California's Napa Valley Offers Vibrant Arts and Culture Scene

California's Napa Valley Offers Vibrant Arts and Culture Scene
With an eclectic mix of art galleries, performance venues and museums, America's Great Wine Capital of the World offers a vibrant and thriving art scene rich in cultural offerings for guests to discover. Visit local galleries featuring works of established and emerging artists; learn more about the region's fascinating history at several area museums; enjoy a leisurely stroll through a variety of sculpture gardens; marvel at the mix of old world and new architectural detail found at several stately wineries; attend one of The Napa Valley's many annual art and music festivals; or enjoy an evening out and take in a show or concert at one of the area's historic theaters.

Visitors can enjoy masterful theatrical productions and fine art exhibits or, if inspiration takes hold, they can actively participate in the arts through a wide range of workshops available offering travelers the opportunity to express their creativity -- including watercolor painting, glass making, ceramics and pottery.

Following are a selection of arts and culture hot spots and experiences that will complement your visit and start you on your own journey through the arts in The Napa Valley.

A TASTE OF THE ARTS OUTDOORS – The Napa Valley provides a beautiful backdrop for displaying sculptures and other works of art. Here are a few places that you can visit to enjoy both inspiring art and the Valley's picturesque landscape at the same time:

Napa ARTwalk – In 2010, the City of Napa and Arts Council Napa Valley launched the new Napa ARTwalk program in downtown Napa. This juried collection of ten sculptures, selected with the theme of “Celebrating the Napa River”, will be on view for one year, Napa ARTwalk brochures with maps are available throughout downtown and visitors can enjoy a self-guided audio tour, allowing guests to interact independently with each sculpture. You can also cast a vote for your favorite piece. To learn more about Napa ARTwalk, visit www.napaartwalk.org.
Di Rosa – The life-long passion of visionary and art collector, René di Rosa, di Rosa is where art gallery meets nature preserve on 217 acres in the Napa Valley's famous Carneros appellation. More than 2,000 works by more than 900 Northern California artists -- including Robert Arneson, Robert Bechtle and Nathan Oliveira -- are shown in three expansive galleries and a stone winery house. Take a docent led tour of multiple outdoor sculpture installations amid rolling meadows, a 35-acre lake, and ancient olive groves. Reservations are recommended. For more information, visit www.dirosaart.org.

Yountville Artwalk– Take a self-guided tour of several metal and glass sculptures by public artist, Gordon Huether, placed throughout the beautiful town of Yountville. For more information, please visit www.Yountville.com.

BLENDING FINE ART AND WINE – Many Napa Valley wineries provide guests the opportunity to experience wonderful art while enjoying the region's prized wines. A few of the wineries that offer a perfect pairing of art and wine include:

Robert Mondavi Winery – Presents a permanent art collection as well as rotating exhibits celebrating local and emerging artists in photography, sculpture, painting, and other visual arts. Exhibits are rotated every two months. For more information, visit www.robertmondavi.com.

St. Supéry Vineyards & Winery - Guests are welcome to browse the second-floor gallery that oversees each step of the winemaking process. Creative exhibits inside the gallery give guests an overview of Napa Valley geography as well as details about St. Supéry's famous "smell-a-vision" exhibit - a must-see when visiting. Monthly rotating art exhibits grace the gallery walls. For more information, visit www.stsupery.com.

Artesa Winery - Extraordinary architecture and fine art truly makes Artesa an exceptional experience. The winery has an Artist in Residence - Gordon Huether, who has been exhibiting his work at Artesa since 1992. You can also learn more about the history of wine making through the winery's exhibits and tour. For more information, visit www.artesawinery.com.

Cliff Lede - The Gallery at Cliff Lede Vineyards features four exhibits per year, with large-scale pieces from various artists, including paintings and sculptures. The contemporary gallery space is just steps from the winery's tasting room. For more information, visit www.cliffledevineyards.com.

