Peggy Sebera and Jan Maria Chiappa

Peggy Sebera, oil paintings, and Jan Maria Chiappa, clay and textiles.

Dolphin Gallery Exhibit

Opening reception Saturday, June 2, 2018, 5 to 7 pm. Exhibit thru Sunday, July 1, 2018.

Dolphin Gallery



Wrap and Weft by Jan Maria Chiappa. Chiappa is the 3-D artist showing with artist Peggy Sebera.

Peggy Sebera with her paintings.

About Peggy Sebera

Painter Peggy Sebera titles her artist’s statement “Listening to Nature” and visitors to the June Dolphin show will understand that title immediately on seeing some of Sebera’s vibrant works.  She focuses quietly and intently on details—the shimmering shape of a single flower blossom, for instance—that invite viewers into intimate contact.  Working in oil on large canvases, Sebera evokes the natural world she is so attentive to:  in her words, she brings the object of her gaze “to life as fully as possible” and feels “as if I am there listening to nature reveal its magic to me.”

“Sunflowers” by Peggy Sebera.

Sebera’s close observations began early, in her enthusiastic participation in the Girl Scouts as she looked and listened to the natural world around her and pursued merit badges that reflected her intense interest in nature.  In addition, she explored the world around her on hiking and camping trips, where she gazed at the stars and moon at night and explored her earth-bound surroundings during daylight.  These tendencies were encouraged by other artists in her family, particularly her mother, who was a designer, painter, and jewelry-maker.  Both her sisters pursued degrees in Art and Design, while Sebera further honed her skills of listening and observing with a BA and MA in psychology.

Sebera says that “the listening to nature that I did as a girl scout morphed into the listening to individuals and groups as I worked as a leadership coach in organizations for many years.”  Along the way, however, she attended an art workshop in Europe and, after raising two children, she launched a second career as a painter.

“Sunset Magic on the Beach” by Peggy Sebera.

The products of Sebera’s impressive second career will be on display in her show at the Dolphin.  In particular, this show focuses on her expressionistic skyscape paintings that feature the vast fullness of the heavens, and on her large, bold, colorful, and “up close and personal” rendering of flowers, often single blossoms.  Viewers will resonate to the sheer joy, as well as the very quiet repose, that these paintings call forth.

An active member of the Mendonoma arts community, Sebera is a member of the Sebastopol Center for the Arts and the Petaluma Arts Center; she serves as a juried member of ARTrails in the Sonoma County Open Studios. You can get a preview of Sebera’s work and experience her “live painting” at a Meet the Artist event in the Sunflower Café, Sonoma Plaza, on April 10, 2018, from  11:00 to 3:00.  You can also make appointments to visit her studio in Petaluma (707-291-2100) and check out her Website at  And please mark your calendar for June 2, 2018, and the opening of Sebera’s Dolphin Gallery show.

About Jan Maria Chiappa

“Fish” in progress by Jan Maria Chiappa.

No stranger to fans of the Dolphin and Gualala Arts, Jan Maria has shown her work at the Dolphin for decades, and this will be her second full exhibition. In addition, her clay workshops have been a mainstay of Gualala Arts.  You may also have enjoyed her work on display during Discovery Tour, the Fine Arts Fair, Art in the Redwoods, and Festival of Trees.

Jan Maria holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts and an MA with a concentration in Scripture and Ethics.  Her “interest in the normative and formative power of myth” eventually led to her study of scriptural stories and to “how they form our ethical structures.  The narrative we claim and tell about who we are, where we come from, and how we relate to the earth and one another informs our lives.”    Jan Maria’s study of fine art technique and myth leads naturally to work formed in our human story and in that story’s interaction with the natural world. Jan Maria’s work includes clay work batik, drawing, painting, and textile work.

“Green Folded Bowl” by Jan Maria Chiappa.

A strong supporter of other women artists, Jan Maria was one of the founders of The First Majority, the very first women’s Art Gallery on the West Coast. She is a past member of the Berkeley Artists Coop.

In this exhibit her fascinating and functional pieces in black clay and white porcelain reflect the influence of the Mendonoma Coast, whose sometimes austere, often lush landscapes, textures, and colors inform her work. Her mixed media pieces for this show are “hanging collages” using found objects, glass, and handmade clay beads. These pieces are strung to hang indoors or outdoors.

At work  every day in her studio on Fish Rock Road, surrounded by the natural beauty that resonates so strongly for her, Jan Maria creates highly memorable artworks for adorning home and garden spaces. Her clay work, she says, “tell stories of what happens here; they are inspired by the place I live and the life around me.”

You can see and appreciate this work for yourself during the month of June. Just drop into the Dolphin Gallery and enjoy.

Fish plate by Jan Maria Chiappa.
Various items in progress by Jan Maria Chiappa.