Calistoga’s love of the arts is evident as the city sneaks in early for the 7th annual Arts in April Napa Valley.

The festivities kick off with a “Flower Bomb” reception on March 30 and a preview party on March 31, for a four-day event known locally as “Sarafornia: The Arts of Calistoga.”

Inspired by San Francisco’s de Young exhibit of “Bouquets to Art” where floral designers from the Bay Area and beyond created floral arrangements inspired to “pair” – much like food and wine are paired together – with art in the de Young’s collection, T-Vine Winery will host a “Flower Bomb” reception on Thursday, March 30, from 6 to 8 p.m. with wine, snacks and live Latin guitar music.

“Flower Bomb” will display both local artworks from artists such as Linda Wilds-Beltz and Deirdre Shibano and reproductions of masterpieces paired with floral arrangements. Just as wines paired with chocolate or cheese maximize a tasting experience, the floral pairings will complement each floral interpretation of painting or print while demonstrating local talent.

T-Vine Winery is located at 810 Foothill Blvd. in Calistoga. The “Flower Bomb” continues at T-Vine Winery on Saturday and Sunday, April 1 and 2.

The same weekend, stop at Picayune Cellars (behind the Calistoga Train Depot and across from Silverado ACE) and at Napa County Fairgrounds, to view sculptures made out of a substance that helped put Calistoga on the map – mud. Mud sculptures created by Middletown artist Lisa Kaplan aren’t made of Calistoga’s therapeutic mud though. She creates them from such ingredients as earth clay, straw, Manzanita prunings, earth-friendly polymer binder, charred wood, blueberry juice, steel armature, redwood and more.

ENGAGE Art Fair is among the highlights of the month of art with a preview party called “Let the Party Pop” happening on Friday, March 31, sponsored by Celebrate! Napa Valley. The party (tickets are $135) is a “white attire” event where guests should expect to be part of the canvas as they enter the avant-garde affair.

Held at the Napa County Fairgrounds the event includes bites prepared by Michelin Star-winning Solbar at Solage, beer by Stella Artois, bubbles by JCB, and wines by Amici Cellars, Chateau Montelena, Laura Michael, Lorenza Rose, PROMISE, St. Helena Winery, Trefethen and Tres Perlas.

The Friday night preview party “will transcend and inspire the senses to elevate and innovate the way we experience art altogether,” said Carlene Moore, Fairgrounds CEO. Under the creative direction of Napa artist Penelope Moore, known for her “Palette of the Palate” series where she interprets the taste of wine onto large-scale canvases live, and joined by event planner David W. Aten of David Aten Events and winner of “2016 The Best of Napa Valley Best Event Planner,” and food purveyor Solage, an Auberge Resort, the event provides guests the opportunity to preview the work, meet the artists and watch live art.

At the heart of the work of a team of artists and creative minds is a very special vignette that will include an art fair Pop-Up Lounge designed by RION Designs showcasing fashion by Jake Atelier and Flagship Showroom, diamond jewelry by Scout Mandolin, photography by Bob McClenahan and art by Penelope Moore. Purchase tickets at http://bit.ly/ENGAGE2017.

The ENGAGE Art Fair showcases art being created live plus traditional and contemporary fine art from selected Napa Valley and Bay Area artists in an 11,000-square-foot gallery with couture fashion, photography, jewelry design, pottery, metal, music, interior design, food, wine, beer and multimedia mash-ups throughout. The fair is free and open to the public April 1 and 2.

A Storytelling Speakeasy at Tank Garage Winery on Saturday, April 1, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. has put out a “Call for Raconteurs” to find writers, poets, actors and performers to tell their stories to a live audience in what is hoped to be the first annual Storytelling Speakeasy.

Organizers, that include Calistogan Nick Triglia, say they are looking for stories about “Calistoga or the Napa Valley – we even accept stories about St. Helena,” as well as life working in the vineyards, life serving our tourists or acting like a tourist yourself where we live, or childhood memories of the valley.

“We are currently accepting digital submissions from storytellers who would like to participate. If you’d like to share a story, please contact Dominic Triglia at booboogg@aol.com,” write organizers.

Calistoga artist Karen Lynn Ingalls’ will unveil her project “Hearts Across the Valley,” that will trace a path from downtown to the Fairgrounds and back, with heart-shaped artwork. Ingalls is on a mission to spread the message of love throughout the valley with more heart installations to come.

Additionally Calistoga Art Center will offer free family art activities with an opportunity to create and take home your own memento on April 1 and 2. There will be a Youth Poetry Slam for junior high and high school students from all over Napa County who will compete in the art of the spoken word on April 1 and 2 also.

To get more details and a schedule of what else is available in the county go to VisitNapaValley.com or VisitCalistoga.com/arts-in-april.

The 2017 ENGAGE artist list: Michael Ackerman, Au Cure, Ken Berman, Colleen Blinoff, Dona Bonick, John Bonick, Cara Brown, Jermaine Burse, Sharon Bussert, Zeny Cieslikowski, Vincent Thomas Connors, Durant & Booth, Shelly Hanan, Elana Melissa Hill, Phillip Hua, Karen Lynn Ingalls, JAKE, Steve Javiel, Lisa Kaplan, Barbara Keller, Mark Keller, Daniela Cunha Lay, Lily Sparkles, Sonia Lub, Bob McClenahan, Penelope Moore, NBC Pottery, Anna Nelson, Matt Sarconi, Scout Mandolin, Sean Ramm, Deirdre Shibano, Emilio Sotelo, and Jonah Ward. Jessup Cellars Gallery will represent several of their artists and pour wines from their collection.

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