Russian River Valley News

Russian River Valley News
Art Galleries for Holiday Shopping

By Vesta Copestakes
December 2023
This column has been reprinted with the permission of Neighbors of the Russian River Valley.*

In the spirit of Holiday Shopping, I’m sending you to river Art Galleries that offer one-of-a-kind gifts you will never find in retail stores. For the holidays, artists frequently create smaller, less expensive items to inspire presents: greeting cards or prints can be framed for gifts; jewelry that adorns; pottery for people who prefer practical gifts; small sculptures that inspire you to pause and smile.

Art galleries offer one-of-a-kind gifts that you will never find in a retail store. For the holidays, artists frequently create smaller, less expensive items to inspire presents. Greeting cards or prints of two-dimensional works can be framed for gifts. Jewelry that adorns. Pottery, like a large salad bowl, shows a person that you know they prefer practical, rather than decorative gifts. 

Russian River and Blue Door Galleries in Guerneville

Russian River and Blue Door Galleries in Guerneville on Main Street

Guerneville is the Art Center of our Russian River communities. In addition to private and member galleries, they have RiverArts ( that finds creative ways to promote local artists with special events & art walk days where artists set up tables on the sidewalks, galleries create a special event, musicians play, and people simply enjoy an day of art and music with snacks & wine tasting. Their slogan is “Building Community through Creativity.” 

As you head west past the Plaza, in the first block of Guerneville on the left you’ll find Oli Gallery ( which features works by owner Donovan who invites more than 50 artists to join in the “mission to grow and nurture the careers of emerging and professional artists.” It’s a stunning gallery of color, variety, and imagination in every painting and object. Everything is truly unique. Just west of the Plaza and next to Equality Wines at 16215 Main Street #1.

In the block between Church and Mill Streets you’ll find Russian River Art Gallery (, a collective of local artists who take turns being the featured artist and honor space for guests artists as well. The broad spectrum of their genres makes this gallery especially appealing. Because they know retail sales are their ”bread and butter,” they always maintain pottery, cards, prints, jewelry, and small items people can be impulsive about purchasing. And because Guerneville survives on tourists, several of the artists offer local landscapes featuring the beauty of our forests and river. 16357 Main Street

Blue Door Gallery ( next door is pretty much Douglas DeVivo who never stops creating. The man lives and breathes creativity in both two and three dimensions. He’s also a totally delightful human being who is fun to talk with, or to take a class, or attend one of his art events. He loves to get people excited about creating their own works of art. Recently Doug hosted a “decorate a rubber ducky” event with enough objects to attach to rubber ducks to offer plenty of opportunities to have fun. 16359 Main Street

Take a few more steps west to Rebecca Lichau’s Russian River Glass Images ( stained glass and botanical illustration gallery and studio. Rebecca has been creating unique and beautiful stained glass windows and lamps for a very long time. She’s so creative that just to expand her options she started drawing botanical illustrations. She has greeting cards of these so you can frame small versions. 16369 Main St.

On the north side of town you’ll find owner/artist Kuhr-Norris Studio & Gallery, upstairs at 16203 First Street ( Suzy Kuhr has an eye for black and white photography that emphasize shapes and contrasts. Her choices of subjects convince you that she sees in black and white. Katharine Norris is to color what Suzy is to black and white, but in this case in paintings. Her emphasis on light and shadow in brilliant colors makes you want to live with her windows on the beauty of our world.

Mark Lifvendahl, owner of Lifvendahl Fine Art (, uses brilliant color in abstract images of nature: flowers, water, trees, interpreted into shapes and texture. His paintings can be very carefully rendered designs to literally splashes of color. His paintings on glass allow color to take on light through the transparent surface. 16214 Main St. 

And may I take you just a few miles west and south up to the Occidental Center for the Arts ( gallery because it’s where I am a member artist. Our December show is ”Wonders of West County”. We offer new shows every six weeks, in all genres and styles, many with themes that inspire artists to find joy in creating something to specifically answer the question, ”what does “Spirit”, “Falling”, “A Place in the Woods” inspire me to create?” 3850 Doris Murphy Ct, Occidental.

Happy Holiday shopping and sharing treasures you find in our retail shops.

* River Valley News column will be published in the December 2023 Neighbors of the Russian River Valley (Best Version Media), a monthly magazine distributed to neighbors in the Russian River Valley. Reprinted with permission. For more info, go to their Facebook page, here.

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