An Art Lover’s Guide to the Napa Valley

An Art Lover’s Guide to the Napa Valley

  • Avi Strugo
  • 11/8/22

Napa Valley might be globally renowned for its exquisite variety of wine and stunning, sun-drenched vineyards, but the Northern California gem is also a hot spot for artists. For an obvious reason, too: The region teems with splendid light and extraordinary vistas of the Golden State’s unbeatable natural beauty, inspiring painters, writers, and sculptors the world over.
Whether you’re eyeing Napa Valley real estate with the hopes of calling this area home or are arriving for a weekend of spa treatments and wine tasting, there is an abundance of galleries and exhibits to satisfy the art lover inside of you.
Read on for Avi Strugo’s guide to seeing Napa Valley’s heart-stopping works of art.

Nancy Willis Studio

Photo courtesy of Nancy Willis
Printmaker and painter Nancy Willis has garnered a reputation for her exceptional talent, which is exhibited beautifully at her eponymous gallery. Part of her uniqueness is the attention she pays to what we think of as quotidian items, from beds and coffee cups to chandeliers and cakes. Her style is distinct, and her gallery is alluring, rendering this place a must-see for Napa Valley visitors and residents.

Quent Cordair Fine Art

Photo courtesy of Quent Cordair’s
“Romantic realism” is at the heart of Quent Cordair’s self-titled fine art gallery, which first opened its doors in 1996 and has since acquired critical and commercial acclaim in Napa Valley and internationally. Paintings, drawings, and sculptures fill her gorgeous space, which features works by a carefully curated catalog of artists. The sculptures here are particularly swoon-worthy, often starring men and women in various acts of movement, such as dancing, embracing, and flying. From colorful replications of evocative, everyday pieces–atlases, watches, books, wine glasses–to large, vivid paintings of flowers, stepping into this gallery is akin to walking into the brightest, most beautiful corner of a genius’s imagination.

Jessel Gallery

Napa Valley’s Jessel Gallery isn’t just the provenance of breathtaking visual media. The marvelous gallery–which is frequently voted the best art experience in the region–also presents readings by local authors. The inviting gallery welcomes your pets, which, despite the presence of world-class art, gives the gallery charming, convivial energy. Peruse watercolors and acrylics or Jessel’s catalog of Honored Souls–paintings that depict a range of luminaries. Michelle Obama, Alicia Keys, Dolly Parton, Ellen and Portia, Dr. Martin Luther King, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Kamala Harris–all are replicated in vivid, spellbinding colors. Aspiring artists will also enjoy the gallery’s classes, where on Saturday mornings, they can learn everything from acrylics to watercolors – paints and brushes included.

Art Gallery Napa Valley

Over 50 Napa Valley-based artists are showcased at the ever-enticing Art Gallery Napa Valley. Here, pieces range from spectacular, handcrafted jewelry to chic, clever paintings–and everything in between. This is also an excellent place to shop for gifts, as it offers a range of options, including oil paintings, greeting cards, glass sculptures, woodwork, calendars, prints, and monotype. Check ahead before visiting to ensure you time it right: The gallery frequently features open studios, which allows you to witness artists at work, ask questions, and purchase pieces from the participants.

di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art

The di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art boasts the best of two worlds: a nature preserve and a fine collection of artistic creations. Located on over 200 acres in the Carneros district of Napa Valley, the center is shielded by the Napa County Land Trust, ensuring it will fulfill its legacy as one of the most important art centers in Northern California. The Napa Valley mainstay celebrates the ingenuity of local artists and provides a high number of educational programs. Over the years, the center has displayed works by over 900 artists, many of whom became household names among serious collectors, including Imogen Cunningham, George Abbott, and Bruce Nauman. Elect for a guided tour, which will take you through the contemporary art center’s outstanding sculpture garden.

Robert Louis Stevenson Museum

Engage with a different type of art at the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum. The author of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Treasure Island spent several weeks in Napa Valley on his honeymoon. This eclectic museum pays tribute to the enduring influence he has had on the arts and gives visitors a glimpse into Stevenson’s life. Manuscript pages and family photographs are just a few of the items you will find at this intimate and enchanting Napa Valley attraction.

Gordon Huether Studio & Gallery

Photo courtesy of Gordon Huether
Discovered objects, glass, metal–a profusion of materials are used by the artistic genius that is Gordon Huether, who presents his luminous works at this memorable gallery. His 15,500 square foot studio space and gallery have recently undergone a substantial renovation that has only up-leveled his work’s allure.

Yountville’s Art Walk

Yountville may be synonymous with Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry, but it is also home to over 25 pieces of imposing and inspired sculptures. Time your experience on this walk to take part in the town’s annual sip and stroll event, the Art Walk, where you can learn about the artists behind these structures and see more than 50 juried works by artisans who specialize in everything from oils to ceramics–all while enjoying a glass (or two) of the Valley’s remarkable wine.

Sharpsteen Museum of Calistoga History

Established in 1978, the Sharpsteen Museum of Calistoga pays homage to the people and events that created the region’s storied history. Native American artifacts, such as baskets and arrowheads, offer visitors a glimpse of Napa Valley’s original inhabitants, while the Donner Party exhibit showcases items from the fateful pioneering trip of the 19th century. Ideal for children and adults alike, this museum of art and artifacts celebrates Calistoga’s unparalleled mystique.
Intrigued by Napa Valley’s art scene? It is only one part of the magic of living in this illustrious region. If you are exploring Napa Valley luxury real estate or are interested in Napa Valley condos, Avi Strugo is the professional to call for your real estate needs. He’s a leading real estate agent who specializes in high-profile properties and luxury estates and consistently provides his clients with an impeccable experience.

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