HALL St Helena – The historic Napa Valley winery originally founded in 1885 has a redesigned visitor center and tasting room where guests to the winery can sample the portfolio of HALL wines, relax in arbor-covered courtyards, and take in original works of modern art and sculpture from the Halls' personal collection. For more information, visit www.hallwines.com.

Hess Collection Winery - Located in a historic 1903 stone winery, The Hess Collection Winery has earned international recognition for its wine, culinary and visitor programs, and provides free public access to Donald Hess' extensive private contemporary Art Museum. Donald Hess began collecting art in 1966. Today, The Hess Collection houses less than a quarter of his collection, which is shown in museums worldwide. For more information, visit www.hesscollection.com.

Mumm Napa - Experience amazing photography exhibits in a spectacular winery setting at the winery's Fine Art Photography Gallery. Exhibits showcase the work of renowned international and local photographers throughout the year. Striking corridors paved with terra cotta tiles lead you through two world-class photography galleries. Guests may explore the Galleries at their leisure while enjoying a glass of wine from the Visitor Center. For more information, visit http://www.mummnapa.com.

PEJU - Showcases top artists from the Bay Area and beyond on a rotating basis every quarter. Each artist's display is open for viewing and purchasing daily. At the beginning of each new showcase, a day with the artist is reserved so that guests have the opportunity to meet the artists and learn more about the artwork. For more information, visit www.peju.com.

Clos Pegase Estate Winery - Clos Pegase presents museum-quality art within a beautiful wine country setting. The Calistoga winery was purposefully designed by renowned architect Michael Graves to encompass and celebrate the lifelong art collection of Mitsuko and Jan Shrem. Guests can enjoy an art and wine tour of the property and explore the property's expansive wine caves. For more information visit www.clospegase.com.

MUST SEE MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES – The Napa Valley offers a diverse mix of museums and galleries for guests to enjoy. Tour museums to learn more about the region's rich history and culture, the land and the legends behind The Napa Valley. Peruse galleries showcasing everything from fine art to handcrafted glass to masterful sculptures. “Must see” museums and galleries include:

Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley - Set in a historic 1904 stone building, Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley combines art and design with a collective wine tasting gallery, creating a “living gallery” and truly unique art and wine experience for guests. Ma(i)sonry features a rotating collection of limited-production Napa Valley wines and internationally renowned art and furnishings to appreciate and acquire. For more information, visit www.maisonry.com.

Napa Valley Museum - Promotes the cultural and environmental heritage of the Napa Valley and offers special, changing exhibits and permanent history collections representing a diverse range of subjects from fine arts to history to natural sciences. The newly developed history gallery showcases the permanent exhibit “Land and People of the Napa Valley” and features rare artifacts on display for the first time in 25 years. The new Children's Exploration Corner invites children to learn about the art, history and environment of the region through hands-on exploration. For more information, visit www.napavalleymuseum.org.

RAS Galleries - Specializes in American Art Glass and represents well over 200 artists. In addition to showcasing masterful glass works select ceramic art pieces and original paintings are also exhibited at the gallery. For more information visit www.rasgalleries.com.

CA'TOGA - The creation of world-renowned artist Carlo Marchiori, Villa Ca' Toga is a fanciful replica of a Palladian-style home, reminiscent of Veneto, Italy. Over the years, Ca' Toga has grown and evolved as Marchiori has added marvelous new architectural elements and sculptures to the estate. Using ordinary and recycled building materials, he has created a captivating, fantastical fusion of Italian Renaissance art, mythological personalities and contemplative gardens. The Ca' Toga Art Gallery offers an exclusive showcase of his paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures and ceramics. For more information, visit www.catoga.com.

Sharpsteen Museum – Offers permanent exhibits designed to present the history of the upper Napa Valley. In addition to its many historical exhibits, the Museum houses unique and extraordinarily extensive dioramas to depict Calistoga during its period as the elegant 1860's Hot Springs resort developed by pioneer Sam Brannan, California's first millionaire. Special exhibits change quarterly and have ranged from antique silverware to model ships to historical musical instruments. For more information, visit www.sharpsteen-museum.org.

