Staff Report

An oil painting by Alan Sonneman won the $2,500 first-place prize in the Wildling Museum’s juried exhibition showcasing the national lands of California.

More than 63 selected artworks were considered for $4,000 in awards. The exhibit will be on display through Jan. 20.

Jurors Nathan Huff, George Rose and Stacey Otte-Demangate distributed awards at the opening reception for “Celebrating the National Lands of California” on July 20 at the museum in Solvang.

The selection of Sonneman’s “Foxtail Pine, Western Slope of Cirque Peak, Sequoia National Park” was his second win at the Wildling, where he also took first place in 2016 at the museum’s inaugural juried competition, “Celebrating the National Parks of California.”

“The southern entrance to Sequoia National Park is populated by a large grove of Foxtail Pines along Cirque Peak. This tree stands a few yards from the entrance marker of Sequoia National park on the Pacific Crest Trail at an elevation of 11,329 feet,” Sonneman said. “Their forms are carved by winter storms with winds that often exceed 100 miles per hour, stripping their bark to their core. They are some of the oldest living creatures on Earth, reaching over 4,000 years in age.”

The second-place prize of $1,000 went to Lynn Hanson for “Fieldnotes, Channel Islands National Park,” a charcoal work featuring an Island Fox on a vintage Santa Cruz Channel nautical chart.

“The Channel Islands are visible on the horizon from the beaches near my home where I explore and take field notes nearly every day,” Hanson said. “I feel fortunate to have the magnificent Channel Islands National Park so near to me. This drawing is of the beloved Island Fox (Urocyon littoralis) which is found nowhere else on Earth, a natural choice to grace this authentic vintage chart of the Santa Cruz Channel.”

For third place, a prize of $500 was awarded to Nancy Yaki for her acrylic painting, “Santa Monica Mountains.”

Honorable mentions were awarded to Sue Britt for “Spring Cove at Point Reyes,” Robert Cooke for “Zabriskie Point,” Ivan Hernandez for “Spring Serenade,” Mariah Reading for “El (Hub)Capitan II,” and Blake Whitaker for “Joshua Tree.”

Works featured in the exhibition are available for sale with 40 percent of proceeds benefitting the Wildling Museum. Support for the exhibition was provided by the Wood-Claeyssens Foundation, Pete and Becky Adams, Tierra Alta Vineyards, and donors to the Patti Jacquemain Exhibition Fund.

The Wildling Museum is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. weekends and closed Tuesdays.

For more information, and to volunteer and/or join as a member to support The Wildling, visit