... the lead artists
Hannah Day. Lead Artist
was born and raised in Sonoma County and returned after earning her MFA in printmaking. Internationally shown and collected, her personal practice is based in drawn and cut paper, but her professional practice spans botanical paintings, murals, mosaics, and more. She has worked with Artstart since 2018 as a Lead Artist and is eager to continue the fulfilling work of collaborating with talented artists and engaging creative youth.
Annalisa Sher, Assistant Lead Artist
is from Petaluma, CA. She graduated with honors from California College of the Arts in 2013 with a degree in Painting and Drawing. Since then, she has shown work, been involved in public art projects, and created private mosaic and mural commissions all over the world. Her work is often autobiographical, or representative of people places and things that she loves in life. She draws inspiration from her beautiful wife as well as from the majesty of Mother Nature. Annalisa views art as a lifelong friend. She uses her studio to work through the darkness of life and to source peace, joy, and a sense of belonging. Annalisa enjoys working in many mediums and is always evolving as an artist. Her work can be viewed on her website www.annalisasher.com
... designing the mural
On April 5th, the next step in the mural project began—priming and painting the outdoor wall at Elsie Allen High School! Students and community members—including the Sonoma County Pomo Dancers—worked all afternoon to prepare the space for the next stage, the landscape background.
... the story
Several people connected with the Pomo Project—Joe Salinas, Christine Cobaugh, and Rose Hammock have visited the Artstart warehouse where we discussed details of the Pomo mural with the Director, Jennifer Tatum, and lead artist, Hannah Day. Sketching and painting began soon after, and recently, Joe Salinas has visited with art students at Elsie Allen High School while they’re working on pieces of the mural. Hannah Day meets regularly with the students to discuss the project and supervise the painting. Teen volunteer painters and Artstart staff also work together in the warehouse. This educational and community involvement aspect of the Artstart program is one of the things that makes it so special!
In February and March, Christine Cobaugh and Rose Hammock visited the warehouse, met with onsite staff and volunteers, taken photos, and seen first-hand how the mural.is coming along. It’s a beautiful and complex process, and from beginning to end, probably takes thousands of hours to complete. The Artstart warehouse is a large space with very high ceilings. It is crammed with art supplies and large tables for various ongoing projects, as well as huge rolling structures where many of the larger mural pieces are worked on (see photos).
The Director of Artstart, Jennifer Tatum, and the two on-site artists walked Christine through some of the early steps, which are shown in the photos. Once the overall design had been determined, the lead artists, Hannah Day and Annalisa Sher—began creating the individual drawings that will be included, such as oak trees, baskets, a red-tailed hawk, bears, seagulls, a hummingbird, coyote, a fire pit, a puma, and Pomo dancers, just to name a few. The design is based on Joseph Luis Salinas’ original mockup (see photo), but the final mural will include even more elements than originally invisioned.
The mural will be very large, approximately 14' high by 50 wide. Some of the images will also be placed around the campus to direct people to the outdoor Pomo mural. The individual creatures and people will be made in different sizes. Many of the elements are over-sized (see photos), but all will be placed on the wall in a way to create depth and perspective in the final mural. There are two main paint surfaces: First, the outdoor wall that will be painted with the overall landscape as a background. Then, each animal and human are painted on specially prepared fabric. Once these paintings are completed, the fabric pieces will be cut out and adhered to the wall and sealed for protection against the weather.
The painting process itself is fascinating. An outline is drawn—often based on a photograph—then bright colors are applied as a base. Many layers of paint—in sometimes surprising colors of red, orange, green, blue, and even lavender—go on top of each other, and slowly the actual entity emerges into its more realistic-looking state. Most of the photos included show only the beginning and middle stages of the paint layering process. The layering adds depth and texture to fur, feathers, bark and leaves, etc.
Rose Hammock, Christine Cobaugh, and Joe Salinas continue to attend meetings at the Artstart warehouse to meet with some of the people who have helped fund and support the Pomo mural project.
At every opportunity, we will keep adding more images to the website so everyone can share in the ongoing development of this exciting mural project. Completion is projected for the end of May!