Top visitor attractions in the 37-mile Napa Valley include wine, food and the arts, but until recently, guests didn't have a comprehensive list of art, music and cultural attractions in this region, including formerly hidden artwork in private collections.

Responding to demand, Arts Council Napa Valley and Visit Napa Valley unveiled The Napa Valley Collection (napavalleycollection.com) in a soft launch this June. This is a first-time cataloging of notable artwork at arts institutions, wineries and galleries in Napa Valley.

“Guests tell us that exploring the arts is on their short lists of things to do while visiting the region,” said Clay Gregory, president and chief executive officer of Visit Napa Valley (visitnapavalley.com). “It’s no surprise as the arts and music scene pair brilliantly with the valley’s famed wine.”

Arts Council developers have started to inventory more than 40 arts and cultural institutions, beginning with the most prominent sites at 80 wineries (over 30 open to the public) housing more than 10,000 works by artists such as Francis Bacon, a painter known for his bold and graphic imagery; Jean Dubuffet, who used paint thickened by sand, tar and straw; and George Rickey, a stainless steel sculptor.

Today the public has direct access to well over 1,500 of these works of art.

The site will also include more than 90 public arts installations, including rotating and permanent outdoor exhibitions, and eight performance venues where international, classical and popular music can be heard.

This new resource for planning cultural visits to Napa Valley was made possible by a three-year, $105,000 grant from the Napa County Board of Supervisors Special Projects Fund, using revenues from the transient occupancy tax on hotel rooms.

The grant was made to Arts Council Napa Valley and the Napa Valley Museum to produce the website, a promotional video, a Napa Valley Collects exhibit as well as a Napa Valley Collects gala.

[caption id="attachment_77664" align="alignleft" width="200"] Olivia Everett, president and CEO of Arts Council Napa Valley, the organization cataloging works of art throughout this region.[/caption]

“Our region has a rich cultural landscape,” said Olivia Everett, president and chief executive officer of Arts Council Napa Valley. “The Napa Valley Collection provides a comprehensive way to engage in our arts scene and celebrate its character. Having a place where people can go to find what they are looking for is a tremendous asset.”

The collection website offers visitors information for planning self-guided and curated itineraries and tours. Commercial art tour companies are also available for hire.

Curated tours include the 10 Spot Tour -- art spots that can be experienced for $10 or less -- and the Boho Tour for bohemians. 

[caption id="attachment_77665" align="alignright" width="360"] Artwork in Napa Valley Museum[/caption]

Coming soon are the Best Instagram Snapshot Tour by American photographer Charles O’Rear, best-known for his wine country photos, and the La Dolce Vita Tour, focusing on Italian architecture and artists in Napa Valley.

Future tours may feature historic wineries, Napa County landmarks as well as heritage residences and buildings.

Currently under development is a special section of website that will list arts-oriented hotel packages, deals and promotions.

A basic regional arts locator map is included on the site today, and Visit Napa Valley plans to produce a comprehensive hard copy cultural map of regional arts attractions this fall.

“Some 15 to 20 year round art and culture events, such as fairs and festivals, have already been added to our site along with a visual introduction to our five arts partners: the di Rosa Museum, the Gordon Huether Gallery, the Hess Collection, the Napa Valley Museum and the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum,” Ms. Everett said.

The goal of Arts Council Napa Valley is to build a distinctive art identity for the region, while also introducing guests to the influential artists, thinkers and patrons whose contributions form Napa Valley’s artistic culture.

[caption id="attachment_77666" align="alignleft" width="360"] Artist Gordon Huether's "Yucca"[/caption]

According to Ms. Everett, the arts are the third leg on the stool that forms the Napa County brand and stimulates economic growth.

“The arts have been an under-represented, yet highly valued, component of the Napa Valley marketing mix," she said. "How we showcase these treasures is going through an evolutionary process leading to better ways to provide visitors with greater awareness of our vast art collections and a mechanism for providing cultural tours. Cataloguing will never be complete, since new artwork is constantly being added to existing or new collections.”

Founded in 1963, Arts Council Napa Valley is a nonprofit organization offering diverse cultural programs and community services in keeping with its three core initiatives: cultural marketing, art in public spaces and arts in education.