Current Art Exhibit in Heron Hall

Birds of the Laguna

Mixed Media by Diana Majumdar

On Display through April 27, 2017

This beautiful exhibit in Heron Hall features local artist Diana Majumdar’s mixed media and encaustic paintings of birds and landscapes of the Laguna de Santa Rosa. In this show Diana explores the connections between humans and birds in Sonoma County. “Birds are all around us. We live together. My works are inspired by their beauty and our coexistence.”

Gathering materials and inspiration from hiking the Laguna trails and from the grounds around Heron Hall, Diana paints the birds from photographs she takes. She combines various media into the finished painting: watercolor, ink, graphite, collage, and chine cholle. Then she seals the surface with wax and paints on top of it with oils. For this show she also incorporates articles from the local paper on local bird watching, texts on common bird populations in Sonoma County, and research on bird population decline.

About her process, Diana says, “Combining media is not only fun but intriguing. Sometimes I start a painting knowing exactly what the goal is, and sometimes I start with one image or object that catches my eye. While hiking along the Laguna, I’ll see red winged blackbirds sitting on branches -- the image just stays with me and I’ll start working from that impression.”

“I was initiated into bird watching by my younger son’s natural interest in birds. He and I went on hikes armed with binoculars and camera. Watching and photographing birds then lead me to sketching and then painting them. Appreciation of birds offers moments of beauty and inspiration. I’m more interested in the birds that we find among us rather than exotic species from faraway lands. Estuaries, rivers and wetlands are places to look for birds, but we often take for granted the wealth of birdlife in our backyards. As the urban and suburban areas keep growing and replaces natural habitat, some disappear but some choose to stay and become part of our lives.”

Since a very early age I have been exposed to art in many forms and shapes. I grew up in Estonia in the last days of the Soviet Union. Like many children, I was first introduced to art through my father. I loved watching my father draw. I loved it when he taught me the basics of watercolor. My father took me to see museums in Estonia, Russia, Armenia, and he gave me his large set of art books printed in Russian. My father had dreamed of becoming an artist, and even though his life took him in a different direction, art has stayed with him and enriched his life and mine.

So when the choice for a field of studies presented itself and I had to ask myself what I would like to learn, the choice was easy. And so, I am on my way to graduating from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. The academy offered the opportunity to explore different subject matter from traditional landscape paintings and still-life to portraiture. Experimenting with different media was a major part of my experience at the Academy. It seems as if the wide exposure to art I had as a child is continued in many varied classes available at the university. I have been taught clay sculpture, charcoal in figure drawing, acrylics in mixed media work, and of course my favorite classes in oil and watercolor painting. My work reflects this variety of exposure and I intend to continue on the same path experimenting with different things.

To learn more about Diana and her work, visit her webpage, on Facebook, and on Instagram.

Heron Hall Art Gallery

Reward yourself by visiting this beautiful exhibit in Heron Hall. Heron Hall is located at the Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road (at the corner of Occidental Rd. and Sanford Rd.), Santa Rosa, CA 95401. The Laguna Environmental Center is open to the public Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm, but because of the variety of hall uses during the week, please call ahead to make sure you can view the art (707-527-9277, x107). Another great time to view the art exhibit is during our occasional special Saturday Open Houses from 10am-3pm. They are FREE and open to the public. Details here.

Proceeds of art sales benefit the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization.

The goal of this gallery is to exhibit multiple shows per year of nature-themed art for sale. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation. Click here for an art exhibit floor plan of Heron Hall. If you are interested in exhibiting and selling your artwork in Heron Hall, please read through the parameters and fill out the brief application at the end of this document. We will contact you as soon as possible after we receive your application. If your application is accepted, we will complete an Artist Agreement similar to this SAMPLE. Thanks for your interest!

Upcoming Exhibit

"FAUNA" Paintings and Mosaics by Stacey Schuett, on display May 5, 2017 through August 29, 2017. Opening reception Saturday May 20, 2017, 3:00-5:00pm.

"Natural Juxtaposition" Photographs by Dave Strauss, on display September 1, 2017 through January 4, 2018. Opening reception Saturday September 16, 2017, 3:00-5:00pm.

The Laguna Foundation works to restore and conserve the Laguna de Santa Rosa,
and to inspire public appreciation for Sonoma County's Wetland of International Importance. 


For more information, please contact:
Anita Smith, Public Education Manager and Heron Hall Manager
(707) 527-9277 x 110,