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Gallery 300 Is Part Of The Santa Rosa Revival

By S. Mathur

Downtown Santa Rosa in the Sonoma county wine country is home to a small arts community that is becoming a destination in itself. Known as SOFA, short for South A Street Art District, the interactive community includes artists, businesses and residents. Located in the heart of SOFA is Gallery 300, displaying contemporary artwork by three award winning artists: Alejandro Salazar, Jennifer Hirshfield, and C.K. Itamura.

The work displayed includes paintings, digital collage and mixed media. The gallery offers visitors a chance to encounter new work by the artists' work outside a studio setting.

"Gallery 300 opened in 2007," co-owner Jennifer Hirshfield said. "It started out as a collective of artists with studios surrounding the space. Over time, two artists remained as owners after the gallery became an official llc."

Visitors find the gallery to be a welcoming and colorful space.

"Our environment is very contemporary and relaxed which is a nice combo for guests," Hirshfield said. "It is in the center of the SOFA ( South A Street Arts District). We mostly show the works of Jennifer Hirshfield and Alejandro Salazar ( owners) but occasionally show other artists. Both artists are painters that show contemporary work with emotional, political and expressive work."

Hirshfield's figurative paintings connect to nature, animals and people. Salazar works in mixed media. His paintings have been called "Miró-esque". C.K. Itamura combines printmaking, photography, book arts and mixed media. Her work reflects her personal idealism. The thoughtful work by all three artists is an important part of the SOFA district. The gallery makes their work accessible to the general public and to private collectors.

Along with other galleries in the area, Gallery 300 participates in the SOFA Artwalk. This is an annual open studio walk, which takes visitors on a four block stroll. They can take in numerous art studios, three galleries, two coffee houses, a bakery, four restaurants, and more. The event is family and pet friendly and there's even free music.

Gallery 300 does take its artwork on the road, too, participating in international art fairs in Miami and Silicon Valley.

"We take the gallery to world wide show is Miami ( Aqua Art Miami) and NY ( Affordable Art Fair)," Hirshfield said. "We are presently applying to Untitled, Miami which also has a show in San Francisco (Untitled, SF)."

Gallery 300 and SOFA are part of the revival of this Santa Rosa neighborhood.

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