Silverado Museum – Also known as the Robert Louis Stevenson Silverado Museum, it houses one of the world's most distinguished collections of Stevensoniana. The museum opened December 14, 1969, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the death of the author of such classics as Treasure Island and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. For more information, visit www.silveradomuseum.org.

Gordon Huether's “Hay Barn Gallery”: Napa artist Gordon Huether showcases his recent work in a 15,000 square foot structure affectionately titled “The Hay Barn,” in Napa. The Hay Barn Gallery features a revolving exhibition of Gordon Huether's fine art, as well as displays of works from select guest artists. For more information, visit www.gordonhuether.com

Napa County Historical Society's Goodman Library: The Napa County Historical Society is a non-profit research, archival and educational organization dedicated to the discovery, preservation and presentation of the people and history of Napa County, and its place in California history. Discover Napa's past through the exhibitions in the Jess Doud Memorial Room as well as in photographs throughout the Museum. In the mood for historical research? The Research Library features thousands of photographs, manuscripts, historical documents, maps, city directories, and much more. For more information, visit www.napahistory.org.

Calistoga Pottery - Jeff and Sally Manfredi have been making pottery together for more than 30 years. Sharing an affinity for food and cooking, they specialize in useful, durable, everyday wares in a variety of food-safe glazes. Their pots are lead-free, microwave and dishwasher safe. You will find their pieces in use at local wineries, restaurants, inns and homes. For more information, visit www.calistogapottery.com.

I. Wolk Gallery – Located in St. Helena, the gallery features contemporary paintings, works on paper, photography and sculptures by artists from the great art centers of America, with an emphasis on the Bay Area. Displayed works range from photo-realism to abstraction and feature both emerging and established artists who work in a variety of styles and media. For more information, visit www.iwolkgallery.com.

Jessel Gallery - Tucked in a historic building at the foothills of the Napa Valley is a shopping wonderland of extraordinary beauty. Fine art, flowers and gifts prevail in a most heartfelt and serene setting. It is home not only to Napa's finest artists, but also offers unique gifts, crafts and gardening books tools and decor. For more information, visit www.jesselgallery.com.

The Gordon Gallery – Located in the Piazza Quercia complex in Yountville, the gallery features The Napa Valley landscape drawings of gallery owner Steve Gordon, For more information, visit www.thegordongallery.com.

AN EVENING OF THE ARTS - Enjoy an evening out in The Napa Valley and attend musical performances, theatrical shows, comedy acts and more at one of the region's historic performance venues below.

Lincoln Theater & Napa Valley Symphony - The historic theater underwent a $20 million renovation in 2005 and now presents approximately 70 shows each year, ranging from symphonic, jazz, rock and classical music, to ethnic dance, comedy, musical theater, opera, and performances by touring theatre companies. For more information, visit www.lincolntheater.com.

Napa Valley Symphony - Unique in Napa Valley, the Symphony is the only professional orchestra providing music and education programs in Napa County. Maestro Asher Raboy joined in 1990 and the orchestra has evolved into a fully professional union ensemble of 70+ musicians. All shows are held at the Lincoln Theater in Yountville. For more information, visit www.napavalleysymphony.org

Uptown Theatre – Opened in 1937, the glittering art-deco entertainment palace was once host to such legends as Clarke Gable and Carole Lombard. Recently reopened after a multi-million dollar renovation, the historic theatre has been painstakingly restored to its former glory. Now The Napa Valley's newest state-of-the-art live entertainment venue, the theatre is set to host a diverse selection of artists. For more information, visit www.uptowntheatrenapa.com.

