Tonight at the Napa Valley Wine Train Station, Jamie Graff from Nimbus Arts will give a brief update about the Quake Mosaic at the RAD Open House Event. Come join us and hear all about the project and all the newest developments for the Rail Arts District!
Three Upcoming Napa Quake Mosaic Workshops
Saturday, April 7 (10am-4pm)
Napa Makes | The Oxbow School 530 Third Street, Napa
Join Napa Quake Mosaic and Nimbus Arts at this special event showcasing local artists + craftspeople! We'll have a family-friendly hands-on area where you can be a part of the mosaic making process.
Two Evenings at Nimbus Arts | 649 Main Street, St. Helena
Tuesday, June 12 (6-8pm)
Thursday, July 12 (6-8pm)
You are invited to join us at Nimbus to contribute to the Quake Mosaic. These evenings will feature snacks, drinks and community spirit as we continue to build the mosaic off-site. No mosaic experience necessary. We will have all the tools and instruction available for you. Free and open to the public.
Photo: New Tech High students helping with the project last summer. Photo by Infinity Visuals
Instead of starting over at Carpe Diem, we decided to update the windows over a period of a couple months. Keeping the birch tree trunks in place, it was time to reflect the seasonal changes happening in Napa.
SO, STAGE TWO: February 2018, First Signs of Spring. With a little help from actual Canadians (Aunt Debbie and Uncle Gerry, visiting from BC), my Mom and three year old niece, we removed the falling snow and most of the snow on the ground. We added touches of spring: new grass popping up, buds on the trees and a few woodland animals waking up from hibernation. Plus a cameo from a local toucan, who added all the warmth we needed!
And a visit from a friendly neighborhood toucan, adding an extra summery feeling to the day.
Yesterday, we got all the donated mosaic materials ready for the winter. With the help of a few hired muscles, we cleaned, re-stacked and wrapped all the boxes on pallets (donated from Cartons & Crates). The Wine Train will be storing them in a container for us over the winter to avoid the rain and elements.
For the most part, the donations are sound in any weather, but the plastic and cardboard boxes they are stacked in, definitely do not. Even the boxes I got this summer were starting to disintegrate in our hands as we moved them.
Here's hoping we can find a more permanent solution in 2018!
Had a fun time painting the windows at local restaurant, Carpe Diem, this weekend. It was a chilly night, painting a snowy forest of birch trees live for their guests and several friends that stopped by, but the hot toddies helped!
The windows will be up through February so stop by and see how many woodland animals you can find hidden in the trees.
photos by Israel Valencia
We are thrilled to announce that the project has received an Arts + Culture Special Projects Grant from Napa County this fall! In partnership with Nimbus Arts, the Napa Quake Mosaic received $25k. This funding will support the site prep work, continued material collection and community outreach that we will be doing over the next year.
After the wildfires this past October, we have had to shift focus and broaden the scope of the project. Several items have been donated by artists and friends who lost their homes and studios. We will continue to collect these donations and rework the mosaic design and timeline to incorporate them fully.
At its heart, the Quake Mosaic was created to document and honor a community healing after trauma from a natural disaster. The impact of the October 2017 wildfires have eclipsed those of the 2014 earthquake and I have decided to expand the project scope.
I am redesigning the plan to include a special section for any remnants collected after the fire.I am currently reaching out to those impacted to ask for any objects they may want to donate to the mosaic. I am planning to rename the project as well, but have not yet settled on a new name.
Several friends lost their art studios and I am so grateful that they will be contributing recovered objects to the project. Calistoga painter and friend, Karen Lynn Ingalls, shared the following images of her barn, lost in the Tubbs Fire. As soon as the site is open to the public again, I will join her to collect some remnants to include in the mosaic.
Another artist friend, photographer Norma Quintana, also lost her home and studio. A consummate collector, she is sifting through the remnant of her home for objects to photograph in a new series entitled, "Forage from Fire".
This experience has served as a reminder that we live in a part of the world that is vulnerable to natural disaster. Earthquakes, floods, and fires happen constantly in California. It not only requires resilient, vigilant and responsive inhabitants, it creates opportunity for growth, change and new perspectives on what home means.
We looked over the student plans Jessica and I had selected at Cal Poly in June. The students had worked on fully workable plans that included irrigation, grading as well as planting for the entire site.
Gretchen will be creating her own plan for the site, but we will be utilizing ideas from the student plans as well. The four student plans we selected will be displayed at the NV Wine Train station's RAD wall this winter.
Next: selecting the car so we can create the master plan to submit to the City.
About a month ago, pastry chef and Culinary Institute of America professor Stephen Durfee contacted me about participating in a project he was doing with his students. Each year he pairs his pastry students with local artists so they can create a dessert inspired by the artist's work. So instead of bringing them to my half finish art studio, I decided to share the Quake Mosaic with them.
I met the adorable and talented Nicole, Dana and Natalie at the Wine Train yard where all of the mosaic materials are being stored. We discussed the project and the were so enthusiastic and excited to work together. They even took some of the broken pieces of a couple plates with them to use in their creation.
I was super excited to hear about the other incredible artists they had selected for this project: Chelsea Ritter-Soronen of Chalk Riot, Mikey Kelly, Freeman Tanner and Patty Wessman, all longtime friends and active members of our local art community. Each artist was paired with 2-3 pastry students and they results were incredible!
Another inspiring day with the next generation. When Jessica de Lasaux (longtime RADnapa cohort) and I reached out to our talented friend, Gretchen Stranzl McCann of GSM landscape architecture, inc., to talk to her about what it would take to create a living roof, she had a ton of great ideas. She also thought this would be a perfect case study for her class of students at Cal Poly, where she is also an adjunct professor.
