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Studio Barndiva ~ In the Gallery

Bastidor Santos mannequins were traditionally paraded around the streets in Spain during religious holidays, adorned with elaborate costumes. Hand carved Narwood, these are based on an original Spanish Colonial design: Bust $290 Mannequin $300



Top Ten 2010

(originally posted December 29, 2010) Considering the tragic, scary and downright stupid things which dominated the news this year, we thought we would end our last newsletter of 2010 with a Top Ten list that speaks to brilliance and talent, with one pertinent reminder that because nothing ever stays the same ~ the only direction that ultimately matters is forward.

1. The Low Budget Film, alive and kicking

The Social Network had a great script, and Inside Job should be required viewing for every American, but the cinematic theme of the year wasn’t about greed and technology, rampant though they both are. Film is primarily a visual medium, so it was all the more remarkable that the most inspired films released this year focused on how, in spite or because of the proliferation of social media, language is failing us. Nicole Holofcener’s mordant, deeply funny Please Give was a pointed but gentle rebuke at the narcissistic face of liberal guilt. Luca Guadagnino’s I Am Love was a ravishing visual roman à clef that brought Visconti to mind, confirmed Tilda Swinton’s face as a force of nature, and for all the power in which it captured the empty language of the rich, could have been a silent picture. Of all our favorite films this year, however, none was more impressive than Debra Granik’s Winter's Bone. An explosion of brilliant new talent both in front of and behind the camera, it was the kind of low budget film about the human condition we used to think only foreigners could make. A mystery, an exploration of what it means to be poor and illiterate in America, and, most poignantly, a use of lost language as spare and wounding as a Faulknerian tone poem, this is a great American film. In drawing a world bereft of morality and faith, it speaks to what happens when human beings fall back on superstitions and tribal tradition to guide their destiny. Which, when you think about it, is a pretty powerful global message as well.

2. Montaigne Rules

Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom was the great American novel of the year, deserving of all the hype, but the most remarkable book this year, for being both a homecoming and a map to the future, was How to Live (or) A Life of Montaigne by Sarah Bakewell. An inventive biography about a dude who lived four hundred years ago, Bakewell invites us to re-discover a voice so honest, charming and clever its wisdom is as relevant today as any self-help book you are likely to find. I am an unapologetic member of the dying tribe that still believes the unexamined life is not worth living, but even if your definition of wisdom runs only to aphorism, you will find a lot to chew on here. Bakewell does an extraordinary job of letting Michel Eyquem de Montaigne speak for himself, while placing him firmly in a Renaissance tradition that exalted the life of the mind. This genteel nobleman was a winegrower who spoke fluent Latin, a self-taught philosopher who participated fully in politics and invented the short for essay which he used to reflect amusingly on every issue of the day. Montaigne believed the more thought we put into life, the more we get out of it. Amen to that.

3. Park Here If You Must

I’ve not yet been inside Herzog & de Meuron’s new parking & retail structure in Miami, 1111 Lincoln Road Garage, but I almost don’t need to. It's pretty damn hard to rethink space on any level in the current economic climate ~ when you work as big as these guys do it's practically impossible. Yet this Swiss firm consistently challenges preconceived notions of material, design and program in future-forward ways. While the current focus in architecture on ecological and ergonomic utility is certainly important, aesthetically, when it comes to public spaces that aren’t deep pocket museums, it’s been pretty much of a bust. As Healdsburg’s parking problems continue to grow, it’s refreshing to think there may be alternatives to addressing that problem without resorting to the concrete parking bunker. 1111 Lincoln has a mixed-use program with pop-up retail on the top floor. Its undulating concrete walls will eventually be grown to soften the ‘view’ of all that metal inside. During the recent Art Basel Miami Beach some of its vast floor space was also used for performance art, very cool indeed. Even for a town as small as ours I see the potential of parking cars, flea market sales, and stimulating performance art all in one place, especially when that art could represent a segment of the community that cannot afford high street rents.

4. In Bed with Jon and Frank

With the exception of my husband, I spent an inordinate amount of quality time in bed with these two men this year. Late at night, especially when it was a frustrating news day, I fell asleep with a smile on my face thanks to Jon Stewart, America's court jester, who says what we are all thinking a hell of a lot funnier than it plays in our aching heads. Frank Rich provided a different kind of salve for these trying times. In an age when facts have become almost beside the point on a increasingly partisan and commercialized media playing field, his thoroughly researched, riveting editorials in the New York Times every Sunday morning were David and Goliath efforts that never failed to speak truth to power.


