The Art Alliance of Idyllwild will join Chris and Melody Johnston’s Middle Ridge Winery in an art and wine event at the winery’s “under construction” tasting room on North Circle Drive.
Billed as “Art Uncorked — Judged Art Show and Gallery Tour,” the Saturday and Sunday, July 18 and 19, event continues AAI’s commitment to recharging and reimagining the local art scene.
Although Middle Ridge Winery is headquartered in Idyllwild, its grape sourcing, wine fermentation and aging are conducted off-Hill. Until now, its only wine tasting location was in Temecula. With construction of an Idyllwild tasting room and art gallery at 54301 N. Circle Drive, Middle Ridge intends to celebrate its Idyllwild roots and create a new Idyllwild cultural destination. For the Johnstons, the tasting room and gallery offer them personal opportunities to interact with locals and tourists and have conversations about the art of winemaking — a place to taste, talk and enjoy.
“Art Uncorked” is the in-progress launch of what may become a regular pairing between AAI and Middle Ridge, creating one more reason to draw tourists to Idyllwild as one of the top 100 art towns in the U.S. The event begins on Saturday with an art show in the new Middle Ridge location from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. An artist reception from 6 to 7:30 pm., open to the public, will premiere Middle Ridge’s newest wine, “Lily Rock Cellars,” the newest vintage of its very popular Pinot Grigio, and tastings from local restaurants.
AAI describes the weekend as an interactive art experience featuring Idyllwild’s first “pop-up” art gallery; a judged art show celebrating exhibiting artists, with Robert Silva as guest judge; AAI’s popular “Under $100 Art Gallery;” an “Under Construction” exhibit, mirroring Middle Ridge’s ongoing tasting room construction that will display artwork in progress; live demonstrations by member artists; artists creating art both at Middle Ridge and at nine other participating town galleries; and a fundraising drive to raise money for AAI student memberships.
As of this writing, 29 artists are participating in the event but that number will grow, said AAI organizers. Online registration for the event closes at 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 15. Participating artists must be AAI members. For more details about artist participation, or to join AAI, visit www.artinidyllwild.org.