Posts From May 2007

May 23, 2007

Hank Matheson, 22-Year-Old San Francisco Bike Builder


Hank Matheson, 22-Year-Old San Francisco Bike Builder
Makes Donation to his Alma Mater—The Oxbow School

San Francisco Bike Builder Hank Matheson Surrounded by His Artful Creations
Photos by Andrew McClintock

View a printable version Press Release with Absentee Bid Form

          May 23, 2007, Napa, Ca.—Hank Matheson, 22-year-old San Francisco bike builder and Oxbow School alumnus designed and built a race-ready Olympic-quality bicycle for his alma mater’s forthcoming benefit and art auction.  The bike will be auctioned  Saturday, June 2 at the annual Celebration of An Artful Life on the school’s Napa Valley riverfront campus.

            Unspoiled by brake lines or cables, the bike is, in Hank’s estimation, “the most artistic, hippest thing going on,” with:  Phil Wood hubs; Velocity rims; Sugino cranks; Sylvan pedals; Chris Kind head set and a Thompson seat post.

            Hank’s passion for bikes first took hold in the fifth grade.  Later, he completed the program offered by The United Bicycle Institute in Ashland, Oregon.  These days he’s either designing and fabricating bicycles or participating in rigorous downhill racing competition on the national circuit.

            What did a single semester visual arts school contribute to his present métier?  “Oxbow taught me to edit,” says Hank.  “I learned to leave nothing to distract the eye.”

On June 2, Hank’s bike will be auctioned alongside original artwork by:  Christopher Brown, Linda Connor, Nina Katchadourian and Jock McDonald, among others. 

            Hank believes the buyer is as likely to hang it on the wall as art as he is to ride it.

          Absentee bids will be accepted by Phoebe Brookbank, 707-255-6000 or

Editor’s Note: Images may be downloaded from:  For additional information contact Pam Hunter- 707-258-1699 x 15 or

[Posted: 5/23/2007]

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May 21, 2007

Price is right for Quixote Winery

Revel Rouser:Lew Price
© Peter Menzel

May 21, 2007, Stags’ Leap District, Napa Valley, Ca.—In February when Quixote Winery opened for visits by appointment, Lew Price signed on as general manager and “revel rouser”.  The winery is housed in a whimsical building designed by the iconoclastic Viennese artist-environmentalist Friedensreich Hundertwasser and became an instant magnet for art and architecture enthusiasts.

Price’s winery tour proves nearly as colorful as the tiled structure itself.  He leads off with an insider’s look at the story behind the only building designed by Hundertwasser in the United States then aims the spotlight on the winery’s first love, the cultish Petite Syrah.  This is the varietal that earned accolades for the Stags’ Leap Ranch vineyard as early as 1972 when vintner Carl Doumani released one of his first renditions at Stags’ Leap Winery.

Today, Quixote Winery guests gather around a dining room table for a leisurely tasting of Petite Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, a few well-chosen cheeses and crusty bread.

During the past three months Price has hosted luminaries like racecar driving star Danica Patrick, Warner Brothers president Garth Ancier, and rap artist mogul Brian Turner along with Hundertwasser followers and wine collectors.

Price resides in St. Helena with his wife Lora, human resources director for Duckhorn Winery, and stepdaughter Ciandra.  He has worked on the hospitality staffs of Whitehall Lane Winery and Joseph Phelps Winery.

After five years as an editor in the New York Times Regional Newspaper Group with stops in North and South Carolina, Price spent six years covering the Los Angeles Dodgers for the Riverside Press Enterprise in Southern California.

He left the Press-Enterprise in 1996 to serve as publications director for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association in Colorado Springs, returning to the P-E as its golf writer in ’98.  Price, 46, was twice honored by the Southern California PGA as golf writer of the year and had the privilege of chronicling the maturation on Tiger Woods from his first appearance in a PGA Tour event at age 16 to his historic run through golf’s majors in 2000.

Editor’s Note: Images may be downloaded from:  For additional information contact Pam Hunter- 707-258-1699 x 15 or

[Posted: 5/21/2007]

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May 17, 2007

Deborah Nadoolman Landis Named Jury Member at 60th Festival de Cannes

Costume designer Anthony Powell with Deborah Nadoolman Landis as her professorship
is confirmed at the University of the Arts in London.

