Art, off the beaten path
When you think of Paso Robles artwork, your mind probably goes straight to downtown, where paintings, sculpture, and prints shimmer behind glass at dozens of diverse galleries.
Artist Janet Lynn of Pipestone Vineyard is here to smash that perception once and for all. She wants folks to know that great art can be found across the entire Paso Robles region, from dusty backroads to the tops of bucolic mountain vistas.
Along with Westside Wine Trail founder Susan Poalillo of Poalillo Vineyards, Lynn is singing this truth from the highest hillsides.
“There are plenty of smaller tasting rooms that are far out here, and there’s not much traffic,” Lynn said. “Pipestone has been here for 20 years, but there are so many wineries now that it can be hard to spread the word. We’re off the beaten path, so we needed to come up with something to bring in more excitement. Bringing in local art just made perfect sense.”
The Westside Wine Trail will host a summer art and wine event this May 1 through the end of July, encouraging visitors to take a wine tasting detour and enjoy art hanging at five westside tasting rooms, Pipestone, Poalillo, Changala, Brecon and Calcareous, all of which are located on Vineyard Drive, Peachy Canyon, Niderer and Willow Creek Roads.
Most winery participants push out 2,000 cases or less per year and offer a boutique-style tasting room experience (it’s not uncommon to rub elbows with the winemaker in the flesh).
“So many wine tasters love to discovery the tasting rooms that are smaller and hard to find,” Lynn said. “There’s nothing better than sitting down with a fine glass of wine and a beautiful piece of art. They go hand in hand.”
Local art has been sourced from all over the area for the upcoming event and will include artists from the Paso Robles Art Association. Works will be available for sale alongside the wine, so you can take home your own art-and-wine pairing experience.
“Art is passionate, so is wine. They are both very emotional crafts,” Lynn said of the melding of worlds.
Lynn, originally a commercial illustrator from Orange County, loves the fact that so many local people across the Central Coast proudly pick up pens, paintbrushes, and pastels as a career and hobby. It seems there is no shortage of artistic spirits living in North County.
“Coming to a small town changed my perspective and I was interested in the downtown scene, where so many people are doing paintings of landscapes,” Lynn said. “The landscapes here are breathtakingly beautiful, but there are so many other forms of artwork out there, if only you know where to look.”
Artists will be in attendance during the tour, so folks can meet the masterminds behind the masterpieces. This, Lynn hopes, will bring up organic discussion between the viewer and artist—not something you often experience at established art galleries.
And, if the feeling is just right, collecting — and tasting — can become a powerful pairing.
“When you see a piece of art you have that immediate reaction that you just got to have it, wine is the same way,” Lynn said. “In the same way flavors form in your mouth and you know you’re in love, the right piece of art has a way of choosing you.”
For more infromation on the Westside Wine Trail Summer Art and Wine Event, visit the wine trail on Facebook.