10 Napa Valley Art Galleries to Explore

  • Arts
  • by WC STAFF
  • on FEBRUARY 24, 2016
  • 1401
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People who appreciate world-class wine tend to appreciate world-class art. So it’s no surprise that Napa Valley has such a large assortment of high-quality art galleries. Browse around and indulge all your senses.

Prestigious Collection With an Irreverent Twist

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Image Source: Yelp

di Rosa
5200 Carneros Hwy.
Napa, CA 94559
(707) 226-5991
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 103 reviews

The unique and irreverent di Rosa gallery is the best place to see works by Northern California artists. Vineyard owner, art lover, and lover of life Rene di Rosa, and his wife Veronica, created this 217-acre indoor and outdoor gallery, which houses over 2,000 works by some of the region’s most celebrated artists. This was also di Rosa’s residence, and many of the artists were friends, so this site had seen its fair share of parties while di Rosa was still alive. The works are not accompanied with written descriptions and explanations: di Rosa believed people should truly see and enjoy the artwork, not study it.

Insider tip: Take the 2-hour tour. It’s the only way to get the true feel for the place and to see the house, where every wall—and ceiling—is covered with art. The small Gateway gallery simply doesn’t do this collection justice.

Museum-Quality Art Collection

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Image Source: Yelp

The Hess Collection Winery
4411 Redwood Rd.
Napa, CA 94558
(707) 255-1144
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 634 reviews

Donald Hess began collecting art in 1966, finally opening up his collection to the public with the 1989 opening of his Napa winery. The historic,1903 stone winery houses about a quarter of his pieces at a time, while others travel to museums worldwide. The contemporary artworks are of various styles and media, with the only criteria for inclusion being that Hess has fallen in love with the piece. He will not buy a new work unless he can’t get it out of his mind, and thinks about it so much that he ends up losing sleep. The formula seems to be working. Hess has been named by ArtNews magazine as one of the top 200 collectors in the world, and the Hess Collection consistently draws critical acclaim.

Insider tip: Feel free to take your time. Even though the gallery is inside a winery, and admission is free, the staff is very respectful of art lovers and there’s never any pressure to move along.

The Living Gallery

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Image Source: Yelp

Ma(i)sonry
6711 Washington St.
Yountville, CA 94599
(707) 944-0889
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 115 reviews

Imagine going to the home of a friend with exquisite taste, enjoying the artworks around the house and gardens, sitting on luxurious furnishings, and sipping fine wine. Now imagine buying that wine, and the chair your sitting on, and the painting that caught your eye. That’s the idea behind Ma(i)sonry: part art gallery, part furniture showroom, part wine tasting room.

Insider tip: Ma(i)sonry is housed in a beautifully restored, 1904 stone building listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Just seeing the building itself is worth the visit.

The Arena of Contemporary Art

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Image Source: Facebook

AÆRENA Gallery
1354 Main St.
St. Helena, CA 94574
(707) 963-8800
TripAdvisor: 5 stars, 4 reviews

ÆRENA Gallery in St. Helena features contemporary paintings, works on paper and small- to medium-scale sculpture, with exhibits that change monthly. This space is part of the ÆRENA Galleries & Gardens group, which has multiple locations in Napa and Sonoma Valleys: Ma(i)sonry (see above) is part of that group, as are the galleries and sculpture gardens in the luxury resorts Auberge du Soleil in Rutherford, Solage in Calistoga, and MacArthur Place in Sonoma.

Insider tip: The ÆRENA-owned sculpture garden at Auberge du Soleil is worth a separate trip. It features nearly 110 works by 65 California sculptors, placed throughout the resort’s 33-acre grounds.

A Touch of Whimsy

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Image Source: Yelp

Ca’ Toga Galleria D’Arte
1206 Cedar St.
Calistoga, CA 94515
(707) 942-3900
TripAdvisor: 5 stars, 12 reviews

Ca’ Toga is the stunning, whimsical gallery of artist Carlo Marchiori. Born in Italy, with classical training in Venice, Marchiori’s painting style leans toward Renaissance, Baroque and neo-classic, but with an underlying sense of this area’s free-spirited, California vibe. Marchiori’s residence is right around the corner from the gallery, and weekly tours are given. Perhaps because this is his home, the gallery has the feel of being more a labor of love than a business space.

