Hilarious on so many levels and completely worth sharing. This is my friend Sam emerging from the installation "Portrait of Silvia Elena" at Honey Space in Chelsea courtesy of Phillips Art Expert. Though this was taken in 2008 and Sam's hair has since changed (tote bag still in play), it got me thinking about the independent art venue.

Best known for its alternative galleries, SF venues possess little difficulty in tapping in to a preexisting community that finds value and interest in what's left-of-center. And the result? A thriving art scene with an actual heartbeat, a community of dedicated supporters, and ah-ha! Excitement and dialogue.

So what about Sonoma County? ArtSpace404 is the only alternative art venue with exception to Phantom Gallery -and between the two of us, are we really making substantial change? Is there a place for a contemporary/alternative art venue in a county that thrives on traditional fine art? These are the questions that plague me daily.