Yountville Community Center, August 16
This story was featured in the August 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art August 2014 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!
World renowned for its fine wine and dining, for years the Napa Valley lacked a comparable fine-art event to complete its cultural trifecta. Recognizing the need, Bob Pallas and his wife, artist Kristine Pallas, decided to bring the fine arts back to the valley. In 2008, the first annual Napa Valley Art Festival opened at the famed COPIA cultural museum and education center. Unlike other art festivals held in neighboring communities, the Napa Valley event brings together some of the best artists of the West for a one-day exhibition and sale of works of the artists’ choice. “There is no theme for the works,” says festival director Bob Pallas. “Here we ask the artists to bring anything they have painted in the past year. The feedback we get from buyers and attendees is that this is the greatest variety of fine artwork seen in one place.”
Since that first year and the subsequent closing of the COPIA center, the festival is held indoors at the Yountville Community Center, where artists and patrons enjoy a more intimate experience with just 26 artists—and without the risk of inclement weather that shadowed the first year’s larger, outdoor event. Among the juried and invited artists at this year’s festival are Larry Cannon, Dick Cole, Brent Jensen, Paul Kratter, and Karen Leoni.
Bay Area landscape painter and participating artist Bryan Mark Taylor gives a painting demonstration from noon to 1 p.m. For the first time since its inaugural year, live music from Bay Area bands fills the venue: Autumn Sky from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and HowellDevine from 1:30 to 3 p.m.
Sponsored by Napa Valley Art, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting arts and education in Napa County, 40 percent of the art sales are returned to the organization. Proceeds benefit public elementary school art programs through a grant application process as well as other enrichment programs like summer art camps.
“Napa Valley is a wonderful place to come for a day or a weekend because of the world-class wines, and because our restaurants are some of the finest,” Pallas says. Add to that the fine-art offerings from the 26 talented western artists, and the picture is complete. —Laura Rintala
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