Insider tip: Even if you have only a few minutes to spare, pop in to view the 44 x 23 foot mural painted on the barrel-vault ceiling. It shows the Ptolemaic Constellations in all their mythological glory.

Art Rocks!

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Image Source: Yelp

Markham Vineyards
2812 St Helena Hwy
St. Helena, CA 94574
(707) 963-5292
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 42 reviews

The artist-in-residence at Markham Vineyards is Baron Wolman, the first chief photographer of Rolling Stone magazine. He’s famous for his iconic photos of Janis Joplin, the Rolling Stones, Frank Zappa, the Who, Jimi Hendrix, Joan Baez, Iggy Pop, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead, Jim Morrison, Ike & Tina Turner—the list goes on. His works, including Rolling Stone covers and photos of Woodstock, are on display in the gallery and throughout the winery.

Insider tip: In keeping with the spirit of the gallery exhibit, try the winery’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Tasting, which features five wines for $20.

Pretty Art in a Pleasant Place

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Image Source: Yelp

Quent Cordair Fine Art
1301 1st St
Napa, CA 94559
(707) 255-2242
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 15 reviews

This pleasant, airy gallery is particularly popular with people who want their art to be lovely and actually look like something in the real world. The paintings, sculptures, and drawings depict beautiful women, smiling children, gorgeous landscapes, and couples in love, among other subjects. The gallery focuses on romantic realism, and customers are welcome to browse without concern for high-pressure sales tactics.

Insider tip: If you want to save up for a piece of art, look into membership in Club Cordair. Every monthly payment goes toward your purchase, and, in the meantime, you’ll receive discounts, gifts, and a special relationship with the gallery and its artists.

Local Home of International Art Installations

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Image Source: Gordon Huether Studio


Gordon Huether Studio
1821 Monticello Rd.
Napa, CA 94558
(707) 255-5954
TripAdvisor: 5 stars, 5 reviews

Gordon Huether and his team create large-scale, site-specific art installations for projects throughout the world; the majority of the work is made in this Napa studio. The 15,000-square-foot building, which was once a hay barn, houses Huether’s design studio, project gallery, fabrication facilities, administrative offices and the Hay Barn Gallery. And, it features a revolving exhibition of Huether’s fine art, as well as exhibiting the works of selected guest artists.

Insider tip: To see some of Huether’s work in the right environment—as site-specific art installations that are integrated into the surrounding architecture and landscape—visit Artesa Winery in the Carneros Valley, where he has been the artist-in-residence since 1997.

Urban Edge in a Bucolic Setting

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Image Source: The Christopher Hill Gallery

The Christopher Hill Gallery
1235 Main St
St. Helena, CA 94574
(707) 963-0272
TripAdvisor: 4 stars, 4 reviews

The Christopher Hill gallery has a more urban, edgy feel than you might expect in this bucolic Wine Country setting. It features a diverse group of about 40 world-renowned and regionally important artists representing the many schools and styles of art from the 20th and early 21st centuries. The works form a wide array of abstract, impressionist, realist, expressionist and surrealist art, depicting figurative, landscape, and pop art themes.

Insider tip: Owner Christopher Hill is often on the premises, is very approachable, and likes to share his wealth of information about not only his gallery, but art in general.

That Wine Country Look

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Image Source: Yelp

Jessel Gallery
1019 Atlas Peak Rd
Napa, CA 94558
(707) 257-2350
TripAdvisor: 5 stars, 1 review

If you want to bring a bit of Napa Valley home with you, the selection at Jessel Gallery offers that Wine Country look and feel. There are paintings of colorful vineyards, quaint store fronts, and romantic terraces with tables set for two. Painter and gallery owner Jessel Miller is also known for her award-winning picture books for children. The gallery also features the works of a handful of other artists, plus gifts.

Insider tip: Looking for a souvenir for a child? Get Miller’s Angels in the Vineyards, winner of the American Book Award for excellence in literature.

A touch of the classic is updated with elegance, fun, and an eye for aesthetics in this part of the world. With such a wide assortment of art to choose from, there is no reason for your eyes to envy your taste buds in Napa Valley.