The Art Alliance of Idyllwild continues its rich program of events with “The Idyllwild Collection: Best in Show,” an open-to-the-public artist reception.

The event, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13, inaugurates the Middle Ridge Winery Tasting Gallery at 54301 N. Circle Drive. Best in Show is the first major exhibit at the newly opened venue. It showcases AAI Artist of the Year winners and top volunteer AAI artist members.

Said Middle Ridge co-owner Melody Johnston, “The Idyllwild Collection is as unique as the town itself.” She and husband Chris opened their location as an additional gallery space and tasting room for their wines. “Our love of this beautiful mountain community and its amazing artists, and Chris’ passion for creating and sharing great wines, were our inspiration to open a space that joins all of these things together. It is a gathering place for people to connect with wine, art and friends in a relaxing environment that is both rustic and elegant.”

Featured Best in Show artists include: Fariad Ali (oil on canvas and charcoal drawings), Patrick Barry (artisan-crafted jewelry), Dore Capitani (3D metal sculpture), Kathy Harmon-Luber (photography), Elena Kern (oil paintings), Janet McAlpine (acrylics on canvas), Helen Molles (oil on canvas), Trish Tuley (photography on metal) and Rachel Welch (silk paintings and mixed media).

Shanna Robb, AAI president, said, “The Art Alliance of Idyllwild is thrilled to have the opportunity to demonstrate the undeniable talent of our artists in such a unique gallery experience. Middle Ridge has been a great supporter of our local artists over the years, including their beautiful Deer Sightings [wine] Artist Series labels. The new Tasting Gallery with its warm, welcoming environment is a wonderful addition to the community and will greatly enhance the enjoyment of art for locals and visitors alike.”

The event features music, light appetizers and a no-host bar featuring Middle Ridge wines. There is no cost for admission.

For more about the Art Alliance, visit