5. Public Speaking

While Stewart and Rich deserve twin “the Emperor is Wearing No Clothes” awards this year, Martin Scorsese did us all a favor by bestowing a lifetime achievement nod on Fran Lebowitz, the closest thing America has to a wit the size of Oscar Wilde’s with the feminine acuity of Dorothy Parker. Public Speaking, which arrived on cable without much fanfare is a program that actually lives up to being Must See TV. An hour spent with this woman is an instant elixir, brief respite to the proliferation of Kim Kardasian types and all those other 'fame ho’s' (both male and female) that increasingly clutter the airwaves, and our lives. This is that rare hour of amusing enlightenment which sidesteps youth for age, fake beauty for character, stupidity for profundity. I was especially taken with her remarks about the audience that was lost with AIDS and how that has affected the arts, and the importance of elitism in culture (as opposed to building an elitist society) which has lead to a degradation of quality that has affected every aspect of American cultural life.


6. Jamie at Home

One of the questions I asked myself in 2010 ~ that I didn’t get any closer to answering~ was why food programs on TV continue to get worse instead of better. With the proliferation of farmer's markets, the fervent interest in sourcing, the rise of urban farming, why does food programming increasingly reek of such dumbing down? I haven’t been a fan of the Food Network since they went over to the dark side dropping Mario for Paula. So I was thrilled to find Jamie Oliver over on the Cooking Channel (with fellow Brits Nigella Lawson and Two Fat Ladies) a few months back. I have no idea if he really lives on his farm with Jools and the kids, cooking in wood fired ovens using food he has grown, and I really don’t care. His visceral description of ingredients, the way he touches food, the simplicity of his ideas (recipes are almost besides the point for Jamie) are simply brilliant. I’ve loved Jamie since Naked Chef days. He is a lovely boy (as my dear friend Lynda would say) who has taken his fame as a serious opportunity to improve everything around him for as long as the dance lasts. Yes, his experience with getting Americans to eat healthier was a disaster, but this program is worth taping and referring back to. If you don’t get the channel, go online where you can download the recipes for free.

7. Jil at Home

Speaking of food that doesn’t have to be precious to be delicious, go figure that the best meal I had all year (not made by Chef Fancher) was a simple vegetable soup. Why vegetable soup when I had the great privilege to eat food from the kitchens of Mario, Jean-George, Daniel, April, David, Doug and Ari? You know the Paul Simon line ‘life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans?’ Sometimes it's true about great dishes as well. Food was the last thing on my mind when I started to think about dinner on November 2nd. The stupidity and vitriol in the run-up to the elections that day had, quite literally, made me sick to my stomach. As it was a Tuesday and the restaurant was closed, I rummaged through the walk-in and the fridges, then spent a long time foraging through the raised herb and vegetables beds behind the gallery. It must have taken three hours to make that soup. At first I was simply avoiding the results of the election, but slowly, as I sliced every vegetable carefully, adding them to the pot one at a time, patiently watching them turn translucent, bubble, and simmer I came to see that while the results were now out of my control, feeding myself, my family, and members of the human race who, by luck or by design, wander into Barndiva, wasn’t. In the end I didn’t make that soup so much as it made me. When I finally came to taste it I took great pride in the balance of sweet to salty, the rooty, herbal, heavenly smell, the glorious color. When Geoff tasted it later that night he looked up and said “this is really great, what’s in it?” “Hope”, I replied. He probably thought I was crazy, but there is nothing new in that.

8. Cocktail of the Year

I don’t care if it sounds like nepotism, the best cocktails anywhere this year were served here at the barn. Strawberry Life called for the ripest of wild strawberries macerated into a cognac base to which we added a touch of Nagori Sake (cloudy, the result of unfiltered dormant yeast particles), homegrown Thai Basil and fresh lemon juice. Finished with a mist of Crème de Violette, it was summer in a glass which we should have called Sex in the Grass (no, not that grass Virginia). Ernest in Love, another favorite (ode to Hemingway’s first marriage) featured Tequila and Aperol with local watermelon compressed with lemongrass, lime juice, agave nectar and, as a grace note, a spray of fresh rosewater. Thanks in great part to Stefan’s mad genius and Adam and Sammy’s desire to push the limits, we infused spirits with all manner of fresh fruit, herb and spice drams, cold smoked apples and rosemary from our farm, washed brown butter, infused rare black teas, fabricated pumpkin curries and stone fruit jams, chopped through all manner of homegrown chili and exotic citrus until our eyes rolled. Croatian cherries? No problem. Jack Daniel's barrel woodchips? Torch ‘em. With the exception of the night Stefan almost burned down the barn cooking up some concoction, every drink these three guys put out this year was bloody brilliant. I was a very proud mama indeed (albeit one with an aching liver.) Cocktail of the year goes to The Lover (named after the great Marguerite Duras novella of the same name) because it perfectly balanced my favorite fruit (white peaches) with fresh ginger and the green herbal notes of lemon verbena we grew from a plant Bonnie Z gave us. Filtered sake and a hit of Navarro grape juice added sweet and yeasty notes. We finished the drink at the bar by igniting a poof of green chartreuse ~ this Divatini even had magic. The trick of making craft cocktails at this level is that all the flourishes must soften and meld the minute you pick up the glass to drink. These do. Cheers.