Napa Valley Opera House - Built in 1879, the Napa Valley Opera House was the cultural center for the region for the latter half of the 19th century, until the decline of vaudeville and rise of films caused it to close in 1914. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. After nearly a century, the Opera House was reopened in June 2002 in all of its original splendor and now offers shows, concerts, comic performances and more. For more information, visit www.nvoh.org.

The Jarvis Conservatory The Conservatory is dedicated to serious art forms not often available in other places, and at the same time, art forms relating to the large Hispanic community of Napa. All productions take place in a jewel of a theater, and an acoustic marvel with 220 seats on the main floor and balcony. For more information, visit www.jarvisconservatory.com.

Dreamweavers Theater - Started in 1978, Dreamweavers is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing the joy of performance to the wonderful Napa Valley community. Their mission is to entertain, enlighten and enhance the lives of community members by offering the opportunity to view and participate in theatrical productions. For more information, visit www.dreamweaverstheatre.org.

The White Barn - A unique gem in St. Helena, The White Barn is an 1872 Carriage House that was once part of U.S. Civil War General Erasmus Keyes' home and winery estate. Located at the end of Sulphur Springs Avenue in a bucolic vineyard setting, The White Barn was transformed into an intimate 75-seat performing arts venue without loss of its historic charm. The White Barn has nurtured local, San Francisco Bay area, West Coast, and international talents for more than 22 years. All proceeds from White Barn events benefit local and international charitable organizations. Complimentary Napa Valley wines and desserts are served during performance intermissions. For performance schedule, go to www.thewhitebarn.org.

ART AND CULTURAL ACTIVTIES AND EVENTS – For a deeper immersion into The Napa Valley's art and cultural scene, guests can enjoy various art and music events and festivals throughout the year or attend workshops to try their hand at everything from glass making to painting the region's picturesque landscape. Enjoy one of the art experiences below and create your own masterpiece and souvenir of The Napa Valley.

Music In The Vineyards - An acclaimed chamber music fest held each August in The Napa Valley showcasing world-class artists-in-residence performing new and classic chamber music repertoire in stunning winery settings. Enjoy wine tastings at each intermission and breathtaking views. For more information, visit www.napavalleymusic.org

Nimbus Arts – Incredible and unique art classes for families and kids – from beekeeping to sculpture to drawing and photography. For more information, visit www.nimbusarts.org

Alla Prima Studio - Experience the natural beauty of the Napa Valley with a creative eye! Unique landscape painting retreats offer a creative experience of a lifetime. One- or two-day retreats are available from May through October and take place at exclusive locations throughout The Napa Valley. Workshops can accommodate all skill levels and include all materials. Deluxe packages are available and include accommodations at Napa Valley's most exclusive resorts. For more information, visit www.allaprimastudionv.com.

The Calistoga Art Center - Offers one- and two-day workshops for all ages aimed at nurturing your creativity. The center has a state-of-the art ceramics studio and offers workshops in the visual arts, ceramics, painting, drawing, photography, graphics and textile arts. For more information, visit www.calistogaartcenter.org.

Napa Valley Art Festival - The annual festival is a juried exhibit and sale featuring over 30 of the West's premier representational artists showing original works. Visitors can enjoy fine art, as well as Napa Valley fine wine. For more information, visit www.napavalleyartfestival.com.

Downtown Blues Festival - The town of Calistoga hosts an award-winning, day-long fall Downtown Blues Festival each year. Voted Napa Valley's Best Music Festival in the North Bay Bohemian's reader poll, the festival features music from top-notch blues bands and performers, coupled with tasting of wines from some of Calistoga's world-famous wineries. The festivities will take place throughout Calistoga's downtown area. Attendees can purchase an event passport with a music schedule and map of wine tasting venues at the Calistoga Chamber & Visitor Center. For more information, visit www.CalistogaVisitors.com/music.

Breed Glass - Features one-of-a-kind blown and fused art glass, from handcrafted water glasses to serving platters and more. The studio also offers classes so visitors can take part in this age-old craft. Classes available by appointment only. For more information, visit www.breedglass.com.