Saturday, October 23, 2010

what else is there to do in napa besides wine tasting?

when you blog about living in the napa valley of california, potential visitors assume you are an expert on all things napa. i often receive emails, comments on posts, facebook and/or twitter messages all asking the same question. what else can we do except go wine tasting? a few years ago i would have suggested favorite restaurants, offered "secret" tips for nature drives, walks and hikes...maybe talked about an upcoming show at the opera house...but, to be honest, there was not a lot to talk about. fast forward to 2010 and i am thrilled to announce a change is coming...especially in the town of napa.

napa is now home to some pretty cool hotels....a number of amazing ever growing music scene with venues like the aforementioned opera house and the newly renovated uptown theater. we still have a ways to go regarding shopping....but i think i am most excited about the arts scene. yes...there is art in napa...really, really good art...and it is becoming increasingly easier to stay abreast of all the happenings in the valley. in my opinion, the best way is to view the arts council napa valley's website. currently, the website is promoting "napa valley arts 2010".
per the site:
"Arts Council Napa Valley and the Napa Valley Arts Coalition present, "Napa Valley ARTS 2010", a month-long, county-wide celebration of arts and culture from Friday, October 15 through Sunday, November 14, 2010. You are invited to "Celebrate Creativity" with Napa Valley arts organizations, venues, galleries, wineries and schools at over 100 arts and culture events."

i was honored to be invited to attend and blog about the kick off event, "meet the makers". the official description is as follows:

"this invitational exhibition features over 60 portraits of inspirational "makers" in Napa Valley, photographed by four artists: Suzanne Becker Bronk, Dona Kopol Bonick, Kristine Cummins, and Chick Harrity. The photographers were asked to shoot people whom they considered to be important, influential, master or emerging 'makers' in our community. They chose painters, musicians, actors, and beyond, including: Oscar Aguilar Olea; Layla Fanucci; Jakey Lee; and Robilee Frederick and many others. The exhibition will be on display at Mumm Napa from October 6th through 31st."
the photographers and the "makers" are all extremely creative individuals. i am privileged to be friends with many of the people involved and was curious as to what it felt like being chosen as a "maker". my friend ann trinca (fellow book club member) is a very talented photographer and craft artist. she was the curator and founder of napa nest and has been active in the napa arts scene as an editor of pearl necklace zine and a member of the fruit stand collective...she currently works at the di rosa preserve in napa. ann is probably the most creative person i know. when i asked her what it felt like to be recognized as a maker she replied, "i have long admired the photographers and the other is such an honor to be included. the whole thing seems a bit surreal...being chosen as a maker is a bit humbling. i am particularly happy to see the number of young people is rewarding to see a new generation in napa being passionate about the arts"
speaking of the next generation, i was thrilled olivia everett was chosen to be a maker. olivia is in her early twenties and is a very talented graphic designer. she serves on the board of directors for arts council napa valley. most impressive, she is co-founder of wandering rose, an organization which encourages/promotes independent, experimental and pop art in napa. (check out their facebook page for more info). olivia told me that being asked to be a maker was "cool. i have always wanted to be an artist. the napa arts community is very strong and getting to know each other is so important. plus, having my mom and dad here to share this experience with me is very cool".
i could write glowing bios of each maker...and each photographer...but, instead of reading, i suggest you hurry and view the meet the makers exhibit yourself...ends 10.31.10. check out the napa valley arts website for the calendar of all of today 117 arts & culture events are planned for the four week period. so yes, there are a lot of things to do in napa in addition to wine tasting...enjoy!

diane padoven
napa farmhouse 1885™
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1 comment:

Napa Living said...

I would like to know more about the opera house. What type of shows can be seen there? Only operas? Or plays as well?