A new ensemble of artworks is being rolled out to grace downtown sidewalks over the next two years.
Sculptures and installations by eight artists from across the western U.S. have begun going on display for the Napa Art Walk, city public art coordinator Meredith Nevard announced Tuesday. Four of the sculptures have been installed this month, with the remainder scheduled to be in place by July 15.
The latest group of entries in the city’s sixth Art Walk, which carries the theme “Sense of Place,” will receive their formal debut at a July 30 ceremony, kicking off an exhibit that will culminate in a People’s Choice contest to select viewers’ favorite artwork in 2021.
Napa is contracting with the maker of the Otocast smartphone app to lead downtown visitors on self-guided Art Walk tours, with audio narration by artists explaining their inspiration for the various sculptures, Nevard told the city Public Art Steering Committee.
Brochures mapping the exhibition will be available by late July at the Napa Valley Welcome Center, 600 Main St., as well as through various downtown hotels and businesses.
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Four of the featured artists are based in the Bay Area, including Danette Landry of Napa, whose sculpture “Reconstruite” will be exhibited at First and Randolph streets near the Archer Hotel Napa. Landry’s installation consists of bronze columns the artist describe in a statement on the Art Walk website as “totems” with “a variety of wounds analogous to those found in humanity.”
Other regionally sourced pieces in the new Art Walk include “!”, a ringlike composition by Jann Nunn of Oakland built from 1,200 stainless steel rods; “Take Heart” by Patricia Vader of Martinez, a red steel-and-aluminum piece topped by a wind-spinning heart in tribute to the fortitude of Napans after the 2014 earthquake and 2017 wildfires; and Release” by Eileen Fitz-Faulkner of Orinda, a concrete-steel-fiberglass likeness of a woman releasing a bird “to continue the journey to spread universal truths.”
Contributions from Oregon, Nevada and Idaho round out the collection, which will be displayed on Main and First streets in the downtown and Oxbow districts.
Founded in July 2010 by the city and Arts Council Napa Valley, the Art Walk has hosted a rotation of 61 sculptures by 50 creators along some of Napa’s busiest corridors. They form a walking tour meant to bring shoppers downtown.
Participating artists lend their artworks to the city during the Art Walk in exchange for a $2,000 stipend, as well as lodging and gifts from local restaurants and retailers. Entrants also can sell their pieces at the end of each two-year cycle, with the city collecting a 10 percent commission.