“RIVER MONSTERS” ARISE IN DOWNTOWN PETALUMA: Perhaps it’s just the mighty annual energy unleashed this time of year by the Rivertown Revival, but something seems to have stirred up a whole herd of river monsters in these parts. As evidence, consider the new art show that opened last Saturday within the cramped but colorful quarters of the Back House Gallery at Heebe Jeebe General Store (46 Kentucky St.).

In a cheeky call for entries posted several weeks ago by the curators of the exhibit, artists were told of mysterious sounds in the night, a frightening and unexplainable creature glimpsed only briefly in the corner of river walkers’ eyes. Tasked, then, with capturing or creating their own image of what a Petaluma River Monster might look like, local makers, painters, and sculptors went to work, calling up an array of terrifying, amusing, entertaining, and sometimes beautiful imaginings, now on display (and some for sale) through July 31.

At a reception on Saturday, July 7, dozens of gleeful gawkers and mirthful monster-lovers were hypnotized and captivated by the charm and artistic vision of 43 individual art pieces, from sculptures and paintings and “object collages” like the one by Jean Howery, depicting a sea serpent devouring a jigsaw puzzle Petaluma, to a tentacled creature “drawn” on an Etch-a-Sketch by Laurie Franks.

Some, such as Will Durkee and Patrick Fischer’s hallucinogenic monster creature, have elements that are mysteriously open to interpretation. Others pretty much speak for themselves, such as Howery’s whimsical piece showing the shattered remains of Petaluma, over which towers a large rubber duck, with the following inscription.

“In 1952, little Tommy Thompson dropped his rubber ducky into the Petaluma river. Tearful Tommy was unable to retrieve his ducky. In 2018, a chemical spill caused the ducky to grow and come to life. Sadly, the ducky was destructive.”

(Have a suggestion for a good BUZZ item? Drop a line to Community Editor David Templeton at david.templeton@arguscourier.com)