ONE OF BAY AREA'S BEST GALLERIES!.
I had no idea what a treat I was in for as I was forced to stop in my strolling down St. Helena's Main Street, as my eye caught (or the painting caught my eye) sight of three contrasting yet instantly provocative pieces in the downstairs lobby of this sleek yet, unassuming fine art gallery.
As I entered into the lobby, I was compelled to further peruse the art hung on both sides of the stair well. At which point, I noticed the hip music playing above filtering down below. At the top of the stairs I was treated to a large loft space with tall walls (must have been at least 13ft) and a slick contemporary layout. Edgy yet refined, tastefully done while allowing the art to be the focus, and not trying too hard. Too many galleries worry and put more money into the decor, and not enough energy into the art. Not so here. The art is on full display and yet in case there is any thought of pretentiousness, the music, the occasionally propped up piece in a corner and the active shipping? table immediately allow the visitor the opportunity to relax and feel at home. This visual interpretation is further enhanced by the casual and genuine greeting and dialogue of the staff. Truly conversational, without assuming, or directing my experience to be had.
Now for the art.... absolutely unique... and refreshingly so. Without a doubt, it is the best gallery in the wine country for mixing styles of art from international artists to local artists.
I consider myself to be an experienced art gallery visitor and mid to upper level collector and never had I experienced such a strong collection of differing pieces.
Apparently the gallery's success is known, however for me the discovery of this very unwinecountry like St. Helena gallery in the wine country was and is reason alone to visit St. Helena.
PROS: collection is unparalled, with fantastic piece after fantastic piece. Ambience. Location (heart of St. Helena)
Cons: Stairs (for disabled), not closer to home.
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