wind house

Ned Kahn's "Wind House," (2003) at di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art in Napa was damaged in the 2017 wildfires, but will be restored with the help of a grant from  the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art has been awarded a $10,000 Preservation Assistance Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). This is the first NEH grant that di Rosa has been awarded.

The grant will allow di Rosa to restore Wind House, an outdoor kinetic sculpture by Sebastopol-based artist Ned Kahn, an environmental artist and sculptor known for his work harnessing natural elements such as fire and light, fog, sand, water and wind, augmenting visibility and creating new ways to experience the world.

Ironically, the wind-animated sculpture, which creates a gossamer suggestion of a building completely permeated by the atmosphere, was damaged by the 2017 Northern California wildfires.

One of five sculptures by Ned Kahn in the di Rosa collection, Wind House is the terminal point for di Rosa’s art and nature hike, a three-mile, 650 foot elevation tour, which is on hiatus to allow for art and trail conservation work after the fires.

Kahn creates installations that explore, mimic and play with forces and phenomena found in nature, making the invisible visible to the viewer. He has designed many notable works for San Francisco’s Exploratorium and completed public commissions around the world. His Bay Area installations include Wind Portal (2003), installed in the BART station at San Francisco International Airport; Digitized Field (2004), adorning the side of the AT&T building in downtown Santa Rosa; and Erratic Fence (2014), atop the Art Museum of Sonoma County in Santa Rosa. He is the 2003 recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” and the 2009 Americans for the Arts Public Art Award.

“The restoration of this work will serve as a public testament to di Rosa’s commitment to collections stewardship, a beacon of resilience for a community in recovery and allow visitors to experience the piece as originally intended,” said Executive Director Robert Sain.

Preservation Arts will complete the restoration work, which is scheduled for this week through Friday. Preservation Arts has been working with Robin Bernhard, exhibitions and collections manager at di Rosa on an immense project to conserve work affected by the fires since early 2018. More than 250 works have received treatment to date.

The public can learn more about the process through an online blog at dirosaart.org/conservation on di Rosa’s website.

The galleries of di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art are open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 5200 Sonoma Highway, Napa. For more information, visit dirosaart.org.

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