ABOUT RENE AND VERONICA DI ROSA
di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, a non-profit public trust, is the vision of two devoted patrons of the arts, Rene and Veronica di Rosa. Through their generosity, the art collection, historic buildings, and surrounding open space were gifted to the public for the enjoyment of future generations.
Rene di Rosa (1919–2010) was born in Boston and graduated from Yale University where he was editor of the Yale Daily News. He served as a Navy lieutenant in World War II and in 1950 took a job as a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle. While living in the burgeoning San Francisco art community, Rene began to collect the works of emerging Bay Area artists. In 1960 he purchased land in the Carneros region of southern Napa County where he successfully planted vineyards. While taking viticulture classes at UC Davis, he developed what would be lifelong friendships with artists and professors including William T. Wiley, Robert Hudson and Robert Arneson. Rene became an avid collector and arts activist, serving on the Board of Trustees of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The San Francisco Art Institute and New York’s Whitney Museum National Committee.
Veronica di Rosa (1934–1991) was born in Canada and trained as an artist at the Emily Carr School of Art. After moving to California she became admired for her work as a watercolorist and sculptor. She continued making art while raising two children and becoming deeply engaged in philanthropic endeavors in the Napa Valley. Veronica was an active booster of Napa Valley’s wines, music, and fine arts, and the author of several illustrated cookbooks.
In 1982, Rene di Rosa sold 250 acres of his famed Winery Lake vineyards, using the profits to establish the Rene and Veronica di Rosa Foundation with the vision to build an “art park” for the greater public. As a manifestation of that vision, di Rosa opened to the public in 1997 and became a separate nonprofit 501(c)3 organization in 2000.
ABOUT ROBERT SAIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Throughout his career, Robert Sain has pushed the boundaries for redefining education as central to the life of museums. He is known for organizing large-scale experimental exhibitions driven by artists’ commissions, public engagement, and social responsibility, and guiding art institutions through critical transformation and growth.
As executive director of Alabama Contemporary Art Center in Mobile (2011-2015), Sain inaugurated a new era inviting global talent to engage people in ideas that matter. He made his mark organizing large-scale thematic exhibitions including History Refused to Die, the largest show of African American artists ever presented in Mobile. He also initiated the organization’s new name, branding and identity.
In Silicon Valley, as executive director of Montalvo Arts Center (2006-2008), Sain led a repositioning of the institution as a regionally based contemporary arts center with global implications.
From 1999-2006, Sain served as founding director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s LACMALab, where he pioneered innovative large-scale exhibitions that were participatory and intergenerational. He challenged artists to produce new work for all ages and broke new ground in activating the permanent collection through artists’ interventions, re-installations, and studio activity. By bringing artists, art students, architects, and designers into the life of the institution, new models for exhibition design and museum practice were investigated.
As director of the Children’s Museum/Museo de los Niños in San Diego (1992-1999), Sain launched the first major organization dedicated to contemporary art for kids and their families with a special emphasis on bi-national projects with Mexico. Sain opened The Museum School, the first charter school in California to use contemporary art as the basis for curriculum.
Sain served as the first development director for the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and later launching the first development office for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Originally from Atlanta, he studied European History at Emory University.
DI ROSA STAFF
Robert Sain, Executive Director
Kristin Baird, Gallery 1 Coordinator
Laura Ward Collins, Director of Development
Gregory Gazaway, Visitor Services Representative
Heather Griggs, Development Assistant
Janet Huston, Visitor Services Manager
Katie Kime, Director’s Office & Special Projects Manager
Stephanie King, Marketing & Communications Manager
Gonzalo Magdaleno, Building & Maintenance Supervisor
Carlos Mendez, Site Assistant
Amy Owen, Curator
Jose Perez, Grounds Manager
Michelle Lounibos Russell, CFO & Admin. Director
Colleen Schulman, Senior Development Officer
Kara Smith, Assistant Curator, Collections & Exhibitions
Andrea Saenz Williams, Director of Education & Civic Engagement
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Brenda Mixson, President
Girish Satya, Vice President
Richard Triolo, Treasurer
William S. Duff, Jr., Past President
Larry S. Goldfarb
Volunteer Council Chair