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Art, wine and Wisconsin

"Wine, Cheese, River,” a framed 10-by-12½, oil on canvas work, is one of over 40 one-of-a-kind pieces on display at tonight’s grand opening of the new “Art on the Vine” exhibit at Villa Bellezza in Pepin.

Stockholm’s Abode Gallery and Pepin’s Villa Bellezza Winery have blended art and wine for a special exhibition.

A grand opening reception for “Art on the Vine” begins at 6:30 p.m. tonight at Villa Bellezza.

Curated by Abode Gallery, this collection celebrates the joy of wine and food with over 20 of the area's top notch artists creating works for the collaboration. The pieces of art are all inspired by the landscapes of the Wisconsin’s west coast.

“Abode and Villa Belleza seemed like a natural connection,” said Alan Nugent, owner of Abode Gallery.

He went on to say, friendship and camaraderie with the owners of the Villa sparked the exhibit’s creation. “A cooperative adventure only seemed natural with them. They have a stunning facility and exceptional wines - which truly is an art form in its own right.”

The two local businesses wanted to bring their own expertise together - out came “Art on the Vine.”

“It truly is a celebration of what we both do,” Nugent added. “Art, wine, the beauty of this area along with the joys of living well make this a truly special thing.”

The concept of the show has been well received. As one of the artists, Maria Dudley Kowalski said, “Like winemaking, the process of making of art is a beautiful exploration. The final creation not only appeals to its creator but it inspires creativity in others.”

More than 40 pieces of one-of-a-kind oil, watercolor, pastel, wood, ceramic and multimedia works will be on display and available for purchase.

The opening event includes wine and food from the award-winning Villa Bellezza Winery; a meet and greet with the artists; live music from regional musicians Do Daa Day; a live painting with artist Reid Thorpe and voting for the “People’s Choice" award.

The exhibition continues all month with wine and art offered daily.

If you go …

What: Opening reception for “Art on the Vine”

When: 6:30-9 p.m. today, exhibit open through March 31

Where: Villa Bellezza Winery, 1420 Third St., Pepin

Stacy Bengs-Silverberg

Stacy Bengs has been a photojournalist at the Red Wing Republican Eagle since 2010. She holds a bachelors degree in journalism and art from the University of Minnesota.

(651) 301-7880