9. Picture of the Year

Without a doubt you will find more globally important images if you click the links below, but the moment Lukka captured of the Healdsburg Post Office burning resonates deeply for us on several levels. It marks the end of an era: no more walking distractedly through town to post a letter and find the moment of the day in which the town reclaimed you. Sometimes it was just a wave from a neighbor, a quick coffee from Flying Goat, a simple breeze that made you look up at the trees in the Plaza. I am not alone in mourning the loss that experience will mean to living here. But in the weeks and months that followed the fire, as it became clear that efforts by Jim Wood, Ray Holly and others to re-build would come to naught, I began to understand that more than the post office was gone. What if the loss we were experiencing on a community level was just the beginning of the end to Snail Mail which will be gone soon, like listening to music on CD’s, watching films on DVD’s, conversing on land-line telephones. Some of these ‘advances’ are good, no doubt, and all of them will seem inevitable when we look back. What is hardest to reconcile is how change like this undermines a precious connection to the time and place, and to the people you accidentally get to know when you wandered out to experience life first hand.

New York Times 2010 year in pictures

Magnum Photos of 2010

10. A Town Full of Babies

Losing the post office was sad, which makes the last item on our top ten list all the more important. 2010 was the Year of the Baby here in Healdsburg ~ everywhere you looked gorgeous babies glided by with their newly minted parents, making everyone in their wake feel like a cockeyed optimist. Some were spied repeatedly dining in our gardens or at Scopa, others were seen hiding in the foliage at Dragonfly, the changing rooms at Arboretum, the shampoo station at Brush. One young man we knew as a baby had his first, while our bookkeeper had her fifth. This proliferation of new life, the growth of families that have put roots down here and have already contributed so much ~ with so much more left to come ~ is something we can take joy in. And we do.




Cat in the Orchard

(originally posted October 13, 2010)

The compulsion to make art has been with us for 17,000 years. For most of that time, the foremost question asked of the artist (perhaps second only to where’s the rent) has been why do you do it ~ where does this unstoppable urge to create come from? It’s a fascinating question especially if you’ve never had the calling, but beware the loquacious artist ~ Picasso pops to mind ~ who can come up with what sounds like a dazzling answer to what is ultimately a goose chasing question.

“You might as well ask me why I get out of bed in the morning,” an artist friend once explained, to this day the most refreshingly honest answer I’ve heard. By and large, art is made by people because ~ excuse the double negative ~ they can’t not make it. Doesn’t matter whether the art they make is good or bad. In your or anyone else’s opinion. They make art because, just like getting up in the morning, there is simply no alternative for them. Even in an extreme case, like van Gogh, anybody out there really think he wouldn't have flicked the switch in exchange for a normal, but art free life? He couldn't, not didn't. And constant use of his messed up mental health by art critics the world over as an explanation of his work is not just a ruse, it’s an insult to his genius.

An infinitely more interesting question is why we need art, what we see in it that is so intrinsically different from what we see just walking around, living our lives. Surely art explains the world to us, but while we can’t argue that context is unimportant, don’t trust history alone for an answer as to why you respond so deeply to one artist’s work, while you are left cold by another’s. In any case, the historical “reasons” we make art change every few hundred (or thousand) years. Since we’ve been keeping track we’ve gone from religion (with God the Über curator) to documentation (Vermeer and the Camera Obscura onward) to a need to explore the psyche (Freud and the Surrealist Movement did a nice tango on this one). For the last few decades art has been obsessed with finding meaning in materialism ~ you can thank Andy Warhol for the soulless Jeff Koons generation. My point is that while context is important, something else is up with our fascination, our need to look at and experience art. Is it finding grace? Is it looking in the mirror? Is it seeing our worst fears exposed?

