Art, light and the Fourth of July: The Jessel Gallery celebrates summer in Napa | Arts & Theatre


Jessel Gallery celebrates the Fourth of July with a gallery of artists inside and out on Saturday, July 2. The “Welcome Summer Days Celebration” includes parking lot pop-ups with artists in tented art displays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Inside, visitors will find a stunning show of light and color with works by B.J. Thrailkill, Therese Legere and others. Olaf Schneider’s painting “Spreading Joy,” a vivid explosion of flowers, captures the spirit of the show.

“The summer show in our back room is like taking a breath of fresh air,” said gallery owner Jessel Miller.

Miller is especially pleased that two well-known artists have recently added their works to the gallery.

“It has taken me three years to get work from Erin Hanson and I am thrilled that she has joined the Jessel Gallery family,” Miller said. “Erin’s art is exciting and reminiscent of Van Gogh. It is innovative and captures brilliant colors and beautiful landscapes.

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“Betty Anglin Smith is someone that I studied and used as a great example for my classes. I was thrilled that she would consider showing in the Napa Valley even though she has her own gallery in South Carolina,” Miller continued. “Both of these new artists have galleries of their own so it is a great honor that I have their work in the Jessel Gallery.”

Miller’s clothing line, reflecting her new vivacious paintings, will be introduced as “wearable art” at this event. 

In addition, she has invited two women to offer glimpses into their creative process from 1 to 4 p.m. 

Marta Collings, known for her landscapes of Northern California, will be giving an art demonstration. Whether she is painting outdoors or in her studio, painting is “meditation,” says Collings. Her goal for her paintings is to convey “the feeling of the warm sunlight or the wind blowing through your hair,” to share with a viewer her love of the landscape she has painted in oils or acrylics.

Now that her children are raised, Collings said, she and her husband and Labrador retriever spend most of their summer and fall weekends participating in juried art festivals up and down the West Coast.

Jessel is also hosting a “sneak preview” of Sasha Paulsen’s newest novel, “Where Time Begins” (She Writes Press). Set in the Kingdom of Tonga, it’s about a young woman who decides to escape the confusion of her life in the U.S. only to have most of her problems follow her to these remote South Pacific islands.

The official launch is July 16, hosted by Yountville Arts, but Miller invited Paulsen to bring some advance copies from the publisher to the event.  

Paulsen’s first novel, “Dancing on the Spider’s Web,” set in Napa Valley and San Francisco in the 1970s, was a national semifinalist for the BookLife awards. 

The outside pop-up

In tents outside the gallery, visitors will have the opportunity to meet Napa Valley artists. 

“I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our country’s birthday than to share an artful day with friends and fellow artists,” said Janis Adams, president of Art Association Napa Valley. “It’s such a joy to welcome locals and valley visitors alike to another aspect of the wonderful Napa Valley.”

Adams will have her fused glass jewelry and gifts at the show. Adams makes kiln-formed glass and fiber art. Most of her glass pieces are utilitarian and meant to be used in everyday life. She also makes attractive decorative items. Her silk scarves are hand-dyed and individually embellished.

Also at the show will be:

— Watercolorist and art instructor Diane Pope, known for her wildlife paintings. Pope said one of her favorite techniques is to paint a loose background creating an almost out-of-focus look and then paint the subject – often a bird – with a lot of detail.

— Photographer John Comisky, who has become known for his wildlife photography since his involvement with Napa Wildlife Rescue. He was the winner of Smithsonian magazine’s 2020 photo contest.

— Marcia Garcia’s handmade baskets. Because she uses three or four fabrics in a single basket, no two baskets are ever alike. Detailed bead work can be seen in the bottom of each basket and as a finishing edge to each creation. She often uses objects from nature, such as feathers, twigs from her apple trees, or grapevines to decorate the baskets.

— Jewelry by Mara Adelman, who uses found objects.

— Therese Legere will have her oil paintings, prints and hand-woven products at the show. Legere documents the colors, textures and light of the vineyards and mountains in her oil paintings with a painting technique that is initially impressionist, followed by drawing out certain contours. Her process results in paintings having a captivating stained-glass appearance.

— Jeff Smith’s oils, watercolors and prints will be at the show. Smith is known for his landscapes and his automotive-themed paintings.

— Jewelry by Marilyn Smith.

—  Oil and pastel works by Frank Trozzo. Trozzo has been painting and drawing ever since receiving his first oil painting set at age nine. In 2018 he won the Artist of the Year Award from Art Association Napa Valley. In addition to his other work, Trozzo will have his current theme – 9-by-12-inch pastels of people who inspire the world – at the show.

— Fused glass jewelry by Zelda, who uses her background in pottery to make molds to melt the glass over her pieces.

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