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At Fortunati Vineyards, we approach wine as an art form, a way for us to express each vintage in bottle. Our founders Gary and Ellen have always held a passion for art, and one of the exciting aspects of opening our Vineyard Estate Winery in Oak Knoll, Napa Valley is the opportunity to display artwork from some of our favorite artists. We get to curate pieces from thoughtful, creative artists who are as passionate about their work as we are about crafting Fortunati wines.
Amir Salamat was born in Tehran, Iran and began painting with oils at the age of 14. “I was born with a will to create art,” Amir says. “There was no escaping that.” Amir’s passion for his craft continued as he immigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area to pursue his studies in Engineering, of which he now has a Master of Science degree. Amir’s work has been featured at Gallery One and Artaud Gallery in San Francisco, and he was recently awarded second place in Marin Open Studios’ Human Spirit Exhibition of Figurative Art.
While using different materials and techniques, Amir’s personal style combines the approach of a western style of painting with motifs and images related to his birth country of Iran. “At first glance,” Amir says, “the chaos in my paintings can be seen as abstract expressionist work, since often the message in a painting may not be immediately obvious. However, upon closer examination, one can see a vast and interesting view of emotional, political and social issues.”
We are so grateful to be able to share the work of our dear friend, Karen Fourgo. Karen moved to the Bay Area in 1996, working in the architecture / engineering industry while pursuing her own avenues in the artistic realm. She began by concentrating on watercolor. All the watercolors she currently shows are done on rice paper, in a manner unlike any typical rice paper works. Her use of water helps create very ethereal, sometimes seductive scenes. She has even been commissioned to do many portraits using this technique. No preliminary sketching is done, no ideas forced or patterned.
Karen has exhibited her work, both acrylics and watercolors all over the Bay Area, including San Francisco, Oakland and Marin with extremely positive reaction to the work and has exhibits scheduled as far as a year from now. In addition, she participates in various chalk art festivals/competitions around the area. As you can see, her passion for art never dies, or even slows down.