February 5 – February 28, 2014
Reception: Friday, February 7th, 6 – 8pm
Art for Heart Auction: Friday, February 14th, 6-8pm
The phenomenon known as the Sofa Art Show returns to Arts Visalia for the nineteenth year with the theme Sofa Art Reads a Good Book. Equal parts community event and art exhibition, the Sofa Art Show is a highly-anticipated annual art show where any person who has an inclination may display their artistic creation in the show so long as the artwork follows the annual theme and, most importantly, includes an image of a sofa, couch, davenport, divan, seat, stool, bench, et cetera.
This year, with the theme, Sofa Art Reads a Good Book, participating artists were asked to create a work of “Sofa Art,” with a nod to the literary arts. Think of the classics of literature, the Homeric epics, Shakespeare, Lord Byron, Dickens, Austen or Shelley. Perhaps a bit of lighter reading offers an artist just the right inspiration. Louis L’Amour, Stephen King or Jackie Collins may come to mind, though those artists with a love for the “historical” romance novel were reminded that a little Fabio goes a long way!
And therein rests the fun behind the Sofa Art show: how does one translate such a preposterous theme into a working piece of art? The solutions the artists will find range from the profound to the clever pun, the playfully silly to the artistically amazing. The individuals who submit artworks range from the professional to the occasional hobbyist and everything in between.
One of the unsung benefits of the Sofa Art Show is that for so many of the participating artists, this is their entry point to exhibiting, and in some cases, creating art. Through their participation in the show, they found the inspiration to pursue their love for art, to take classes and to exhibit in other more professional manners.
The Sofa Art show originated as a playful response to an unflattering, if admittedly tame criticism of Visalia’s local art scene as described by a local newspaper writer. Varian Mace, then an art instructor at College of the Sequoias, shared the article with her classes and assigned a project in which her students created artworks in which sofas became the subject or protagonist of the images. This twist on the idea that art is often made to match one’s sofa proved a fruitful and fun source of inspiration and the resulting projects were such a hit that folks decided to do it again the next year. Nineteen years later, to the surprise of everyone, not to mention the consternation of some, this silly art show continues to be incredibly popular.
In connection with the Sofa Art Show and for the third year, Arts Visalia is partnering with Pro-Youth/HEART for this year’s Sofa Art show so that members of the community have been invited by Pro-Youth/HEART to create artworks which may be sold at auctioned in order to raise money for the excellent HEART after-school programs. Called the Art for HEART Auction, it is an opportunity to have a little fun while supporting Pro-Youth’s important after-school programs.
The exhibition will run from February 5th through February 28th. An opening reception will be held Friday, February 7th from 6 to 8 pm. The Art for HEART auction event will be held on the evening of Friday, February 14th from 5 to 8pm. Attendance to of the all events is free and open to the public.