Friday, July 31, 2009

What a Busy Month

I can hardly believe that today is the last day of July. Where did the time go? We certainly have enjoyed a busy month. Between gallery events, visiting family members, AVIA's opening and gallery guests, we have hardly stopped. What fun! A few days away would be nice, but I do have a hard time tearing myself away from the gallery. Who can blame me? I love my job.

Ok, I know you're jealous that I get to spend every day here. If it will make you feel better, I had to wade through sales tax today all by myself. :( Yuck! Our delightful book keeper broke her foot recently and my trusty business consultant, Tina, was nowhere to be found. Mind you, it took me a lot longer to complete the forms than it would either of them, but it had to be postmarked today. So I hunkered down, held back the tears and dug in. I'm actually quite proud of myself for figuring it out. But don't worry ladies, I do NOT want your job. The sales tax paperwork is all yours next quarter.

After finishing the aforementioned, I was treated to a visit from QCFA artist, Thomas Arvid, his right hand, Rob Preiditsch and a few of his friends. After enjoying the gallery and a little business, I walked them down to the AVIA Hotel, where, courtesy of the hotel's General Manager, Kristine Youngberg, we shared a lovely bottle of Schramsburg's bubbles. Ahh, cold sparkling wine on a warm summer's day, atop Napa's newest hotel with some wonderful people. What a treat! I'm sorry you missed it. Seriously, you should come next time. It's what we do here. :)

Earlier this month we hosted the VIP reception for the Festival del Sole in the gallery and even managed to find time to attend a couple of their wonderful events. The Festival features concerts by some of the world’s most celebrated musical artists, five-star cuisine, art exhibits, and wines from Napa’s top vintners, blended in a unique celebration of the art of life. We thoroughly enjoyed Sarah Chang's performance at the Lincoln Theater. I even stood in line after wards to have her sign a cd for us for the gallery. Later, we enjoyed a very nice winemaker's dinner at Far Niente, where I was fortunate enought to be seated next to Mr. Jan Schrem, the owner of Clos Pegase Winery. What a delightful man. I hope to have the pleasure of getting to know him better and plan to visit his winery very soon.

So yes, Quent and I are a little tired, but Napa's season has just begun and we look forward to sharing it with you. Our beautiful gallery, the art within it, the wine, new friends and so much more. Just let us know when you will be here!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sarah's Summer Visit

We just enjoyed a month-long visit with our daughter Sarah, who is 22. She took a break from hot and rainy central Florida to hang out with us in beautiful, dry and sunny Napa. The first two weeks she had her boyfriend Eddie with her. It was Eddie's first trip to Napa, so we made sure that he enjoyed a proper tourist experience. The last two weeks, Sarah and I squeezed in as much mother/daughter time as we could manage considering my busy gallery schedule.

One of Sarah's favorite works in the gallery is "How Far We've Come" by Bryan Larsen. She enjoys the uplifting nature of the painting and considers the painting a window to the future. I love watching her enjoy it when she spends time in the gallery. She is also a big fan of "Deliberation." She was flattered when several gallery guests asked her if she modeled for the painting. We should have taken a picture of her with the painting to share with Bryan. We'll have to do that next time.

One of Sarah's favorite summer activities in Napa is our weekly Chef's Market. If Sarah were still here, she would be across the street from the gallery tonight purchasing her favorite Armenian Cucumbers. I would love to send her some, but who knows what they would look like, much less what they would taste like by the time they arrived in Florida.
Here is a picture of this week's crop, just for you Sarah. By the way, Mark (the produce guy), says hi and wants to know when you'll be back for more.

If you have never tasted one of these striped Armenian delights, and you can find one, Sarah and I highly recommend them. They are crunchy, light and very flavorful. Something tells me that Sarah may be back for more before the season is over.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Birthday To Us Too!

Today is a special day indeed! As our country pauses to celebrate the adoption of our Declaration of Independence, Quent and I enjoy additional reasons to raise our glasses. One year ago today, after many months of hard work and a few sleepless nights, we opened the doors to our Napa location and enjoyed our own 4th of July parade into 1301 First Street. Downtown Napa had never seen anything so beautiful. Later that evening we joined our new neighbors for some fireworks and toasted our success with a glass of Ceja Vineyards finest. Standing there watching the sky fill with color, I had time to reflect on how much this day has always meant to me and the wonderful new meaning that we had added that day.

It has been 14 years since Quent began his quest to bring Romantic Realism back to the forefront of the art community where it belongs. From a small studio on the San Francisco peninsula that he rented to complete "Lunch Break", came an opportunity to market not only his art, but art that was being created by some of his friends. Several years later, along came a woman who fell in love with the Man and his gallery. Three guesses who that was. ;) I decided that the world needed to know about this incredible place and the art within it. Two years later we would double the size of the gallery, expanding into the newly vacated space next door. Three more years and it was time to spread our wings again as we began plans to expand the gallery once more.

After months of searching the country and our hearts for the perfect location, we found opportunity just up the road in Napa. This quiet little town in the heart of California's wine country was on the verge of something wonderful; positive growth. Two new luxury hotels were under construction as well as two major high-end retail projects. Our gallery would be the perfect fit with the romance of the Napa Valley and a wonderful destination for our clients from around the world.

So here we are in downtown Napa celebrating fourteen years of providing the world with the Finest Romantic Realism and our first full year in Napa. In the past seven years we have expanded our business twice, gotten married, relocated our business and moved to the wine country. Happy Fourth of July America and Happy Fourth of July to us!

I love you Quent! Thank you for the adventure of a lifetime!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Ahhh...VIA - AVIA Hotel Opens in Downtown Napa

The moment we (QCFA) have long awaited has finally arrived. The AVIA hotel opened their doors today and I made sure to stop in this morning with an official congratulations and welcome to the neighborhood. After which I watched with delight as a crew installed the "Now Open" sign on the hotel's exterior.

When Quent and I were looking to relocate the gallery, Lodgeworks L.P., which owns several major hotel chains, had just broken ground on their flagship hotel, right down the street from
the vacant commercial space that we were looking to rent. The rest as they say, is history.
Here we are and now here they are too!

We are pleased to announce that plans are underway to have art from the gallery displayed in the hotel. Stay tuned for more information. In the mean time, what are ou waiting for? Check out their web site, after you finish enjoying ours of course, and book yourself a wine country get away. We have made some wonderful friends at the AVIA Hotel and look forward to introducing you to them.