A Press Democrat Blog


Dan Taylor on the fine arts scene.

New David Best sculpture installed at Paradise Ridge Winery

Best-known as the legendary and iconic temple builder of the annual Burning Man arts encampment on the Nevada desert, Sonoma County artist David Best has created his first permanent steel structure. Sponsored by the Voigt Family Sculpture Foundation, his new 32-foot-tall work, Permanent Temple of Remembrance, will be dedicated with a ceremony and celebration from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, at the Paradise Ridge Winery, 4545 Thomas Lake Harris Drive, Santa Rosa. “David Best is renowned for his… Read More »

Ragan Fine Art in Healdsburg opens new show at new location

As event titles go, it’s a little long, but it’s bound to have broad appeal. This weekend, Richard Ragan Fine Art & Oriental Rugs and the Hudson Street Wineries present “The Integration of Fine Art and Fine Wine.” The event celebrates the recent relocation of Ragan’s Healdsburg gallery, which opened last year on Healdsburg Avenue, to Old Roma Station, home of the Hudson Street Wineries, at 420 Hudson St. in Healdsburg. An exhibit of paintings by Sylvia Verange of Corte… Read More »

‘Harvest’ documentary screens at three Sonoma County cinemas

Last year’s Wine Country grape harvest, dubbed the worst ever by some local winemakers, was plagued by untimely rainstorms and widespread grape rot. The stressful harvest season offered the opportunity for a rare glimpse inside the wine industry in “Harvest,” a documentary film directed by John Beck and released for distribution by 7th Art Releasing earlier this year. The 70-minute film follows five Sonoma County family wineries, an all-woman grape picking crew from Mexico and an amateur home winemaker through… Read More »

‘Spirit of the Man’ sculpture show opens at Paradise Ridge Winery

“Spirit of the Man,” a new outdoor sculpture exhibition featuring the work of three dozen artists, opens with a reception from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 20, at the Paradise Ridge Winery, 4545 Thomas Lake Harris Drive, Santa Rosa. The show honors artist and art patron Al Voight, co-founder of the Voight Family Sculpture Foundation, who died in 2011. Prominent sculptors featured in the show include Roger Berry, David Best, Robert Ellison, Boback Emad, Bruce Johnson, Ned Kahn, Michael… Read More »

Claypool Cellars opens tasting room

Claypool. Rock music fans know that name, but so do wine lovers. West Sonoma County resident Les Claypool is the lead vocalist and bassist with the alternate rock band Primus. Claypool and his wife, Chaney, are also the founders of Claypool Cellars, makers of a Russian River Pinot Noir called “Purple Pachyderm” and a Pinot Noir Rosé called “Pink Platypus.” Recently, the Claypools opened the new Claypool Cellars tasting room Sebastopol’s Gravenstein Station shopping center, 6761 Sebastopol Ave. But it’s… Read More »

Sonoma County wineries show movies outdoors

Warm weather is here at last, and it’s the season for outdoor movie series. Films will be shown at a variety of venues, including wineries. Here are a couple of samples: — “Big Night”: St. Francis Winery and Vineyards opens its second annual “Stars Under the Stars” outdoor film festival at 7:30 p.m. July 14 with this 1996 comedy about a failing Italian restaurant. Bring blankets and picnics for the lawn. 500 Pythian Road, Santa Rosa. Free. 1-888-675-9463, stfranciswinery.com. —… Read More »

Wine foil collage by ‘Big Al’ in Healdsburg

Santa Rosa artist Alison Whalen stands 5-foot-2 and weighs about 100 pounds, so naturally, her nickname is “Big Al.” Her artistic specialty is every bit as whimsical and interesting as her offbeat moniker. Whalen makes collages and sculptures out of the foil from wine and champagne bottles, which she describes as “those little jewels around the necks of the bottles that usually end up in the landfill after the bottle is recycled.” If you’re intrigued enough to go take a… Read More »

Art show at Michel Schlumberger

Michel-Schlumberger Wine Estate will exhibit artwork by Carole Watanabe, internationally known painter and colorist, from Sunday, Aug. 1, through Sept. 30. Watanabe maintains art studios in Collioure and Soreze in France, San Miguel De Allende in Mexico and Sebastopol. For a glimpse of her art, try her website: www.carolewatanabe.com. There will be a public reception for the artist from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 8, at Michel-Schlumberger, 4155 Wine Creek Road, Healdsburg. Information: (707) 433-7427, www.michelschlumberger.com.

‘Love of the Land’ art show

The promoters of  “Love of the Land,” a benefit dinner, auction, and art show and sale to raise funds for the protection of Sonoma County farmland and clean water, have chosen — logically  enough — to feature landscape art by local artists. The event starts with the art show, with wine and hors d’doeuvres, at 5 p.m. , followed by a gourmet barbecue at 7:15 p.m., on Thursday, July 15, at Richard’s Grove and Saralee’s Vineyard, 3575 Slusser Road, Windsor.… Read More »

‘Art in the Wineries’ for April and May

For the third year in a row, Wine Road and the Sebastopol Center for the Arts have teamed up for “Art in the Wineries,’ with artists displaying their work at some 30 winery tasting rooms. Winery visitors will be able to see paintings, sculptures, photography, pottery, fiber and glass art, and more. Wine Road is an association of 152 vintners and 50 lodgings through the Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River valleys. The program continues through April and May, leading… Read More »