Picnics, Outdoor Sculpture, and New Exhibits

It’s been a year of nimble pivots for every- one. Yet one thing is certain at Napa’s di Rosa Center for  Contemporary  Art  — “Art and Outdoors” is one of the non-profit museum’s foundational pillars and has been for nearly 25 years. Highlighting this is the monumental sculpture For Veronica by renowned American artist Mark di Suvero. Prominently placed on the hillside in front of Winery Lake, it welcomes visitors to experience Northern California art in a stunning setting.

Drop in, take a walk and stay awhile. Beyond the distinctive blue gate on Sonoma Highway, a map pinpoints 68 notable works of art set among 200-plus acres along the shore. First-time visitors are astonished to find that the beautiful Carneros region’s unrivaled expanses are just a 10-minute drive from downtown Napa. “Locals take gentle two-mile nature hikes in the spring. More ambitious hikers can climb Milliken Peak, the region’s highest summit.   And as a bonus,” said Andrea Saenz Williams, Director of Education & Civic Engagement, “the birding here is fantastic.”

Delightful as the “art park” is,  there’s still more. A permanent collection of 1,700 works focuses on contemporary artists with connections to Northern California, particularly from the 1960s through the 2010s. Due  to  the  passion of American vintner and world-class art collectors, Rene and Veronica di Rosa, central pieces by Robert Arneson, Bruce Conner, Jay DeFeo, Mildred Howard, Carlos Villa, Mike Henderson,   and William T. Wiley, among other notables, underscore di Rosa’s mission to tell the story of time and place.

Two exhibitions are open this spring when guidelines allow. The Incorrect Museum: Vignettes From the di Rosa Collection  is curated by the center’s new executive director, Kate Eilertsen. Exploring regional movements ranging from Funk and Nut art to Northern California conceptualism, she stated, “di Rosa’s remarkable collection is filled with untold stories and influential artists that have so much to teach us about this period in art history and its influence on artists today.” The second exhibition is Ceramic Interventions: Nicki Green, Sahar  Khoury & Maria Paz, inspired by the Bay Area’s longstanding tradition of radical experimentation in ceramic arts that have pushed this medium forward in recent years.

Plan a Visit


$20 for adults: Free for educators and ages 17 and under.


Fri., Sat. & Sun., 11 a.m.  –  4  p.m. Free access to the gift shop during open hours.


5200 Sonoma Hwy, Napa, CA 707-226-5991 // dirosaart.org


                                                                                 Story By:  Laurie Jo Miller Farr