What would the world look like without art? This is the question that our class was asked at the start of the day. My first thought was, “I’m going to need another cup of coffee.” Then I really had to think about it – much like most of our class did. How important is art really? It didn’t take long to realize that art is of paramount importance bringing an increased quality of life to all, whether we want to acknowledge its presence or not. It is all around us – both in organized form as well as raw and in nature. As a class, we then discovered that right under our noses there were people working every day to enrich our community with art – at Arts Council Napa Valley.
The day went on to educate and help us reflect upon different ways art is expressed in our community. From the fine art galleries at di Rosa to the public art scene in Napa County with its politics, and from the Community Arts Center “Cinderella” story to the long-established Lincoln Theater in Yountville – it seems the goal of the arts in Napa County is to engage the community and enrich their lives. The arts community, as represented by our presenters, has done that in a big way.
A highlight of the morning was when Miki, our di Rosa docent, led us in a group conversation about a painting. Simple at first glance, the story of the painting and its painter took on a complex range of possibilities through the guided conversation. Three questions were asked: what’s going on in this, what do you see that makes you say that, and what more do you see. Answers came, were confirmed to the group and became fuel to the conversation’s fire. By the end of our group discussion, I felt like a cultured critic of fine art – a description I have never used for myself.
A highlight of the midday was getting to know the differences between the Community Arts Center and a more established venue like Lincoln Theater. The stories of their beginnings and the shows that they put on are quite different, while their missions seem aligned. Both venues bring the community together to celebrate and showcase performing arts, all while supporting their fellow nonprofits when they can in their search for event venues. The last highlight of the day was getting into groups at Lincoln Theater and working through community issues focusing on the arts for an “out of the box” solution. It was eye opening experience being in the driver seat for that type of planning.
I doubt any of us will look at art ever again without thinking about our LNV Arts Day experience.
“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”
– Thomas Merton
Miki @ di Rosa:
Public Art Talk:
Our arts leaders @ Lincoln Theater: https://goo.gl/photos/9K1ckTSLhgzZU7rh8
Submitted by members of Class 30.