Once the rain is gone I’m looking forward to a picnic. A classic spot for a picnic is Napa. You can combine it with wine tastings surrounded by vineyards. If you want to step up your game, impress someone special, or just not into wine, I recommend visiting di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art.
Di Rosa hosts two galleries with a focus on contemporary artists from the Bay Area. However, there is much more to discover. Located in a nature preserve within wine stocks, you walk by sculptures, an immersion of nature and art.
When we visited last weekend we saw Willian Allan’s Negotiations with Eden in gallery 1. Allan was a leading figure in the Bay Area’s Funk scene in the 1960s and 70s. His fish paintings show off a whimsical trait reflected again with the painted beans in a few display cases. This playful view on art, e.g., lucky number beans or birds eyes painted on beans, continues in his photographs where he reveals an eye for nature’s curiosities. Negotiations with Eden is open until May 14th, 2023.
Gallery 2 is labeled The Incorrect Museum – di Rosa’s permanent collection with a focus on ‘beat,’ ‘funk’ and other key movements in Bay Area art history. My favorite was the house of bottles in an outside area: Mildred Howard’s Memory Garden Phase 1. You can actually go inside the bottle house!
Due to the heavy rain the sculpture meadow, as well as another installation, were closed to the public. A bit unfortunate since I was looking forward to seeing the sculptures. However, while there were some sculptures on the way to the gallery 2, I can see myself returning on a sunny day with some friends, a picnic basket, and enjoying the sculpture garden and installation we missed.
On the second Sunday of the month they also offer nature hikes through the Sculpture Meadow and up the northern side of the property. Hikes start at 10 am, advanced tickets are required.
di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art is located on 5200 Carneros Highway in Napa, CA. General Admission is $20, senior, military and students are $17, under 17 free. Opening hours are Friday to Sunday, 11 am – 4 pm.
Do you know of great picnic spots?