A few years ago I dragged the family to NYC to see a Gustav Klimt exhibit, 8 paintings and a 120 drawings, at the Neue Galerie, Ronald Lauder’s exquisite private museum on the edge of Central Park. Though one of the most published artists in history, endless squabbles over Klimt’s legacy has made viewing more than one painting at time nearly impossible. The exhibit did not disappoint, but what happened unexpectedly while I was there set me thinking about context in a whole new light. Starting out in poverty, Klimt trained at the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts, immediately gaining acceptance and public commissions by Emperor Franz Joseph I. But instead of following a proscribed career, in 1887 he founded the Vienna Secession, a controversial group that encouraged unconventional artistic expression, invited exhibits by foreigners, and published a manifesto that debunked the myth that any one artistic style ~ especially what was in vogue at the time ~ should rein supreme. In short, at the turn of a century that would see two world wars change the map of Europe and, not least, the direction of art forever, Klimt helped push the envelope. Even when briefly shunned by society ~ his work deemed pornographic by every quarter that had once supported him ~ he defied conventions of the day, broke from tradition and become one of the most successful artists of all time.

Towards the end of the day I found myself standing in front of Klimt’s portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer. The painting, which had been purchased by Lauder for $135 million ~ the highest price ever paid for a single work at the time ~ depicts a beautiful, fragile Jewish woman engulfed in a gilded, intricately decorated world that we know from history was on the precipice of extinction. Lush, subdued color draws the viewer into a universe that cossets yet distinguishes the female form from the fabric of her history. Light skims off the surface of burnished gold leaf, while intricate ornamental detail is eloquently rendered with flowing sinuous lines. Egyptian, Byzantine, Japanese influences, arguably all present, are subsumed by techniques that speak to no known style at all. What seems a sharp edged nod to a Dürer engraving catches in the light and disappears, only to be replaced by a soft tonal mosaic that brings ~ of all people ~ the neo-impressionist Seurat to mind.

As I stood there, a nine-year-old girl who had pulled away from her mother in another gallery came to stand beside me. While all these thoughts were going through my mind, she shifted uncomfortably from side to side. Like it, I asked? Yeah, she said, gnawing at her sleeve, but why is she so sad? Is she, I countered, to which the girl’s eyes, which had been darting around the canvas, looked directly into mine and held for a good five count ~ eons for a nine year old. The only thing free of her body is her mind, she replied. A non-contextual response, to be sure, but she had nailed it. In that moment, somewhere between the two of us, Klimpt’s ghost stirred.

In a few week’s time the question of context will become particularly relevant as the studio mounts Susan Preston’s “One Button Off,” the last show of this exciting and transitional year for us. Susan is one of the most well known and ~ though she would be the last to admit it ~ beloved members of our community. She and her husband Lou have created, in Preston of Dry Creek Farm and Winery, a living agrarian document that eloquently tells a deeply political story which has been instrumental in helping to inform Sonoma County’s embrace of sustainability. The edible gifts of their working farm, which exist so successfully alongside their vineyards, winery and tasting room, have also helped expand a previously limited viticultural agenda for Sonoma that was up to now scarily Napa bound. If you’ve visited the winery, walked the grounds, been lucky to share in their hospitality on any Guadagni Sunday or at any one of a number of public events they host, you cannot have missed how a refined artistic presence infuses everything they do. We live in a county where great wealth has spawned many extremely beautiful wineries, but few speak so fully of an independent artistic vision.

What we haven’t yet seen, though it has been much anticipated, is a full viewing outside the framework of their family endeavors of Susan Preston’s work as an artist.

The one-woman show will consist of 14 pieces. The hallmarks of past work will be there ~ the use of wordplay and talisman; the almost mystical transformation of the most common materials ~ but there is a great deal more here as well. A sense of universal themes with rousing, if slightly disturbing narratives. Susan Preston has what I can only describe as a lovers gaze for the animal/people that live in her world, an understanding of sensuality as distinct from gender, a belief that a battered nature is still capable of rocking us to sleep at night. This is a world where fools are kings and art has all the power of the confessional.

The greatest thing about starting with the premise that art need not document anything other than itself is that it enables the viewer to cauterize the aesthetic experience, allowing all the blood to flow back into what you have in front of you. This, at the end of the day, is really all you need to react, feel, reject, or love a work of art. While it may be hard to separate the Susan Preston for whom all actions have consequences (the better to eat you my dear) with Susan Preston, the artist, go for it. The exhibit, which opens on November 10th will run through December. Oh, and don’t forget to bring a nine year old if you happen to have one lying around.



