All day today I have been wondering what this week's Wine Country Blog could be about and coming up dry. We have pretty much covered the kudos we got around Valentine's Day from various sources about Farmhouse being the most romantic inn - hotel - bed and breakfast (you name it). We spilled the beans about one of our star employees (Rob Loughran) last week and want to spread out our Farmhouse "exposés" a little.
The happenings in the area are pretty much covered in the Farmhouse Inn Event Calendar... ahhh... inspiration! I had a couple of "zany" items I wasn't sure if I should even include in the calendar but Why Not? It might not be something our guests have on their radar but it is all in fun.
There is always something wacky going on in Sonoma County...We have our Clash of the Sommeliers coming up this Monday (maybe not all that wacky but bound to be fun) but how about the 21st Annual Tattoos and Blues Festival in Santa Rosa or the Mr. Healdsburg Pageant in Healdsburg - both happening this weekend. This area just seems to attract creative souls - the Russian River and western Sonoma county has become home to the most interesting mix of people. And Artists of all sorts are all over the county...if you ever get a chance to visit during one of the ArtTrails events you will see what I mean.
Just down the road from us in Sebastopol is one of the wackiest and most intriguing collections of art. As you enter the town you might be wondering where this fantasy came from...
Patrick Amiot (AKA the "Junk Sculptor of Sebastopol") and his wife, Brigette Laurent have sprinkled the town and Sonoma surroundings with his very strange and colorful sculptures made from found items...odds and ends re-created into his vision, painted by Brigitte and heavily represented on Florence Street in Sebastopol.
Here's a quick look see at some of this collection of urban folk art:
If you make it into our neck of the woods don't miss a drive down Florence Street...it will make you smile! It might be the most trafficked street in the area (you must have to sign some kind of waiver or something before you buy a home on that street). You can see his fairly new sculpture garden at Renga Arts just down the road on Gravenstein Highway or make sure to visit if you are interested in buying or commissioning a piece your very own. Renga Arts features several artists from the area and focuses on art from salvaged and recycled materials.
Best part of this story is how Patrick, Brigitte and photographer David Fetherston have repurposed the art (again) in the form of a Folk Art for Schools calendar benefiting the local schools. Sales from the calendar have raised over $250,000 dollars for the local schools in just 6 years. By the way, the sculptures are all over Sonoma county (and beyond). If you need a map there is one on his website.
My favorite of his works is the Wine Goddess in Healdsburg in front of Davis Family Vineyards (love their Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir), or maybe the big dog in front of the Humane Society or maybe the big black and white cow over on Highway 12 headed towards Santa Rosa or maybe the Sharkmobile I have seen parked over in front of Renga Arts or maybe...
The one they must be working on right now!