal influence on the viewer’s reaction."
Courtesy of Sonja Bakalyar and Studio 35
"I am not an artist, but I love art and I am amazed at what art can do for people, I have seen it." Look at all this around you," said Cameron. "I am honored to serve as art director here," said Cameron. "I believe in the power of art and what it can do." Studio 35 is also planning art events in the near future and hopes to be a center for arts in the community bringing all of Sonoma together.
Open Thursday thru Monday, 11: AM to 5 PM. For more information visit the Studio 35 web site.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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