Complicated Lives

(originally posted November 10, 2010) Simple lines…complicated faces, the man next to me mumbled. He was talking to himself, but I followed his gaze to a poster across the underground track on the wall just beyond where we were standing, waiting for the train. London was awash in great art shows that winter but the Giotto Exhibit, which the poster was touting, was not high on my list. Religious painters are not my thing really. Yet once the stranger had drawn my attention to the image of the Madonna and child I found I could not look away. Beneath a film of soot the face of a woman who lived centuries before me glowed with incandescent dignity. I felt a better person just being in the same space with her.

I thought about that moment a few weeks back as Susan Preston and I moved through her studio on West Dry Creek looking through a collection of paintings that would comprise her one-woman show at Studio Barndiva, which opens November 10th. It may seem like a stretch to compare the work of a woman living today in a small farming community in Northern California with a man who, in wrestling with how to present the human form realistically on a flat surface, developed his own language for three-dimensional space that changed the course of art history. But that’s the thing about remarkable art: its capacity to capture the singular attributes which make us human transcend both time and providence.

Susan Preston is also an artist who begins with an extremely shallow picture plane that she fills, sparely, with ‘naïve’ characters who challenge our notion of what it means to be spiritually relevant. Whereas artists of Giotto’s time painted from a place infused with religious certainty, Preston, a woman very much of our time, poses a series of complex moral dilemmas. She does this through the development of a mixed-media/mixed-message language that is both literary and textural, resulting in work that, very much like the great Italian master, leaves us believing that the spiritual is ever present.

Take the half naked woman sheltering beneath the waves of Just Drops, Really. Is she the artist viewing history from a distance, or mother nature herself surreptitiously controlling the faceless monks as they make their Canterbury-like way down the mountain, catching rain drops any which way they can? She views the scene with a curious detachment from her self-contained envelope, neither strident nor embarrassed in her nakedness which, despite her age, radiates a rakish charm. Step away from the canvas and you are left contemplating an utterly contemporary question Giotto never had to consider: resources and who controls them. This confrontation without violence is a recurrent Preston theme, one that hints, if not confers, contemplative power.

This is especially true of her babies. These old souls, wise as Buddhas, complacent as cool California dudes, resonate without having to interact with the spare natural order that surrounds them. The caped baby in On Top of the Mountain and little boy on the back of a yak in Upward Tears are all but oblivious to the crow and farm woman who respectively share their world, yet the artist manages to convey that a powerful connection exists between them. The babies of Heaven of the Milk Tree pay little or no attention to the forbidding tree that dominates their landscape, yet their direct but unreadable expressions challenge the viewer to wonder if those dripping fruits which loom above them are filled with milk, or poison (life-giving or deadly). I Can’t Decide, the artist avers, in the title of Milk Tree’s companion piece, leaving us forced to engage with the work on yet a deeper level if we want to arrive at an answer. Which, I would hazard a guess, is precisely what she had in mind.

As for the Preston women, indecision reigns here as well. Motionless while dangerous insects creep into their hair (Hold Still), sanguine and naked in the face of traveling monks, (Just Drops, Really), even with a spike coming out of the head (We’ll Never Do That Again) they persevere with lacerating visual humor co-joined with word play used subversively in the title, or directly written onto the canvas. Whatever the animal is in One Button Off, it is surely female, and dressed for tea and sherry with Dottie at the Algonquin. With Comb Your Hair Jezebel the absent Jezebel, represented by two suspended combs, tines facing inward, answers the exhortation (by her mother?) not with words, but with a solid wall of black that vibrates affirmation in the negative. Black is often used as a conduit for Preston’s question and answer games. Take the portrait of the woman who dominates We’ll Never Do That Again, who for all the nostalgia implied by the use of the silhouette is not only disconnected from her body, but has that alarming bolt driven straight into her elegantly coiffed head. Which of the two calamities that has befallen her will “We” not do again?

Yet for all the unsettling questions that go unanswered in these paintings, they are not sad pictures, not by a long shot. With an irreverent and politically charged sense of the absurd the artist creates a strange band of characters and anthropomorphic animals that challenge our perceptions of what it really means to be alive, to be hungry. They also give us the chance to reflect on a universal truth: no sooner do we gain command of life than circumstances beyond our control will no doubt shake the ground we stand on.

