Middle Ridge Winery Tasting Gallery, is once again introducing a new art exhibit in its 4,000-square-foot gallery. Appropriately called “The Idyllwild Collection: Best of Times,” the exhibit aims to warm the heart and raise the spirit. With more than 200 works of art from 33 Southern California talented artists, the exhibit invites viewers to explore memorable moments through the artists’ eyes as they express their thoughts and feelings on the best of times through paint, clay, glass, metal, photography and a variety of other mediums.

“The theme of this exhibit seems especially fitting at this time,” 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 love of art could come together.

“The Cranston Fire that changed so much of the landscape surrounding Idyllwild back in July stirred many emotions in all of us living in this beautiful mountain community. But our town, our forest and all its wildlife are still here and still beautiful. This new exhibit is a celebration of the gratitude we all have for people and places and time spent together,” she said.

With exhibits that rotate every three months, new artists and works are featured regularly in the Tasting Gallery. Five artists are brand new to the Tasting Gallery with this exhibit: acrylic painter/assemblage artist George Companiott, glass artist Seija Gerdt, 6-year-old watercolorist Opal Larkin, watercolorist Millie Shaw and wood sculptor Richard Southard.

Middle Ridge’s popular Afternoon with the Artists is open to the public from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3. Visitors will have the opportunity to sip, talk and walk through the Tasting Gallery while getting to know the artists.

In keeping with our “Best of Times” theme, vocalist Patrice Morris will take us on a musical journey of our favorite tunes from the ’70s and ’80s from 2 to 6 p.m. Morris has performed studio backgrounds for Michael Jackson and Christina Aguilera, and is currently touring with the world-renowned group The 5th Dimension, so it’s no surprise that she wows everyone when she is in the house. Middle Ridge Winery invites visitors to “spend the afternoon and with us … and the day in Idyllwild.”