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Rock 'n' roll headlines Napa Valley Arts in April

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Napa Valley Arts in April, the valley’s month-long celebration of the fine arts, has a rock ‘n’ roll beat this year with special appearances by Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart, rock photographer Baron Wolman and, it is rumored, Neil Young.

More than 50 art-themed events are taking place from April 1-30 at wineries, museums, galleries, stores, hotels and other places around the valley. These include art openings and exhibits, talks, demonstrations and workshops by artists, special tours, films, lectures, music and more.

The headline act, if one can apply such a term to fine art, occurs Friday, April 11 with the opening of “The Art of Rock ‘n’ Roll” at Jessup Cellars in Yountville. On display will be the Neil Young-inspired paintings of Jenice Heo. She will be there with her husband Gary Burden who has designed many rock album covers, including for Neil Young. Jessup Cellars drops tantalizing hints on its website that the creator of “Harvest” and “After the Gold Rush” will show up to support his friends.

That same night another venerable rock figure, Mickey Hart, will appear at a reception at Jamieson Ranch Vineyards for his “Art at the Edges of Sight” installation, which will be at the winery all month. An artist as well as a musician, Hart’s mix of drumsticks and light technology will, to borrow a phrase, blow your mind.

Hart and his old band played in the mud and rain at the Woodstock music festival in 1969, which meant that Baron Wolman, on assignment for Rolling Stone, shot pictures of him. Wolman drops in to an April 19 reception at Markham Vineyards for the West Coast opening of an exhibit of his Woodstock photographs, and he speaks the night before at Andaz Napa on the same subject.

Lots of art, lots of art talk and artsy people, and a whole bunch of splendiferous wine and food—that is Napa Valley Arts in April in a nutshell. Here is a glimpse of what else is going on as part of the event:

Two noted California plein air artists, Tim Horn and Bryan Mark Taylor, will show their stuff at St. Supery and Mason Cellars, respectively. Horn will talk April 5 at St. Supery after conducting a workshop there.

Silverado, which has some very fine plein air paintings of its own, can also claim a first-rate collection of vintage Belle Epoque advertising posters. Docent-led tours occur every Thursday this month.

Fittingly, there is wine art to be seen. Beaulieu Vineyard is combining its wines with Penelope Moore’s paintings to create what it calls “an interactive sensory experience.” Ben Nelson’s realistic paintings of the industrial side of wine country will hang at Holman Cellars. Jim Lively uses Sterling Vineyards wine in his abstract paintings, and these will be shown at the Calistoga winery.

At Auberge du Soleil, whose grounds feature many sculptures, hear a talk by sculptors Lilsa Demetrios and Matt Gill. And Eugene Daub will explain how he created the Rosa Parks statue in Washington D.C. at an April 2 American Canyon Arts Foundation gathering.

All the winery events and many of the other gatherings include tastings and small bites. One noteworthy culinary bash is the appropriately named bASH, which will be held April 19 at the Culinary Institute of America. It celebrates the culinary arts in a food and wine pairing competition that involves many wineries and restaurants.

For a list of all the Napa Valley Arts in April events and to download a map, go right here right now.

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