Anela Oh

Anela Oh

Current Artist in Residence

Anela Oh is a multidisciplinary artist, currently the resident at Sonoma Ceramics, Sonoma Community Center. She holds a BFA in Studio Art from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University and has recently been invited to serve on the board of Hand Papermaking. Oh is a mixed race artist of Malaysian Chinese descent and utilizes imagery, colors, textures, and smells from her cultural heritage to pay homage to the work of her ancestors and bring marginalized voices to the forefront. Her five-month residency at the Center will culminate with an exhibit in the Center’s Gallery 212 in May of this year. 

Oh’s work is deeply grounded in a sense of community and sharing her skills with others through playful experimentation and collaboration. She uses materials that have a life of their own such as clay, paper, and fiber to feed her studio practice and create environments full of color and texture. “The polychrome material play is one of the reasons Anela’s portfolio immediately stood out from the competitive applicant pool” says Kala Stein, Director of Arts and Ceramics. “Her unique cultural perspective fueled with her optimistic spirit is exactly what we need and want to support at this particular moment in time. Furthermore, her multimedia focus will be supported by all three of our dedicated art studios- ceramics, fiber, and print/papermaking.” 

The Artist in Residence program is one example of Sonoma Community Center’s programming that supports artists from diverse backgrounds, to share unique perspectives around art, culture, and community. During her residency, Oh will create a new body of work that “…considers the role of culture in shaping environments by developing a complex visual and material language to celebrate diverse cultures as linked to biodiversity within the scale of a landscape.” She will interact with the community virtually and teach online since the Center is still closed for in-person programming due to Covid 19. 

“The art I create imagines landscapes of other worlds, other futures, by reclaiming it through materials, colors, and smells of my own culture. I begin an understanding of what natural growth looks like when combined with the variability of color. This beauty, wonder and exploration that comes from it is not only my reclamation of my own presence and experiences in natural space, but the creating and imagining of how nature will expand and vibrate with accessibility to all” writes Oh, in her artist’s statement.