Oscar™-nominated costume designer of Raiders Of The Lost Ark and Coming To America joins international roster of filmmakers

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Renowned costume designer Deborah Nadoolman Landis, who designed the costumes for such classic motion pictures as Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Blues Brothers, and National Lampoon’s Animal House, has been named a juror for the 60th Festival de Cannes, which takes place from May 16th through May 27th in Cannes, France. Landis, who is currently serving her second term as president of the Costume Designer’s Guild (CDG), will be judging entries in the Cinefondation and Short Films competitions.

“I am just amazed and astounded by the honor,” said Landis. “At the Cannes Film Festival, everyone comes from all over the world speaking the global language of film. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to help celebrate the achievements of the world’s best filmmakers.”

The last costume designer to serve on any Cannes jury was Eiko Ishioka (Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Mishima) in 1996. Landis will be serving on the five person jury, with the other members hailing from China (Zhang ke Jia), Iran (Niki Karimi), and France (J.M.G. Le Clezio and Dominik Moll). Landis will be one of only two Americans serving on this year’s Festival jury. The other is Kent Jones, a writer on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” serving on the “Un Certain Regard” jury.

Deborah Nadoolman Landis’ distinguished career in motion picture costume design reaches back over three decades, starting with Kentucky Fried Movie (1977). Working in collaboration with director and husband John Landis, she served as costume designer on such comedy classics as National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978), The Blues Brothers (1980), Trading Places (1983), Coming To America (1988), which brought her an Academy Award nomination, and the groundbreaking music video Michael Jackson’s Thriller (1983), winner of MTV’s first music video award. Her costume design expertise has also been sought after by such legendary directors as Costa Gavras (Mad City, 1997), Louis Malle (Crackers, 1984) and Steven Spielberg for 1941 (1979) and Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).

In addition to her duties as President of the CDG, Dr. Landis holds a PhD in History of Design from the Royal College of Art in London and teaches at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, the American Film Institute and the University of Arts London. In November, Harper Collins will publish her book “Dressed: A Century of Hollywood Costume Design,” showcasing 100 years of Hollywood’s most tantalizing characters from the dawn of film to the present, told through first person anecdotes and film stills.

# # #

Ed Peters
Sue Procko Public Relations

Editor’s Note: For additional information contact Pam Hunter- 707-258-1699 x 15 or
[Posted: 5/17/2007]

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May 16, 2007

Saturday, June 2 event honors Chris Brown

Bay Area Artist Christopher Brown (right) will be honored Saturday, June 2nd

at The Oxbow School's annual fundraiser,Celebrating an Artful Life,

chaired by Christy Palmisano (left) of St. Helena.

Photo by: John McJunkin

Oxbow School Celebrates Artist Christopher Brown

at June Scholarship Event
Chez Panisse chefs, art auction including works of Christopher Brown, Nina Katchadourian, Randy Twaddle, Jock McDonald and art travel lots bring Bay Area arts lovers together to support school scholarships

Napa, Calif. The Oxbow School,the nation’s first semester-only secondary school for the visual arts, gathers Bay Area art and food lovers to honor painter Christopher Brown in its annual Celebration of an Artful Life Saturday, June 2 at 6 p.m. on the school’s Napa River campus, 530 Third Street in Napa.

Chef Jennifer Sherman and her Chez Panisse team will prepare a Napa Valley Riverside Feast as guests stroll through the campus studios and bid on silent auction lots donated by some of the Bay Area’s finest artists, as well as unique experiences tailored specifically for the art lover.  

Auctioneer and vintner Fritz Hatton will conduct an exciting live auction with lots including dinner at Margrit and Robert Mondavi’s home with Manuel Neri; two round-trip tickets aboard EOS Airlines; a seven-day Paris Art Tour complete with a luxury suite on the Left Bank, a studio visit with artist Tatiana Trouvé and extensive gallery guide; and a week for four in Vail, Colorado, including a tour of the Logan Collection led by Kent Logan. Last year, Vicki and Kent Logan made headlines when they announced a $60 million-plus bequest to the Denver Art Museum – the largest planned gift in the museum’s 113-year history. Guests can also bid on dinner at Chez Panisse; an evening with Deborah Butterfield and John Buck at the Napa Valley Reserve; original artwork by Christopher Brown, The Art Guys, Linda Connor, Michael Gregory, Nina Katchadourian, Jock McDonald, Bill Owens, J. John Priola, Naomi Kremer, and Randy Twaddle; dinner with Christopher Brown at Gretchen and John Berggruen’s Napa residence; and a handmade bicycle by Oxbow alumnus Hank Matheson, just to name a few of the many one-of-a-kind auction lots.

