Public art

Viewers in front of the RLS art installation near Adams Street and Library Lane.

Submitted photo

The seventh annual Napa Valley Arts in April continues to showcase more than 40 arts and culture events across the Napa County from American Canyon to Calistoga.

In addition to the independently-produced events at wineries, museums and galleries, the county will host five central city events, including one in St. Helena. Napa Valley Arts in April is a production of Arts Council Napa Valley with major support from Visit Napa Valley and the County of Napa.

St. Helena’s Lyman Park will come alive from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 15, with arts and culture for the town’s celebration of Napa Valley’s Arts in April.

“Arts in the Streets” is a nod to the beautiful complexity of St. Helena’s modern and multicultural identity from generations of winemaking families to the valley’s rich Latino community. In the spirit of this theme, the park will come alive with community interactive art with Nimbus Arts, poetry from the Napa Valley Writer’s Conference, culinary delights from the Napa Valley Cooking School and music from local bands across the valley.

Other arts events this month include:

Robert Louis Stevenson Museum

This month, the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum is partnering with Kendra Kelperis and Robert Louis Stevenson Middle School to present “Inspired by Stevenson,” a public art installation of original works inspired by the poetry of Robert Louis Stevenson.

Throughout April the RLSM will display interpretive works of art crafted by 25 middle school students from Robert Louis Stevenson Middle School. Each piece is an interpretation of one of Stevenson’s poems from “A Child’s Garden of Verses” and is unique to each student’s creativity and imagination. The goal of this project has been to bring the past with the future and combine two different artistic mediums to create one new work of art.

“This opportunity is a way of honoring 19th-century poet Robert Louis Stevenson and art in the style of pop culture,” said art teacher Kendra Kelperis. “Middle school students were able to connect the old with the new through their own interpretation of Stevenson’s poetry utilizing a fresh perspective.”

“The architect in me wanted to find a way of liberating Stevenson from our remote museum and bringing him into the public view with a simple, yet compelling artistic structure,” added Tom Thornton, a museum boardmember who donated materials and served as project manager. “The repetitive use of Stevenson’s painted image in the grid is a way of saying the whole of this collection is greater than the sum of its parts.”

“This project is the first time the RLS Museum has been able to bring Stevenson out into the community in a way that involves the community,” said Barrett Dahl, the museum’s executive director. “The creative and colorful interpretations and expressions of Stevenson’s poetry by the students are representative of the timelessness of Stevenson’s work. The RLS Museum intends this to be the first of many projects with students from around Napa Valley, further bringing Robert Louis Stevenson into the community.”

Open mic poetry

Join the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum and St. Helena Public Library for an evening of open mic poetry at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 27.

The evening will highlight several of Robert Louis Stevenson’s poems and offer the opportunity for other poets to perform their works. All are invited to listen, perform, and enjoy poetry from the past and the present. Light refreshment will be provided.

Hall Wines

Wine tasting is woven throughout this unique experience offered every Sunday by Hall, a modern winery that showcases some of the most eclectic contemporary art in the Valley. Guests are invited to enjoy tastings of news wine releases as they embark on a walking tour around the property showcasing some of the most influential artists working today such as John Baldessari, Jaume Plensa, Jim Campbell, and others.

The Wine and Art Exploration experience is offered at 11 a.m., Sundays, 45 minutes for up to four guests as part of Arts in April in Napa Valley. Call 707-967-2626 or visit hallwines.com.

Napa Valley Writer’s Conference

In honor of National Poetry Month, the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, a project of Napa Valley College, will host an evening of readings and discussion of the role of poetry in our communities, Saturday, April 15.

The featured presenter will be Dana Gioia, the author of five full-length collections of poetry as well as Can Poetry Matter?, which helped to revive the role of poetry in American public culture. As Chairman of the NEA from 2003 to 2009, Gioia strengthened the national consensus in favor of public funding for the arts and arts education. Wine and small bites made by NVC’s Napa Valley Cooking School will set the stage for the literary evening.

The wine reception will begin at 6:30 p.m. with the program to follow at 7 p.m., at the Upper Valley Campus of Napa Valley College in St. Helena. Admission is $20 at the door. For further information, visit napawritersconference.org.

Napa Valley Museum

Embrace imperfection and make your own Wabi Sabi inspired teacup set with renowned local ceramicist William Callnan III of NBC Pottery from 2-4 p.m., Saturday, April 15.

This workshop is geared toward adults and is limited to 15 participants. Working with clay provided, attendees will learn different styles and techniques of hand-building ceramics. Each person will create a set of four teacups that will be fired and available for pick up at a later date. Cost is $50 that covers the cost of materials and two hours of instruction.

For a full list of events, please visit artscouncilnapavalley.org/artsinapril.

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