Earlier this month, artist Rue Gobbée was selected as the 2022 recipient of the Student Creative Artist Award by the Sonoma Cultural and Fine Arts Commission. Her achievement was honored with a reception at the Arts Guild of Sonoma on August 6, where her work is currently on display.
Gobbée moved to Somona from Brooklyn, New York, a month and a half into his sophomore year after his father, Martin Gobbée, took over as general manager at Taub Family Outpost on the Plaza. She also works there, as a hostess.
The diversity and bustle of Brooklyn was an inspiration to Gobbée growing up. She loved the graffiti that painted her neighborhood and was encouraged to channel it into her own art at home.
When Gobbée was young, his mother Heather Gobbée collected recyclable materials, which they both used to create their own new creation.
She was described by herself and others in Sonoma Valley High School as “the artistic kid,” but it wasn’t until quarantine in 2020 that Gobbée began channeling that label into graphic design.
Using her computer’s touchpad, Gobbée sketched doodles she normally reserved for the margins of notebook paper. With school taking place online, she was using her computer more than ever before, and the digital medium sparked interest.
“Almost a year later, I’m now certain that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life: creating and designing with everything from pencil to the latest technology,” Gobbée said in her artist statement. submitted to CFAC.
Although the winner has always had an affinity for artistic creation, she is also determined to succeed financially. For Gobbée, graphic design is a perfect combination of business and design.
In December 2020, Gobbée’s parents gave her an iPad for Christmas which allowed her to dive deeper into her self-taught design journey.
The SVHS grad didn’t take her first graphic design course until her senior year. She already knew the basics, but was eager to add more complex concepts to her skillset, which helped her when it came to submitting her portfolio to the CFAC.
CFAC president and contest judge Veronica Napoles said each different art medium is scored under a different rubric. This year’s seven contestants submitted works of visual art, which are judged based on six criteria:
A 250-500 word artistic statement, originality of ideas, technical mastery of the medium, composition and design, presentation and craftsmanship.
Four of the contestants moved on to the interview portion which lasts around 15 minutes where each curator asks the artist a different question about his work or himself as an artist.
Napoles said the competition was fierce this year, but Gobbée got the call she won just hours after her interview.
As the winner of the Student Creative Artist Award, Gobbée received a two thousand dollar scholarship and a two-week feature film at the Arts Guild Gallery in downtown Sonoma.
Gobbée was stressed but excited about the show, as it was the first time her work would be featured in a gallery, but the reaction from the city of Sonoma made the experience all the more special for the Brooklyn native.
Even as she walked into Peet’s Coffee for her interview with the Sonoma Index-Tribune, she was stopped and congratulated by the mother of one of her friends. Several people in the city have expressed interest in entrusting him with projects before he leaves for school.
Gobbée will attend Cal Poly in the fall and specializes in graphic communication.
“I get excited when I learn something new or do something different,” Gobbée said. One of his goals as a graphic designer is to evolve his art with technology.
One piece of advice she would give to young artists who are starting to experiment with new techniques is to not be afraid to ask questions.
Gobbée knows that she still has so much to learn and that the scholarship money will help her advance her knowledge of the medium she loves.
Her work will be on display at Sonoma’s Art Guild, 140 E. Napa St., through August 14.
Contact reporter Rebecca Wolff at [email protected]