Open Studios, Open Mouths

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short_season_.jpgBy Deirdre Bourdet

The sensory delight of Napa Open Studios begins September 19th. What better way to celebrate wine country's artists than with local wines and nibbles?

Although many venues are hosting special events, the offbeat G Studio in the upstairs of an old factory in Napa lets visitors meet the artists and their creations in the actual studio space where they work. The resident artists include Kate Salenfriend, Reuben Godinez, Katie Roberts, Deb Lubin, and glass maven Patti Wessman, whose fabulous tableware designs look straight out of that sexy wine country restaurant you've been dying to visit. Visiting artists Yvonne Henry, Heather King and Nancy Shapiro join the party for Open Studios this year. Walk around and chat with these crazy colorful characters about their inspiration as you sip seriously good wine (Bennett Lane, Bighorn, Tres Sabores, and many others), enjoy the late summer light streaming in the windows, and ponder the beauty of life.
saltray.JPGKate Salenfriend's luscious persimmons and plums inspire Pavlovian drooling on sight, and conveniently are the first paintings you'll spy as you come in the door. Unless you look to the right, where Reuben Godinez's sensuous and provocative collection awaits. Either way, your appetite will be primed--and I suspect this is no coincidence. Although G Studio keeps the focus on the righteous art displayed there, owner Liz Lopez ensures that the senses of smell, touch, and taste do not get short shrift. Local chef Amanda Compau will be whipping up gorgeous flavors and textures to flatter the color and energy of the artists: "lipstick lox" cured with the sweet earthiness of beets and fresh dill, figs stuffed with goat cheese and drizzled with honey (it's like they read my mind! or my blog...), gnocchi with truffle pesto, French lentils with balsamic vinegar, and grilled peaches and poached pears and all of this goodness in unobtrusive hors d'oeuvre mouthfuls, served with enthusiasm and charm. Is it "g" for gourmande?

G Studio
421 Walnut Street #212 (upstairs), Napa California 94559
Cross Street: Pine Street
(707) 320-8868

Open Studios events occur September 19th-20th, and 26th-27th, from 10am to 5pm.

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