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November 2016 Art

Napa Reveals its History

This month, the Napa County Library, as part of its 100th birthday celebration and in conjunction with the Napa Historical Society, is hosting a month-long photographic exhibition. The exhibit will showcase the rich history of Napa through photographs of important landmarks, themes and communities.

The Napa County Historical Society’s mission is “to discover and keep history alive through exhibits, lectures and events, as well as research, publications and educational activities. We’re a membership-based archival and educational organization dedicated to the discovery, preservation and presentation of the people and history of Napa County and its place in California history.”

Art Finds a Home

Troubled souls have been known to produce stunning art. Such is the case with Mike McAfee, a 54-year-old homeless man who entered his composition book A Chronicle of My Homelessness into the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art’s book show. Each page was filled with abstract paintings, collages and cartoons created by McAfee. After the show, he donated the book to the museum for its fundraising auction. The book sold for $1,575—more than any of the other 150 pieces of art in the show.

Although McAfee suffers from epilepsy, chronic depression and schizophrenia, he’s still received a great deal of formal art training. He previously studied art at Texas Tech University, and won scholarships to the San Antonio Art Institute and Northern Arizona University. Homeless since December, he lives in a Homeward Bound shelter in Marin.

McAfee says his struggles let him relate to other people with disabilities. For 25 years He’s worked as an art therapist for the developmentally disabled, and children who are emotionally disturbed. More recently, he’s worked as a substitute para-educator for the Marin County Office of Education, teaching art in a program for the disabled in Novato.

Throughout all of his difficulties, McAfee has done his best to contribute to the world the best way he knows how: with his love for art.

Mary’s Garden Goes Global

When the Landscape Architects Network created a list of the top 10 children’s learning and recreation projects around the globe, Mary’s Garden at the Children’s Museum of Sonoma County received the top honor. Deemed a perfect fit for children because of its “perfect mix of activities, play, opportunities for socialization and educational processes,” the garden beat out other projects from countries like the Netherlands, Mexico, Western Australia, Poland, Germany and England among others.

According to the architecture website, projects for children should let children be free and without restrictions, and the place should be considered from a child’s perspective. At Mary’s Garden children “are the protagonists, not passive like in common playgrounds or recreational areas. In this powerful space, they’re actively able to experiment, choose and try new experiences.

“The child-friendly design offers shallow streams and pools, funny constructions, animal-shaped toys, and blooming fields where the dreams of every child to race inside comes true.”

It’s precisely considerate places such as this that make the North Bay such a perfect place to live.



In this Issue

A Passion for Perfection

David Stare, founder of Dry Creek Vineyard, is sitting across from me at his vineyard garden. His demeanor is considerate and responsible, stable and kind. But, if it were not for his passion, this ...

Wine and Weather

There’s no argument that the wine in your glass showcases the skill of the winemaker. Yet it was Mother Nature who engineered the growing season that made it all possible. Rain at the right ti...

Napa vs. Sonoma

Napa and Sonoma counties are remarkably similar on paper. They appear as next-door neighbors sharing a mountain range on the map, and rivers, valleys and fertile agricultural areas define the topogr...

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