Creative juices of art, winemaking overflow

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Middle Ridge Winery Tasting Gallery is celebrating harvest and winemaking with its newest rotating gallery exhibit called “The

Idyllwild Collection: Art Uncorked,” where artists uncork their talent with works as intriguing as harvest in the vineyard. The show kicks off with an “Afternoon with the Artists” from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24. The exhibit runs through Nov. 6.

The inspiring art pieces demonstrate why Idyllwild is recognized as one of the top art communities in America. This eclectic collection includes 3-D art and sculpture; fiber art; oil and acrylic paintings; photography; and jewelry, featuring the talents of: Patrick Barry, one-of-a-kind, African trade bead jewelry; Jeni Bate, “refractured“ watercolor skyscapes; Irena Carlson, abstract acrylics that bridge the worlds of art and spirituality; Debbie Crowell, infrared photography that embraces the space between the real and unreal; Don Dietz, beautiful, functional fused glassware; Darcy Gerdes, impressionistic acrylic paintings rooted with realism; Mark Hobley, thought-provoking pop culture mixed media; Charlotte Horton, fanciful copper-wire tree sculptures; Andrea Johnston, acrylic landscapes capturing fleeting moments in time; Roger Johnston, mesmerizing algorithmic fractals that inspire reflection; Carol Landry, oil paintings with a delicate balance between contemporary and traditional themes; Martha Lumia, light and airy nuno felted scarves, wall hangings and vessels; Del Marcussen, contemporary jewelry with traditional roots and a playful “hippie” filter; Shanna Robb, intricate glass mosaics and ethereal silk paintings; Jacque Swerdfeger, textural, dimensional palette knife oil paintings in vibrant hues; Cher Townsend, imaginative, playful figurative clay sculptures; Barbara Weightman, vibrant oil paintings of nature inspired by classical botanical illustrations; and Mark Willden, beautiful and functional reclaimed barrel art, and one-of-a-kind redshank burl-wood sculptures.

“We are so fortunate to be part of such an incredible community of talented artists,” said Melody Johnston, who along with her husband and winemaker Chris, opened Middle Ridge Winery Tasting Gallery to create a space where their love of wine and art could come together.

While enjoying a glass of Middle Ridge wine created by Chris, guests will be immersed into 4,000-square-feet of art that is described as a “magical intersection of colors, shapes, light and movement.” Exclusively featuring Art Alliance of Idyllwild artists, the winery’s fourth rotating show features 18 artists and more than 80 pieces of artwork. “Afternoon with the Artists” provides an opportunity for art enthusiasts to mingle with the artists and strike up conversations about wine, their art and their inspirations.

The Tasting Gallery also will be featuring the musical talents of Joe Baldino, whose smooth, Latin-inspired jazz creates the perfect ambience to sip, talk and walk through the Tasting Gallery.

The gallery is open from 5 to 10 p.m. Thursdays, from noon to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and from noon to 8 p.m. Sundays.

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