By Andrea Stuart
The relationship between wine and art in Napa Valley is as eurythmic as agrarian vitality is to the valley’s Mediterranean exhalations. Ergo, agricultural climate, and cultural vibrancy are synonymous with an enriched lifestyle. Here, vintners are also artists. Their connection to and interpretation of their subject, their earnest approach to cultivation, and their tenacity to achieve success through trial and error is not so different from the attributes of traditional artists.
Visit Napa Valley—a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the Napa Valley as a premier wine, food, art, and wellness destination—alongside Arts Council Napa Valley created Napa Valley Arts in April as a month-long celebration of art in all of its forms. Attendees may indulge each of their senses as sculptors, photographers, painters, educators, chefs and vintners, while others host a variety of pairings, exhibitions, receptions, and lectures. Arts in April has fashioned a potpourri of artful experiences embodied in the valley’s distinctive aural, visual, tactile, olfactory, and gustatory tones.
A pinnacle of the festival’s lineup, Art at the Edges of Sight at Jamieson Ranch Vineyards offers an idiosyncratic viewpoint of visual art. Featuring the “Drum Ki” artwork of Grammy Award-winning and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Mickey Hart, the event hosts Hart’s collection, which embodies ethereal nuances as it metamorphoses physical energy into static interpretations. Hart intuitively harnesses rhythm and the universal landscape of existence using drumsticks and time lapse lighting technology to represent the nature of rhythm. “These visual representations from my sonic-driven world are snapshots into the music I am making. I create them with the sound of the cosmos in mind. Perhaps a spiritual reverberation is what I conjure. I love the flow of things, to be in the moment, to experience the magic of Art at the Edges of Sight,” says Mickey Hart of his work. Coupled with Jamieson’s expressive wines, the exhibition is aligned to deliver a uniquely sophisticated experience.
Further marrying adroit perception with tangibility, Arts in April also presents Art, Sip, Savor, a public art walk (April 12); On Assignment: Woodstock, photojournalist Baron Wolman’s exhibition at Markham Vineyards (April 19); Art and Wine Pairing, Penelope Moore’s interactive sensory experience at Beaulieu Vineyard; Patricia Wessman’s al fresco installation of mobiles, glass “quilts,” and studio art set among the organic vineyards at Tres Sabores Winery; and more.
To culminate the multi-sensory month, and as the quintessential merging of wine and art, five of the valley’s most prominent vintners—Silver Oak’s David Duncan, Gargiulo Vineyards’ Jeff Gargiulo, Far Niente’s Larry Maguire, Pride Mountain Vineyards’ Suzanne Pride, and Casa Piena’s Carmen Policy—have collaborated on a music album titled Napa Crossroads with Grammy Award-winning artist and producer David Pack. The CD release will be celebrated at the newly opened City Winery on April 28. Proceeds will support music in schools. “It’s a time capsule to preserve the memory of friends, Napa Valley, and a time that will never be again,” says Pack.
Together, the efforts of wineries, artists, curators, and restaurants have created a prism of cultural phenomena, a mélange of experiences designed to be absorbed.
To learn more about Napa Valley Arts in April winery activities, community events, and more, visit visitnapavalley.com/artsinapril.