The Napa Valley Wine Train partnered with Napa Valley Vine Trail and the local arts community
to create the Rail Arts District (RAD) Napa in late 2016.
RAD Napa, curated by Thinkspace Projects, is improving the “Cross Town Commuter Path” in the heart of downtown Napa by commissioning murals, sculptures, landscaping and a mosaic to commemorate the Napa Valley earthquake (and more recently the fires). In April 2018, three more murals were added to the Rail Arts District, by muralist Bumbleebeelovesyou, Mars-1 and Bryan Valenzuela, with another 3-4 murals by the end of 2018.
California artist Bryan Valenzuela mural ‘Daisy Chain’ reflects the devastating Napa fires that happened last October as well as the community help and the overwhelming support of one another through this hard times and is painted on an inside wall of the Napa Valley Train Station Lobby.
“Always when I’m creating something that is site specific I want to comment in some form on the place that the artwork will have its home. Here I have chosen to use the form of two hands clutching one another in a metaphoric symbol of a “helping hand.” The tragedies caused by the wildfires in October of 2017 have devastated much of the area, people’s homes, their land, their loved ones, their memories. Yet always when these tragedies occur there solidifies a sense of commonality, of community, a bond where people look to their neighbours and unite in their mutual sense of place and home, even suffering and struggle. People will go above and beyond to help one another in these moments. I want to make a visual statement that celebrates a shared sense of community through these hands lifting one another up out of a background of abstracted swirls and patterns that resemble the chaos of those moments, represented here in the chosen reflective gold as flame and silver as smoke. The foreground figure drawing consists of thousands of hand written words that create shape, shadow, and light. I wrote the text as a loose, poetic narrative that told the story of that time and the emotions surrounding it.” Bryan Valenzuela
Californian artist Bumbleebeelovesyou mural is entitled ‘Jack and Jill’, and can be found in the outdoor-industrial part of the Arts District. His mural shows the special moment and freedom captured by children.
Californian artist Mars-1 mural is entitled ‘Infinite Tapestry Napa’, and can be found in the outdoor-industrial part of the Arts District.
In addition to the murals there were the ‘Utility Box Wraps’ which consisted of Twelve utility box art wraps were commissioned and installed on April 2018. The utility boxes are located on the route at the intersections of 12 streets and the railroad tracks. Hoping to encourage Napa and regional artists to be involved in the project, a call to artists was released in November, 2017.
Photo Credit Birdman