Honorary Chairs for the 2007 event include Margrit Biever Mondavi, Ann Hatch and Alice Waters.

Last year’s celebration honored artists Deborah Butterfield and John Buck, parents of two Oxbow School alumni, and raised a quarter of a million dollars to support Oxbow scholarships for students from the Bay Area and beyond. “One of the best parts of being a part of the Oxbow community is getting to know the artists on a more personal level. I have been a tremendous fan of Christopher Brown’s work for years. I am thrilled he is our honoree for this year’s benefit,” says benefit chair Christy Palmisano.

Tickets to the dinner and auction are $350, or $500 for a patron-level ticket. Patron tickets include a chance to win the 2007 Artful Life door prize: A Day of Art with Oxbow Head of School, printmaker Stephen Thomas. The winner will have the opportunity to be an Oxbow student for a day. For a complete list of auction lots visit Purchase tickets online or call Phoebe Brookbank at 707-252-5427.

Editor’s Note: Photography is available for download here:

Contact: Phoebe Brookbank
Gwen McGill

Editor’s Note: For additional information contact Pam Hunter- 707-258-1699 x 15 or
[Posted: 5/16/2007]

About The Oxbow School:

Board of Trustees
David Graves, Chair
Bonnie Levinson, Vice-chair
Charlotte Vaughan Winton, Vice-chair
William O. Barrett, Treasurer
Lauren Doliva, Secretary
Beth Barker
Christopher Brown
David R. Brown
Sabrina Mondavi Buell
Julie B. Harkins
Ann Hatch
Pamela Hunter
Anne Milne
Margrit Biever Mondavi
Robert Mondavi
Christy Palmisano
Laurie Mahan Sawyer
Stephen Thomas
Suzie Buchholz Tome

The Oxbow School - an innovative, interdisciplinary semester program combining visual arts with academics - gives high school students the skills necessary to negotiate and succeed in a complex and interdependent world.  Through rigorous studio art practice grounded in creative and intellectual inquiry, the program stimulates each student’s critical thinking abilities.  Oxbow students develop a new sense of identity, self-worth, and confidence that enables them to take responsibility for their learning and lives.

Oxbow is one of a growing movement of semester programs, offering in an intensive semester of study in the visual arts program for high school juniors and seniors, while keeping academic schoolwork at the forefront of an interdisciplinary setting. Oxbow students are exposed to painting, drawing, photography, digital media, printmaking and sculpture.  They engage with all of these media as they progress through an imaginative and challenging series of project-based assignments.  The program is small (no more than 48 students per semester), intense and rewarding. Student-to-faculty ratio of 5-to-1 is complemented with two artist residencies each semester and a rich program of lectures, visits, and professional exposure in the Bay Area. 

From its inception, Oxbow has been a school of access, attracting students from diverse backgrounds. Half of Oxbow’s students come from public schools, 30% of tuition income comes from donations to the financial aid program—more than any other semester program; two out of three students receive financial aid.

Students come from all over the country to study at The Oxbow School. States represented by Oxbow School’s current class: Arizona, California, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

About Christopher Brown :

Christopher Brown is an acclaimed painter and printmaker who currently lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. When he first began showing his large scale figurative paintings in San Francisco in the late 1970s, his work was often linked with that of the Bay Area figurative painters who preceded him, including Elmer Bischoff, Richard Diebenkorn, and Joan Brown.   Yet Mr. Brown's work achieved its own distinctive painterly style, and his work based on his study of historical photographs and films - including civil war photography and the Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination, respectively gained national and international recognition.  Much of this work, as well as later paintings that focused on images of water, or scenes derived from the neighborhood where he lives, deal with depictions of dramatic movement, light, and space.  He is currently at work on a number of projects, including drawings and prints as well as paintings based on further neighborhood studies and short film made from his rooftop in Berkeley, CA. 

