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All You Need to Know About the Art Scene in Napa Valley
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All You Need to Know About the Art Scene in Napa Valley

It might be unexpected but the Napa Valley art scene is a great place to get inspired and we’ve got the best itinerary.

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5 min read

February 18, 2022

Napa Valley, with its glimmering sunlight, views of looming hills, and acres of golden vineyards has long served as a muse for many painters, photographers, writers, and other creatives. So today, we’re raising a glass to Napa Valley art by curating the ultimate guide for art lovers visiting the area. Ready to embark on an artistic adventure in Napa Valley? Start with the galleries, museums, murals, and sculptures making up the dynamic art scene of this town that beckons to be explored. 

From gallery openings and art walks to historic exhibitions, Napa Valley houses incredibly creative endeavors.

The Ultimate Napa Valley Guide for Art Lovers

Napa Valley Welcome Center

The experts at the Napa Valley Welcome Center know best. So, making a stop there should be at the very top of your art discovery itinerary. Ask the staff about current Napa art gallery exhibits and events, and anything else that might interest you—from restaurants and happy hour spots to attractions and places for the best views in the valley. The friendly staff at the center will help you craft the best art lovers’ itinerary; don’t forget to pick out a souvenir to take with you!

Founder Donald Hess’s art collection began when he purchased a painting as décor for his new home

The Hess Collection

The family-owned and operated Hess Persson Estates is, first and foremost, a premier company in the world of wine. However, the elegant winery’s art collection is no less impressive. Known as The Hess Collection, the incredible personal collection of Donald Hess is a top Napa Valley museum in its own right. The collection spans more than four decades and features art created by local, living artists as well as some of the world’s most important modern and contemporary names like Francis Bacon and Robert Motherwell.

Jessel Gallery

One of the most unique Napa Valley art galleries is none other than Jessel Gallery. While a slew of local painters and sculptors are represented at the gallery, a large portion of it is dedicated to the works of owner and director Jessel Miller. Known as an exceptional watercolor painter of abstract landscapes, Miller has recently made a considerable shift by using more acrylics in her works. Pay a visit, check out awesome Wine Country art, and consider signing up for a painting lesson with Miller herself—the Jessel Gallery is a trip.

Art Gallery Napa Valley

Another cool little spot art lovers would like is Art Gallery Napa Valley in the downtown area. Promoting the works of a variety of local talent in paintings, photography, jewelry, textiles, and more, this small Napa art gallery packs a big impact. Run by the Art Association of Napa Valley, this free art gallery is a great way to get introduced to a number of new Napa Valley artists.

ÆRENA Galleries and Gardens offers a great range and selection of styles and media.

ÆRENA Galleries and Gardens

Reflecting the spirit of Teddy Roosevelt’s Man in the Arena speech, the ÆRENA Galleries and Gardens dedicates its spaces to celebrating artists who fearlessly express authenticity and integrity in their work. This group of Napa art galleries also thoroughly covers the Wine Country art scene by having several captivating spaces throughout, including one in Healdsburg and another in St. Helena. Showcasing contemporary works from over a hundred emerging, mid-career, and established artists in California and beyond, this premier Napa Valley art gallery is a must-add to any art lover’s list.

Christopher Hill Gallery

About a minute away from the ÆRENA Galleries and Gardens’ St. Helena location is the Christopher Hill Gallery—another one of the best Napa art galleries. As Napa Valley’s longest solely owned contemporary fine art destination, C.H. Gallery is widely acclaimed for its original collection of national and international art. Go in for a quick tour and a visually stimulating experience and you’ll be glad you made enough time for this Napa Valley art gallery on your getaway.

The di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art engages people in the power of art and nature.

Di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art

All Napa museums are impressive in their own right, but the di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art is perhaps the most famous one of the bunch. Located in the Carneros region of the valley, this Napa museum features the largest collection of works from Bay Area artists in the world. Take a tour of both the indoor and outdoor spaces and you’ll come across nearly 2,000 works of modern and contemporary art in various forms. The di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art has also hosted its fair share of weddings, engagements, and other beautiful private events. So if you have an important milestone coming up, this Napa museum is totally an option.

Ca’ Toga Galleria D’Arte features creations like ceiling murals, porcelain, ceramics, and more

Ca’ Toga Galleria D’Arte

If you’re up for a taste of Italy in Wine Country—and who would ever say no to that—head straight to the Ca’ Toga Galleria D’Arte in Calistoga. Designed and owned by artist Carlo Marchiori who immigrated to the United States in 1956, this little corner of a homeland on five acres near Calistoga is as unique as Napa art galleries get. The villa's interiors are covered with murals and art complete with typical Palladian trompe l'oeil tricks—you’ll also find a recreated Greek temple and a Roman pool on the grounds. This Napa Valley art gallery experience is something you won’t forget soon.

Napa Art Walk

How about a free art lover experience in Downtown Napa? All you have to do is take part in Napa Art Walk! This biennial, rotating sculpture exhibit takes place along the main streets of Downtown Napa and takes you along a journey of beautiful public art exhibits of various kinds. Follow the online map of the Napa Art Walk to find the sculptures currently on display and learn all about what makes them special.

The Rail Arts District is a free outdoor contemporary art museum anyone can visit.

Rail Arts District

Launched in 2017, the Railroad Arts District runs along a one-and-a-half-mile portion of the Napa Valley Vine Trail in Downtown. Prominently showcasing striking murals from selected global artists, this unique art lovers’ journey is perhaps best experienced on a ride on the Napa Valley Wine Train. This vibrant display of larger-than-life murals quickly became a landmark in Napa Valley's growing art scene—it provides the perfect pop of color you need in your life and on your Insta feed.

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