First Friday Art venues pair with local wineries for August Wine Walk
Art and wine. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? The folks at the First Friday Art Walk think so, too. To spice up this month’s midsummer edition of the popular event (taking place this Friday, Aug. 5), FFAW joins forces with a slate of Santa Cruz vintners to present the August Wine Walk, where art patrons will be able to sample local wines at select FFAW venues around town.
It’s a perfect blend, according to First Friday spokesman (and tireless local arts advocate) Chip. Citing our “extraordinary arts community and community of arts supporters,” and our region’s “unique … winegrowers and wine enthusiasts,” Chip calls the event “exciting in that it is pairing our great art venues with these amazing wineries.”
As usual, you’ll find work by local artists (painting, sculpture, photography, fabric, ceramics, woodworking), in a staggering variety of venues countywide—cafes, beauty salons, banks, shops and boutiques, from the Eastside to the Westside, Louden Nelson Center to Squid Row Alley, Pleasure Point to Davenport. Designated art galleries, like the Santa Cruz Art League, Felix Kulpa, MichaelAngelo, Artisans, and the Museum of Art & History also participate in the festivities. All venues are open to the public from 5 to 9 p.m., and admission to the Art Walk venues, as always, is free.In addition, this month, more than 20 local wineries will be pouring samples of their finest varieties at select Art Walk venues. The Wine Walk venues are concentrated downtown and on the Westside for easy pedestrian access. Free shuttle service will be available from The Santa Cruz Experience to ferry participants between the two neighborhoods.
Here’s how the Wine Walk works. Participants purchase a $20 ticket in advance (online at FirstFridaySantaCruz.com, or in person at the MAH), to be redeemed on the day of the event for a commemorative wine glass and wristband. Beginning at 4:55 p.m. (through 8 p.m.), Friday, ticket holders come to Abbott Square, next to the MAH, to pick up their wine glasses and wristbands, along with a list of participating Wine Walk locations, before heading out on their own personal art and wine adventure. (For Westsiders, a pick-up station for glasses and wristbands will also be set up at the R. Blitzer Gallery in the old Wrigley Building.) Tickets may also be purchased on the day of the event—while they last—but patrons are encouraged to buy theirs early, and avoid the, er, crush. A portion of ticket proceeds will benefit the MAH.
At press time, wineries were still being added and paired up with Art Walk venues, but a partial list of participating vintners includes Hunter Hill, Trout Gulch Vineyards, Pelican Ranch, Zayante Vineyards, Barefoot, Fenestra, Poetic Cellars, Skov Winery, Heart O’ the Mountain Winery, Sones Cellars, Aver Family Vineyards, MJA Vineyards, and Naumann Vineyards.
One of the newest Art Walk venues is Art du Jour, a child-friendly gallery and teaching studio space on Cedar Street, a few doors down from the Penny Ice Creamery. Co-founders Christine Currie and Heather Young are delighted to be hosting Roudon-Smith for the Wine Walk, and showing the work of found-object artist Stephen Lynch, and the steel sculpture of Steven Addi. Earlier in the day (1-4 p.m.) Ed Martinez of Junk Art Scramble will conduct free, drop-in, mini-workshops for kids on turning found materials into art assemblages. These pieces will also be on view as part of the Art and Wine Walk later that evening. “The most exciting part about being involved in the Art Wine Walk,” says Currie, “is observing the art projects created and enjoyed by all ages” in this creative community.
I’ll TAKE WINE WITH THAT ART The art of Chelsea Briggen is featured at First Friday this month.
Over on the Westside, the R. Blitzer Gallery is holding a reception for the new Summer Invitational show featuring 19 local artists (including Dan Stolpe, Lila Klapman, and Peter Loftus). Proprietor Robert Blitzer promises live music at the event, along with wines provided by Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyards. Blitzer says, “The Wine Walk is a great way to involve more people in First Friday and art!”
The First Friday Art and Wine Walk is a great opportunity for local artists, art and wine lovers, and schmoozers to reconnect with each other and see what’s new in our community.
To learn more about the First Friday August Wine Walk on Friday Aug. 5, visit firstfridaysantacruz.com or downtownsantacruz.com. Check-in for this event is at Abbott Square on Cooper Street in Downtown Santa Cruz (next to the Museum of Art & History) from 4:55-8 p.m. Tickets are $20/adv., $25/day of. Must be 21 or older with valid ID. Cheers.