A Message from the Executive Director


August 20, 2019


Dear Museum Members and Friends,


It is troubling to hear, almost daily, news of violence and confrontation surrounding immigration, especially at our border with Mexico. In the wake of the recent horrific shootings, particularly the hate-driven mass shooting in El Paso, one can only feel helpless, as fears of arrest, deportation, and murder continue to rise.


A museum like ours may not have a direct influence over the events happening at the border or in the backrooms of Washington, but we can be a platform for education and dialogue about issues and events, bringing attention to the artistic, historical, and cultural contributions that make our society rich and give us hope. One such example is our featured artist, Maria de Los Angeles, who is able to draw attention to the immigration border crisis, while creating colorful artworks that radiate hope for a brighter future. She is a Dreamer in many more ways than her DACA designation.


Maria’s artwork reflects her deep appreciation of her community and the support that has been significant to her development as an artist. For this reason, we were inspired to co-curate the exhibition A Way of Life as a companion to Maria’s exhibition, Tierra de Rosas. The ten artists in A Way of Life include teachers, artist friends, and professional colleagues who have helped to shape Maria’s art-making and her life.


The Museum of Sonoma County is committed to presenting exhibitions that celebrate our diverse community and to addressing relevant issues that challenge us as a society, whether it’s climate change, cannabis-use, or racism. We present these exhibitions in the spirit of hope and solidarity, with the belief that we are stronger together; that together, by building bridges across borders, rather than walls, we can create a better future.


Jeff Nathanson

Executive Director and Curator of Art