Monthly Archives: November 2018

Viola Frey: Center Stage

Gallery 2

Viola Frey, Untitled (Nude Woman Lying on Man), 1985. 2019 © Artists’ Legacy Foundation / Licensed by ARS, New York.  Photo: M. Lee Fatherree

A fiercely independent artist up to her passing in 2004, Viola Frey is perhaps most widely known for her larger than life figurative ceramic sculptures. This exhibition offers a long overdue opportunity to trace the artist’s career through a chronological progression of work spanning five decades in a range of media, many of which have never been shown publicly. The artist’s wide-ranging interests across identity, class, culture, consumerism, environmental issues, and most notably, an undeniable undercurrent of a feminist statement that placed women at the fore, parallel many of the most pressing issues of our day. What is revealed is a fresh overview of an artist working far ahead of her time.

The exhibition marks the artist’s first major institutional survey on the West Coast since 1981 and includes over 100 works of art in ceramic, painting, drawing, photography, and bronze, offering a unique opportunity to present this important body of work to a new generation. Monumental ceramic works including The Decline and Fall of Western Civilization(1992) and China Goddess Group(1979-81) will be shown alongside early works from the 1960s and ‘70s for the first time, presenting an unprecedented look at the artist’s thinking and process. This large-scale presentation will occupy di Rosa’s 8,500-square-foot Gallery 2 exhibition space marking the first time the gallery has been devoted to the work of a single artist. The exhibition draws from a mix of di Rosa’s extensive holdings with generous loans from Artists’ Legacy Foundation and private collections.

Viola Frey was born in Lodi, California in 1933, and died in Oakland in 2004. She received her BFA and an honorary doctorate from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland and attended graduate school at Tulane University in New Orleans. She was awarded two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, and received the Award of Honor in Sculpture from the Arts Commission of San Francisco, as well as many other grants and awards. Frey’s work is held in numerous public and private collections worldwide.

Viola Frey: Center Stage has been curated by Amy Owen in conjunction with Artists’ Legacy Foundation, Oakland, California.

Major Support is provided by Artists’ Legacy Foundation and Dana Simpson-Stokes and Ken Stokes. Additional support is provided by Blow Up Lab and di Rosa’s Patrons Circle.


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Read the brochure

Centennial Gala


The Centennial Gala marks the 100th year of our founder Rene di Rosa’s birth.

Saturday, February 2, 2019
6–10 pm


di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art
5200 Sonoma Highway, Napa, CA

6:00pm Cocktail Reception
7:00pm Seated Dinner and Program

RSVP deadline extended to January 18.

Information: 707.226.5991 x19 or

Announcing the inaugural di Rosa Award, honoring prominent San Francisco art collector and philanthropist Nion McEvoy, whose unwavering support for art, artists and art institutions large and small has significantly impacted the cultural landscape of the Bay Area and beyond. 

We are pleased to partner with Vista Collina Resort to provide a preferred rate for this event. Click here for details and to book your stay in Napa.


View Sponsorship Opportunities 


di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art announces Centennial Gala Fundraiser and Presentation of Inaugural di Rosa Award February 2, 2019

Holly Krassner Dawson

di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art announces Centennial Gala Fundraiser
and Presentation of Inaugural di Rosa Award February 2, 2019

NAPA, CA (November 1, 2018) – di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, Northern California’s destination for transformative encounters with contemporary art, announces its upcoming fundraising event. The Centennial Gala will be on Saturday, February 2, 2019 from 6-10 p.m. The event will mark the 100th year of founder Rene di Rosa’s birth and includes a seated dinner and presentation of the inaugural di Rosa Award to Bay Area art collector and philanthropist Nion McEvoy.
A forward-thinking collector and supporter of the arts, McEvoy demonstrates Rene di Rosa’s legacy of and commitment to supporting artists and bringing people together through their experimental work. Most recently, McEvoy provided major support for di Rosa’s landmark exhibition Be Not Still: Living in Uncertain Times on view through December 30, 2018. Presented in two parts, the exhibition brings new dynamism to the permanent collection, initiates exchanges about ideas that matter and demonstrates an institution-wide initiative to support the production of new work. McEvoy’s investment in artists and new ideas has significantly impacted the cultural landscape of the Bay Area and beyond. This is perhaps best exemplified by the launch of The McEvoy Foundation for the Arts, the eponymous San Francisco nonprofit presenting exhibitions and public programs that engage, expand and challenge themes present in the McEvoy Family Collection.
McEvoy has been invited to select an artist represented in his personal collection to be honored alongside him at the Centennial Gala. The event will kick off a year of programs and activities celebrating di Rosa’s bright future. Proceeds raised during the fund-a-need will support di Rosa’s robust exhibitions roster and a broad variety of public events focused on experimentation, artists and ideas that matter. Tickets are available online at and by phone (707) 226-5991 x19.
di Rosa is committed to the civic dimension of arts education and to convening public audiences of all ages to explore the issues of our time. Current community partnerships include the Boys & Girls Clubs of Napa Valley, Napa Valley College Performing Arts and the Napa County Library.
Event management and design is provided by Clea Massiani. Event sponsors include Bump Wine Cellars, Chronicle Books, Domaine Carneros, Fort Point Beer Company, Hotaling & Co., Obsidian Wine Co., William Duff Architects, Inc., Wilson Foreigner Wine, and 1440 KVON/99.3 The Vine. For sponsorship opportunities, contact
Centennial Gala
February 2, 2019, 6-10 PM
Location: di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, 5200 Sonoma Highway, Napa, CA 94559
Tickets: $425 per person / $5,000+ per table of 10
Includes cocktails, seated dinner, award program and fund-a-need paddle raise.
Tickets are available online at and by phone (707) 226-5991 x19. Donations can also be made online at

Nion McEvoy is chairman and CEO of Chronicle Books and founder of The McEvoy Foundation for the Arts. He is the immediate past chairman of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Board of Commissioners and serves on the boards of Aperture, SF FILM, McSweeney’s, SFMOMA and the UCSF Foundation, among others. McEvoy is a graduate of UC Santa Cruz and of UC Hastings College of Law. He is also a lapsed rock musician and retired meditation teacher.

di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art presents contemporary exhibitions and educational programs for all ages and maintains a collection of notable works by artists living or working in the San Francisco Bay Area from the mid-twentieth century to the present day. A wide range of styles, media and subject matter provides an overview of the creative energy and freedom to experiment that characterize this region of California. Protected in perpetuity under the Napa County Land Trust, di Rosa features multiple galleries, a sculpture park and a 35-acre lake, all located on 217 scenic acres in Napa Valley’s famed Carneros region. For more information, visit