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San Francisco and the Napa Valley are renowned for their food and wine culture, but its pleasures don’t stop there. Tucked within its streets, hotels, and wineries are pockets of inspiration where you can stumble upon moments of beauty and works of astonishing art. Find your way to the following spots and prepare to be delighted with these innovative works.
Members of the local community – including the Napa Valley Vine Trail and Napa Valley Wine Train – have partnered to create the valley’s first-ever artistic neighborhood, known as the Rail Arts District (RAD) Napa. Still in development, it’s already displaying a wide range of contemporary art along a 1.7-mile section of the Napa Valley Vine Trail. This portion of trail is located adjacent to semi-industrial and residential neighborhoods in the heart of the City of Napa from Vallejo Street at Soscol Avenue to Redwood Road at Solano Avenue. Pictured above is "Knocking on Heaven's Door" by Bezt and Natalia Rak.
Leo Villarreal, the same artist who created "Bay Lights" on the Bay Bridge, now has a light art display on Moscone Center's new pedestrian bridge. "Point Cloud" is comprised of an array of lights that twinkle on the ceiling of this bridge. While the best viewing times are after sunset, "Point Cloud" also has a daytime presence. So if you find yourself walking along Howard and Third streets, be sure to get a glimpse of this remarkable installation.
As Napa’s downtown undergoes further development and construction during the summer months of 2018, visitors strolling through the First Street Napa complex will be able to view large art installations by local artists. Featured Napa and Bay Area artists include Miro Salazar, Chelsea Ritter-Soronen, Israel Valencia, Mikey Kelly, Kerry Lee, Thailan When, Will Durkee, and Vincent Connors.
Language of the Birds is a permanent site-specific sculpture installed at a pedestrian plaza linking Chinatown and North Beach. Each of the artwork’s suspended “books” mimic a bird in motion, with various wing positions created by the forms of the pages and bindings. Passing under the flock, pedestrians will notice words and phrases embedded in the plaza floor, which appear to have fallen from the pages above. On closer inspection, the fallen words are in English, Italian and Chinese, and were selected from the neighborhood’s rich literary history.