Napa Valley Arts Week: August 26 - Sept. 1, 2009

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By Louisa Hufstader

Party time! Artists gather for Open Studios preview at Mumm

It's a big week for the visual arts in Napa: Aug. 28 marks the kickoff of the annual Open Studios event sponsored by Arts Council Napa Valley, which hosts a preview reception and benefit that evening at Mumm Napa Valley.

napariver.jpgBut first: The historic Napa Mill continues its Wednesday series "Locals Night at the Mill," with live music, wine tasting, $5 appetizers at the Napa General Store and specials from Vintage Sweet Shoppe, Amelia's Gifts, Angele and Sweetie Pies, along with a Riverwalk display of local fine artists who have been juried into the Open Studios tour. Napa River Inn Plaza, 500 Main Street, Napa, 5 to 9 p.m.; www.napariverinn.com.
Upvalley in Calistoga, the Dawn Rose Band plays for free Aug. 27 from 6 to
8 p.m. in the city's Pioneer Park on Cedar Street. Rose is a member of the popular group Sweet Burgundy who also fronts her own rock band. Bring your picnic, wine, family and friends for an evening of music on the lawn.
More information: (707) 942-6333, www.calistogavisitors.com/music.php.

Friday's Open Studios Exhibition Reception is one of the biggest annual events on the Napa Valley arts and culture calendar--barring Open Studios itself, a free, self-guided fine art discovery tour held during the last two weekends of September. The Aug. 28 reception and benefit runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Mumm Napa Fine Art Gallery, 8445 Silverado Trail in Rutherford. Meet the juried artists --88 were selected this year--and preview their work while sipping Mumm's acclaimed wines and planning your personal Open Studios tour. You can even buy art on the spot, with 25% of all proceeds from reception sales benefiting Arts Council Napa Valley and future Open Studios tours.

Tickets to the reception are $15 from Brown Paper Tickets: CLICK HERE.
For more about Open Studios, visit www.nvopenstudios.com.

Saturday, Aug. 29, would be a great day to stop by Napa Nest, Napa's most original gallery, currently operating at 1144 Main Street downtown. Open Wednesday through Saturday, the Nest showcases local artists and craftspeople in a former jeans store; proprietor Ann Trinca has turned the changing rooms into listening booths where visitors can hear music from Napa bands, and she's created a lending library of "zines" from around the United States and abroad. The Nest also hosts concerts, open-mike events and artist talks, but you have less than a month left to visit this Main Street location: The gallery has been enjoying free rent from a generous landlord, but the deal is set to end Sept. 20. More info in Trinca's blog.

The Nest has been showcasing work from members of the Wandering Rose arts organization, a group of young Napans working to create a vibrant scene for pop, independent and experimental art. On Aug. 30, you can meet some of the group's members at their Really Really Free Market, held the last Sunday of each month at noon in downtown Napa's Veterans Memorial Park.

The St. Helena Public Library isn't allowed to announce the title of this week's film in its Monday-night movie series -- something to do with "licensing agreements" -- but director Ang Lee won an Academy Award for this story of two sheepherders who fall in love. See it at 7 p.m. Aug. 31:1492 Library Lane, St. Helena, (707) 963-5244.

These are just a few of the arts events enlivening the Napa Valley this week.

For more, visit the Master Arts and Culture Calendar at the Arts Council Napa Valley Web site: www.nvarts.org.

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