Di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art is a little hidden gem right in Napa’s backyard, and they just recently celebrated their 25th anniversary! Spanning across 200 acres of land, this art center includes two galleries, a sculpture meadow, an olive grove, and a 35-acre lake that was generously gifted to the public. Read on for more history and what you can expect when you visit the Di Rosa Art Center in Napa!
Starting with the history, this art center was purchased by Rene and Veronica Di Rosa in 1960. The property was originally part of the Rancho Huichica land grant. Di Rosa’s purchase of the land turned it from a farm with dairy cattle and a winery, to eventually become the art center it is today. He converted the stone winery structure into a house by adding interior rooms, windows, doors, and a bell tower. The lake on the property started out as a pond for irrigation in the 1930s, and then Rene Di Rosa built a dam and extended the pond into the 35-acre lake it is today…naming it Winery Lake.
Winery Lake Vineyards was established in 1963 with the vines covering 250 acres of the land. These quality grapes were wanted by over 50 wineries, so Rene sold the vineyards in 1986. He used the profits to establish their foundation and build an “art park” that could be enjoyed by the public. So the Di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art opened up in 1997 to the public and made his dreams a reality!
After becoming a separate non profit organization in 2000, they changed the name from Di Rosa Preserve: Art & Nature to its current name of Di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art in 2017. This land is now protected under the Napa County Land Trust!
When it comes to the art and collections that are featured, the Di Rosa Center maintains a permanent collection of works by Northern California Artists. These pieces have been collected by Rene Di Rosa starting from 1919. The collection has pieces from artists living or working in the San Francisco Bay Area and ranges from mid-twentieth century to early twenty-first century. The art center will rotate these pieces out every so often and the work that is not on view is held in storage offsite.
There are a lot of fun events coming up in the next few months that you will want to make sure to grab tickets for! The second Sunday of the month they host a nature hike that will go from 11:15am to 1:15pm. The fourth Sunday of the month they will have a Winery Lake bird walk, and if you purchase tickets for this event you will get gallery admittance included at the end of the walk. Another special offering is a 90-minute informal guided tour to learn more about the collection featured and includes time to view pieces independently.
Be sure to check the website to stay up to date on special events happening throughout each month at the Di Rosa Center!
When you are planning your next Napa trip, book your stay at RiverPointe Napa Valley and make sure to include time to see all the amazing art exhibitions and more at the Di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art!