So a few months later, Jessica and I made a visit to the campus and were blown away by what this group had come up with for the site. They had gone way beyond the living roof and designed the entire parcel, complete with irrigation diagrams, landscaping + hardscape ideas as well as grading plans.
The class had so many great ideas and ways to make the landscape plan efficient, inviting and exciting. Jessica and I gave feedback and made a short list of the work we thought we could hopefully incorporate into the final design. These drawings will be on display on the Wine Train station's upcoming "RAD Napa Wall", which will highlight completed and in-progress projects.
What an amazing day working with students from Napa's New Technology High School and their teacher, the wonderful Margaret Dennett! We made it through the bulk of the materials and specifically focused on sorting through the beautiful seconds donated from Heath Ceramics. Several students also worked on sanding the edges of the sharper broken pieces so they will be safe for the public to touch when they are used in the final mosaic.
Special thanks to Art Teacher Margaret Dennet for reaching out and bringing her students down to help for the morning.
Here are a couple of (unedited) student interviews shot by Israel Valencia. Amazing.
Thank you so much to the volunteers who came down to help us sort through the many donations for the Quake Mosaic on April 30 as part of FLOW: Arts at the River! We got through several hundred pounds of material, way more than I even thought possible in one day.
Major thanks to Azalea Aguilar's AP Spanish Comp + Lit students from Vintage High School, who blasted through the bulk of it in the morning. And an extra special thanks to Jen Sarkisian, Andrew Watt and Gary Oliveras for all of your muscle and support throughout the day!
Thanks also to Danielle Smith and everyone at Arts Council Napa Valley for all of your hard work to make FLOW happen!
NIMBUS: Book Arts: Making, Writing & Illustrating
In this class, students will become storytellers, illustrators, authors, paper engineers and book artists. Drawing on personal memories, students will create their own books. We will explore different book parts: end papers, covers, dedication pages, the about-the-author section, as well as the difference between spot and full-page illustration. Students will explore collage, painting, wax resist, and other mixed media techniques to illustrate their ideas. At the end of the class, students will be able to read their finished books aloud to the class. Click below for more info and to sign up!
NIMBUS: NIP 'n SIP
Make a little mosaic magic! In these mosaic workshops, students will learn the basics of mosaic techniques and create lovely treasures. Our “mosaic tasters” will give you a great sense of how fun and simple it is to make mosaic art (while sipping some fine Napa Valley wine!) Theses classes will teach you how to work with and nip glass and ceramic tiles to create bright and whimsical designs. Leave your completed mosaic with us, and we’ll do the messy cementing and grouting, and then come pick up your masterpiece in one week. $50 each class, all materials & wine included. (Shipping can be arranged for an additional fee)
DI ROSA: DAY OF THE DEAD MASKS
Learn about Día de los Muertos and celebrate Day of the Dead by making your own vibrant skull mask. Families will learn to build and decorate their own paper masks with paint, flowers, and other colorful materials.
Workshop begins promptly at 1:30 PM. Space is limited and reservations are required. Call 707-226-5991 x24 for more information.
DI ROSA: SCREEN PRINT YOUR OWN HOLIDAY CARDS
Using simple silkscreen techniques, learn how to design and print holiday cards. Create your own screen using an embroidery hoop, customize your card design, and then print as many cards as you can send!
Workshop begins promptly at 1:30 PM. Space is limited and reservations are required. Call 707-226-5991 x24 for more information.
I honestly do not believe what amazing friends I have. Realizing the time frame issue (that I had to be finished in a week) so I could relinquish the oven to Chef Dario, I called in a lot of favors. A LOT. Chef has to cure the oven itself for 5 days before he can start cooking in it, plus they need to get some kitchen time in before they open, so I need to get a move on. So, I put out the bat signal and had so many artist friends come to help me, I am humbled. I told them I'd keep them in lunches and wine, and they went for it!
So a delicious local staple, Small World Restaurant, around the corner became my go to spot for everything to keep the people fed and happy.
My original time estimate was about 1 square foot per day. There are 60 square feet to cover on the oven. I have 3 weeks. I am working on the body as fast as I can and will be calling in David and Gerry again for help with the field soon.
The moment of truth. After leaving the tile to set for 2 days, it's time to peel the contact paper off! I film while David peels. So exciting!
The letters looks great, but now we realize we will never have enough time to do the entire mosaic using the indirect method. It takes too long and we only have 3 weeks left!
So it's onward with the direct method = apply thinset to tile and place by hand, one at a time.
Now that we have the surface ready and two completed tile sections on the contact paper (a leg and the restaurant name), we can start the actual adhesion process. Hooray!
Leg section on tracing paper, now flipped over and placed onto clear contact paper.
With all the beautiful new tiles, I started playing with color gradients to form Athena's legs and suckers. I wanted her body to appear full and almost undulate, as well as reflect the amazing variety of colors and patterns an octopus can have.
Factoid: Ever since the octopus lost it's shell during the evolutionary process, one of its best defense mechanisms is camouflage. Each species can blend seamlessly into numerous environments and with an almost unlimited color range and over 16 textures!
And because their beak (mouth) is the only remaining bone in their bodies, it dictates the smallest hole or crevice he or she can squeeze through. It is very rare to see an octopus beak, as they hide them carefully at the center of their bodies. Their beaks are extremely small, relative to body size, but powerful enough to break through crab shells and other bones in the way of a good meal.