This shifting sense of reality is made manifest visually with Preston’s collage technique which relies heavily on the use of distressed recycled paper. The brown paper ~ a supermarket variety which we all know so well from a lifetime of carting groceries home ~ is put through a time consuming process in which she buries, drowns, irons, and over paints it with watery gauche, the better to see through. This alchemy transforms the uniform brown into a gorgeous tonal pallet that brings to mind sun-baked earth, cracked leather, butterscotch, wheat, parchment, and sand. Under her hand, ordinary paper becomes all but unrecognizable, yet somehow retains the very essence of itself.

As wonderful as her use of paper is, it is but half a visual pas de deux that takes an archaic reference of reflective gold, once used for its resplendence and to confer both spiritual and political power, and turns it on its head. Here, beneath a cracked pavement of cut and torn paper, a silvery world beckons. The inference, that there is nothing to stop us finding magic in the most prosaic of materials (in this case chewing gum wrappers) goes well beyond the trope that all that glitters is not gold. Viewed straight on, the juxtaposition of textural organic earth tones edged with silver registers as a flat opaque surface, but the moment the viewer commits ~ an eye moving across the canvas, a shift of the body ~ light catches along the irregularly cut edges of paper igniting a grid of luminous intersecting lines, electrifying the entire canvas.

Though they have the power to haunt you for days, these are not, to my mind, personal pictures. The artist herself remains very much a mystery to the viewer. The one exception is Goodbye Pina, painted after the death of the great dance choreographer Pina Bausch. With an initial nod to Giotto’s God in the heavenly direction Pina’s body takes in her contorted dance of death, Preston then refuses to relinquish her beloved muse to an idealized heaven. Pina dances into eternity only after she has risen through an undulating landscape and crossed over into a searing black monolithic sky. Relieved of her pain and made whole again, the power of this simply drawn figure in danceflight is remarkable.

A versifier of the highest order (she could easily have been a poet) words are used to great effect throughout the pieces in One Button Off. We Killed The Wrong Twin begs two questions: our complicity, and why the wrong twin needed to be killed in the first place; Bring It Back may be a refrain from the kid issuing the baby bottles from his mouth, or again, from the artist to the viewer about our inability to feed ourselves in what Preston, in her other life as a organic farmer, knows full well are dire times. The elongated goat in I Never Told You I Was A Contortionist, clearly is, while the caped baby in On Top Of The Mountain, clearly is not. Are these titles lies, or, by being put on notice to suspect all words, are we simply being cajoled into making new meanings from them? Take your pick. By consistently sneaking up on the viewer and whispering discreet possibilities in our ear, on both an intellectual and a sensual level Susan Preston has made it clear in this collection that we are free to consider all options. Art that exhibits this level of profundity seeks not only to claim the epicenter of our attention, but creates its own morally complex force field. To the man in the train station I would say “Simple faces, complicated lives.” Much like our own.



Susan Preston ~ One Button Off

(Originally posted November 17, 2010)

All of Healdsburg turned out for the opening night of Susan Preston's one woman show ~ One Button Off~ last Friday evening. Thanks to an insane Barndiva cocktail called The Contortionist and a surfeit of always wonderful Preston wines, no one seemed to mind the wall to wall crowds. (We apologize to any of our guests who did not get to taste the spicy chopped Mediterranean salad we served on Lou's baguettes or our crispy tempura string beans.)

It was, in short, a great night.

Best part of the evening: the party atmosphere did not stop folks from taking the time to slowly view this extraordinary show.

One Button Off will be on exhibit through the month of December in Studio Barndiva.




Art of the Rind

(Originally posted June 16, 2010)

We want to thank Cheese Plus, The Fatted Calf, Cowgirl Creamery, Pt Reyes Blue, Kelley & Young Wines and Dragonfly Floral for making our opening reception of Wil Edwards Art of the Rind such a perfectly delicious event.



Art of the Rind

(originally posted June 2, 2010) Studio Barndiva

Studio Barndiva is proud to announce the opening reception for Photographer Wil Edwards’ Art Of The Rind series, on Sunday, June 13, between the hours of 3:00 – 5:30.

The reception for Edwards’ astonishing new exhibit of limited edition color pigment prints is the first showing in our new gallery space. We are thrilled it will be co-hosted by some of America’s premier artisan purveyors.

Join Studio Barndiva and Cowgirl Creamery, Laura Chenel, Pt Reyes Cheese Company, The Fatted Calf, Cheese Plus & the vintners of Kelley & Young Wines for a stimulating and delicious afternoon celebrating the art of cheese, as never captured before.