Mr. Brown received a BFA from the University of Illinois and an MFA from the University of California, Davis, and he served as a professor at the University of California at Berkeley from 1981-1994, where he was the chair of the art department from 1990-1994.  He is currently an Eminent Adjunct Professor at California College of the Arts in Oakland. He has received NEA grants in both painting and art criticism as well as awards from the American Academy and Institute of Art and Letters, and the Equitable and Rockefeller Foundations.  His works are in major collections, including the Museum of Modern Art and the De Young Museums in San Francisco, the Walker Art Center of Minneapolis, the Metropolitan Museum of New York, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas and many private collections. He is represented locally by the prestigious John Berggruen Gallery in San Francisco and in New York by Edward Thorp Gallery.

In spring 2000 he joined the Oxbow community for ten days as a Visiting Artist. During his residency students focused on one-hour, site-specific painting exercises.  Regular daily critiques were designed to give students critical as well as technical guidance.


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May 10, 2007

The Artful Life - by Louisa Hufstader

The Artful Life
Oxbow students show end of semester creations

Oxbow art student Kalea Santos-Heiman, 17, of Cincinnati, Ohio displays her final art project, a self-portrait of her relationship with her dad and “being able to pull myself together to get over the fear of trust,” at Oxbow School’s open house exhibit of student projects. Santos-Haeiman is in the blue flip-flops. Lianne Milton/Register

By LOUISA HUFSTADER, Napa Valley Register Correspondent
Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Last weekend’s two-day final show at the Oxbow School in Napa provided a tantalizing sample of what gifted teenagers are capable of creating at the end of their Oxbow semester.

The residential school attracts fine arts students from the Bay Area and around the country with a 16-week curriculum that blends traditional high school courses like math and history with plenty of hands-on studio art training. The final show takes the place of graduation exercises.

In their projects, the 16th Oxbow class explored a dizzying variety of media.

Kinetic sculpture, African-style mask-making and intricate cut-paper works joined videos, photography and hand-printed books in the Oxbow studios, thrown open to the public for two short afternoons.
Each piece represented weeks of work by the student artist, who also prepared a research paper on a related topic.

Several artists, including 17-year-old Laura Brentrup of Hanover, N.H., installed their works on the grassy bank of the Napa River.

“A lot of things spark your imagination, being outside,” she said.

Brentrup’s research paper explored the relationship between physical exercise and emotional well-being; her interactive “Emotion in Motion” invited passersby to enjoy the experience of pedaling a bicycle harnessed by pulleys to a series of colorful turning wheels.

Napan Bryn Owens, 18, achieved an epic tone in a massive painting inspired by the history of his maternal grandfather, an Italian who immigrated to the U.S. only to return to his native country as an American soldier in World War II.

Based formally on a German Renaissance altarpiece, Owens’ four-part oil on board has an almost cinematic effect, moving from a close-up of his grandfather as a civilian to a longer shot of a soldier in a muddy trench. No one who sees it will be surprised to learn that Owens plans to study art and cinema in college; he joins his older sister Rose at UC Santa Cruz this fall.

Other Oxbow students suspended paintings and sculptures from overhead, trained video cameras on each other and photographed themselves.

Peter Linden, a 17-year-old from Oakland, painted 50 small “portraits” of everyday objects — a pen, a book, a detergent bottle and the like — each peering back at the viewer with a small but recognizable face.

Linden said it took a week to suspend his creations overhead: “Wherever I walked, I could see fishing line,” he said.

Kevan Barsky of Nevada City faced a direr challenge as he worked on his interactive sound sculpture, “Circuit Bending.”

“My roommates were seriously considering killing me,” said Barsky, who wore a paint-stained laboratory coat and a mad professor grin as he demonstrated his work. Electronic bleats and blips from the circuits in a keyboard translated into rhythmic dots on a large TV screen, changing pattern when Barsky or a visitor moved plugs around a patch bay.

Barsky’s piece, like Brentrup’s and Linden’s, was packed up after the show closed Sunday; many of the student works were site-specific installations and won’t be shown again.

For fans of the truly new in art, it’s worth noting now that the next Oxbow Final Show will be in December. The school’s fundraiser, “Celebrating an Artful Life,” is June 2; for more information,

Editor’s Note: For additional information contact Pam Hunter- 707-258-1699 x 15 or
[Posted: 5/23/2007]



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