Where You Can Find Art in the Napa Valley
From colorful murals along the Napa Valley Vine Trail, to contemporary art in iconic wineries, the Napa Valley has a dynamic art scene that beckons to be explored. Here are some suggestions to get you started on an artistic adventure in the Napa Valley.
Hess Art Collection
Tucked into the grounds of the Hess Collection Winery in Napa is a world-class contemporary art museum. Showcasing founder Donald Hess's personal collection that focuses on local, living artists, the museum features part of a private collection rated by ARTnews magazine to be one of the top 200 in the world. Guests to the winery can visit the museum free of charge, or can reserve a docent-led Museum Walk which includes a wine tasting. For more information, click here.
di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art
Located in the Carneros region of the valley, the di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art is the largest collection of works from Bay Area artists in the world. Featuring both indoor and outdoor spaces, di Rosa exhibits nearly 2,000 works of modern and contemporary art. Visitors can stroll through 200 acres of landscaped sculpture gardens in between the galleries. Guided tours are required to experience the entire collection and grounds.
The multitude of wineries throughout the Napa Valley often provides unexpected opportunities to experience art while tasting. HALL Wines in St. Helena is known for offering a Wine and Art Exploration of its artisan wines, complemented by contemporary art and striking architectural features on the grounds. St. Supery in Rutherford offers a second-floor art gallery to enjoy while stopping in for a tasting. Robert Mondavi Winery in Oakville has Beniamino Bufano sculptures sprinkled on the property, as well as rotating and permanent painting collections in the Vineyard Room. Don't miss the beautiful Mission-style architecture, as well. If you're a fan of architecture as art, you'll want to see Chateau Montelena's stone castle within its Chinese-inspired garden. There's also Castello di Amorosa, with its two-story replica Tuscan frescoes in the only Italian-medieval castle built in America. And Peju, in Rutherford, is particularly known for its tower centerpiece and gardens. Search for more art-inspired wineries here.
Railroad Arts District (RAD)
Launched in 2017, the Railroad Arts District in downtown Napa runs along a 1.7-mile portion of the Napa Valley Vine Trail and prominently showcases striking murals from selected global artists. Perhaps best experienced from a ride on the Napa Valley Wine Train, RAD has re-energized Napa's commuter corridor and quickly become a landmark in the Valley's growing arts scene. Current murals include the 210-foot Knocking on Heaven's Door by Polish street artists Bezt and Natalia Rak; Chromadynamica, a 100-foot brightly colored abstract by Argentinean-Spanish graffiti artist Felipe Pantone; and "Floating Napa", an "ungravitied construction" by muralist Cinta Vidal from Barcelona.
Napa and Yountville offer the opportunity to view art while also enjoying the outdoors. The Napa Art Walk presents an ever-changing exhibition of regional artists' sculptures and work that enhance the downtown scene. A collaboration between the City of Napa and Arts Council Napa Valley, the art walk is also available through Otocast, a free smartphone app providing an audio guide for walking tours. The Yountville Art Walk has over 40 outdoor sculptures on view. Many of the pieces are for sale, with a portion of proceeds helping the Yountville Arts fund and other arts-related activities.
Across the Napa Valley are special resources dedicated to exploring local history and art, perfect for a short respite in between tastings. The one-room Robert Louis Stevenson Museum in St. Helena presents over 9,000 items in tribute to the author. Other options to explore include the Napa Valley Museum in Yountville, offering detail on the history of the region through paintings, photos, and private treasures; and the Sharpsteen Museum for the local history of Calistoga.
Find more information on these attractions, and even more arts and culture opportunities throughout the Napa Valley, including galleries, performing arts, and special events, at Visit Napa Valley.