The relationship between art and wine is in the spotlight as Arts in April gets under way in the Napa Valley for the second year in a row.

Napa Valley Arts in April was designed to showcase the art and architecture of local wineries and to promote Napa Valley as a cultural destination. This year more than 30 local wineries, arts organizations and galleries will host events.

“In the new Napa Valley Visitor Profile Study that’s being released in a week or so, we’ve learned that visiting art galleries and art walks is the fifth most popular activity for our visitors, surpassed only by wine activities, dining and shopping,” said Clay Gregory, president of Visit Napa Valley.

“We’re so thrilled with how the program is turning out for this year,” Gregory added. “We have such a variety of events — from gallery openings to the new Napa Valley Collects exhibition at the Napa Valley Museum. (There are) many new ways to look at art in the wineries, everywhere from Jessup Cellars to Hess Collection.”

Last year’s Napa Valley Arts in April took around six months of development because there was an education process to help stakeholders understand the goals and the benefits to their business, he explained.

The groundwork has been laid, yet it still takes a “big effort on the part of our partners to show visitors their art in a different way this April,” Gregory said. “That doesn’t get easier — partners are trying to outdo what they did last year with this year’s program.

“For instance, Markham Vineyards this year is not only having artist Baron Wolman on hand to do a led tour through the gallery space of his Rolling Stone magazine covers,” Gregory said. “This year, Baron is showing a body of work that has never before been shown in the U.S., called ‘The Groupies.’ It’s seriously a ‘can’t miss.’”

Wolman, the first chief photographer for Rolling Stone magazine, will be at Markham Vineyards April 13 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to celebrate the opening of his show. The show comes to Napa straight from its installation in London. It will be on display from April 1 to June 30.

The participating wineries have both permanent and rotating art exhibitions that range from Belle Epoque to contemporary, museum-worthy.  

Chateau Montelena, the winery portrayed in the movie “Bottle Shock,” showcases the plein air paintings of New Zealand artist Tim Howe, who will be at the Calistoga winery on April 6 from noon to 2 p.m.

The work of Stags’ Leap Winery’s artist-in-residence, Seth Carnes, premieres during this month. His body of work was inspired by his stay at the wine estate. Carnes, a New York City-based conceptual media artist, has recently completed his residency. Stags’ Leap Winery, built in 1893, has sponsored an artist-in-residence program for two decades. All tours and tastings are by appointment only.

Silverado Vineyards exhibits a collection of original Belle Epoque posters (1880-1920), including four by Leonetto Cappiello. The winery also has a remarkable collection of plein air paintings, which include three pieces by Thomas Hill and paintings from the Audubon Society’s 1835 portfolio. During April the winery premieres a series of plein air paintings of Silverado’s estate vineyards by local artist Kristine Pallas.

 Additional kick off events and activities feature artist meet and greets, including artist and La Sirena winemaker Heidi Barrett at Jericho Canyon on April 5 from

4-6 p.m., and artist-in-residence Sherri Dobay at Envy Wines on April 5-7 from

10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The valley’s northern galleries will host special openings and exhibits. ECHO gallery, an alternative art space in Calistoga, will feature music and wine on April 6. Calistoga’s Carmel Gallery celebrates its grand opening with artists Andy Skaff and Craig Threshie on Saturday, April 6 from 5-8 p.m. Monique Davies of Schramsberg Vineyards will be pouring the family’s sparkling wines at the Carmel Gallery event.

Throughout April interactive wine and art experiences will include pairing Beaulieu Vineyard wines with paintings by local artist Penelope Moore, a live studio taping of Judd’s Hill Winery’s Web series “Wine Booty,” and a reception with electronic media artist Alan Rath at the Hess Collection Winery.

Additional weekend events include celebrating the culinary arts at Appellation St. Helena’s bASH event on April 13; Calistoga Arts Center’s Ekphrasis, a photography and mixed media exhibition opening on April 13; a multimedia concert by Mars Lasar titled “Angels of the Valley” on April 19; and Ma(i)sonry’s Awaken opening reception on April 20.

For a full lineup of Napa Valley Arts in April events, activities and special lodging packages, see visitnapa


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