January 13 – February 11, 2024
Petaluma Topophilia explores how collected natural colors and physical movement can map a place and one’s attachment to it.
Historically used to express pride, ownership, and land marking, I use the flag form to communicate kinship with the new land I now inhabit, the city of Petaluma in Sonoma County. Rather than a traditional marker of claim, the flag becomes a tool to visualize belonging, to question who belongs and how one belongs.
The shapes within these flags are informed by walking and running through Petaluma since moving in July of 2022. By tracking my routes digitally, I draw repetitive lines with my bodyin space. Imposing my walk/run/drawn paths onto the Google Maps invention of what Petaluma land looks like from above, I input my own lines into this existing pattern. While digital tracking can start the attempt to locate me, my own memory of each walk/run fills in the rest. The resulting map will not be able to reliably get you from point A to point B in the shortest time with the most minimal traffic. It will not look to you like Petaluma, like your Petaluma. But it is my experience of Petaluma since July 2022
Artist Bio: Sofia V. Gonzalez is an artist and educator living and working in Sonoma County, California. Sofia is inspired by her natural surroundings and uses processes of sewing, staining, and color to explore her sense of place. In the studio, Sofia is currently researching the colors created from native and non-native plants in Sonoma County, paying specific attention to oak galls and the migration of non-native plants, such as eucalyptus, to our area.
Sofia graduated from the University of San Francisco with a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts in 2012. She received her MFA at California College of the Arts in 2014 where she focused on furthering her skills in textiles and natural dye techniques. Since 2014, Sofia has taught community natural dye workshops that invitethe public to learn how to make dye from waste materials and local plants. She is passionate about creating a sense of community and encouraging environmental appreciation and awareness through visual arts and textiles. Sofia currently teaches as an Associate Professor at Santa Rosa Junior College and Adjunct Professor at the University of San Francisco, her alma mater.