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The Art Museum of Sonoma County
Located in the heart of downtown Santa Rosa, the Art Museum of Sonoma County opened in 2015. The 4,500 square foot museum showcases "the work of artists who have lived and worked, taught, and influenced the artistic culture of Sonoma County and surrounding areas."
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The Art Museum's collection includes works by acclaimed contemporary artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Bay Area metalwork and ceramics, and 19th and 20th century landscape paintings. Their current exhibition celebrates the "Funk Art" paintings by Northern California artist Franklin Williams - a must see for fans of psychedelic and surrealist art. The Art Museum of Sonoma County is open Tue-Sun 11am-5pm; adults: $10, students and seniors: $7, children under 12: free. 425 7th St, Santa Rosa. (Photo by Erik Castro)
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Jesse Peter Museum
Located on the campus of Santa Rosa Junior College, the Jesse Peter Museum is one of the best kept secrets in Sonoma County. With an expansive collection of over 4,000 objects, the museum focuses primarily on traditional and contemporary Native American art, as well as traditional art from around the world, including Africa and Asia.
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The Jesse Peter Museum features the Pomo basket collection of Native American artist Elsie Comanche Allen. She not only made baskets, but also collected the work of other artists, creating one of the most detailed and beautiful collections of Native American basketry in the world. The Jesse Peter Museum is open daily Mon-Thur, closed Fri-Sun; admission is free. Located on the campus of Santa Rosa Junior College, 1501 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa.
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Sonoma Valley Museum of Art
One of the largest art museums in the North Bay, the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art showcases modern and contemporary art, emphasizing the work of Bay Area artists and art from local private collections. Their current exhibition is a provocative retrospective on new media and political art pioneer, Joseph DeLappe. (Photo by Robbi Pengelly: 'Memory and Resistance: The Work of Joseph DeLappe')
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The Sonoma Valley Museum of Art hosts weekly special activities, including yoga in the galleries, films, and art camps for children. The museum also has a world-class art, architecture and design library and a newly opened gift shop featuring "one-of-a-kind items for those one-of-a-kind people," including ukuleles, bird houses, and jewelry. The Sonoma Valley Museum of Art is open Wed-Sun, 11am-5pm; Adults: $10, Seniors, students and Sonoma Valley residents: $7, Children ages 13-17, $5, Children under 12, free. 551 Broadway, Sonoma. (Photo by Robbi Pengelly: 'A Portrait of Sonoma')
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Charles M. Schulz Museum
This fun and colorful museum celebrates the life and work of Charles M. Schulz, the creator of Peanuts, with exhibitions including original comic strips, contemporary art focused around Snoopy and the gang, and a re-creation of Schulz' studio in Santa Rosa. Don't miss the Christo and Jeanne-Claude Wrapped Snoopy House sculpture and the entrancing Snoopy labyrinth.
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The Charle M. Schulz Museum also includes rotating special exhibitions, many are themed around Peanuts and examine themes seen in Schulz's work, including politics, literature, design, and feminism. The museum also showcases the work of other comic artists and illustrators in their rotating exhibitions, both historical and contemporary. The Charles M. Schulz is open daily; Adults: $12, Seniors: $8, Youth & Students: $5, Children under 3: Free. 2301 Hardies Ln., Santa Rosa.
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Petaluma Arts Center
Located in a historic railroad depot, the Petaluma Arts Center showcases the work of regional and national contemporary artists. Selected exhibitions are juried, including their current exhibition, theNeuwPolitic: Artists Explore, which features 50 artists from throughout the region exploring the current political climate.
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The Petaluma Arts Center also hosts music and performance art events, films, lectures and pop-ups photography events, where guests can have free artistic portraits taken by local artists. The center also offers art classes and workshops for all ages about cartooning, photography, printmaking and more. The Petaluma Arts Center is open daily Tuesday through Saturday; Adults: $5, Seniors, students, teachers and military: $4; 230 Lakeville St., Petaluma.