A to Z Wineworks has employed a novel approach to encouraging not only wine education, but also the arts with a new program begun last month.
The Newberg winery has initiated a 15-month artist-in-residence program that begins with an internship that embeds the individual during fall harvest with a crew that the winery recruits each year and that now boasts 229 alumni from 21 countries.
Then the individual will primarily turn his or her talents toward documenting artistically the efforts of the winery, while also engaging in some harvest work and chronicling the vintage. The artist in residence program culminates with a public showcase of some of the year's work with a gallery show, lecture or performance.
The first person to be named A to Z Wineworks' artist in residence is Adrian Chitty, who came on board during the 2019 harvest in the fall. Chitty came to Newberg and this program via a circuitous route: he holds a master's degree in physics from Oxford University and worked in investment banking for 17 years, most recently as a vice president and senior engineer at Goldman Sachs. He relocated his family to Newberg after a one-year sabbatical in Indonesia.
"I am delighted, as the first artist-in-residence at A to Z Wineworks, to have the opportunity to create a long-form project by spending a year in the life of the vineyards and winery," Chitty said. "I want my residency to embody many of the same qualities that I observe in winemaking: to take time, to evolve with what is observed and to create something of lasting quality and value."
Winery co-founder Deb Hatcher welcomed the opportunity to merge art and winemaking.
"Art has the potential to heighten awareness, excite the senses and transform how we see our surroundings and one another," she said in a press release. "Art can enrich our community and inspire us. As a winery that seeks to combine commerce with conscience, we are pleased to foster an artistic spirit without our campus and our company."
The winery will incorporate his photos into marketing efforts and at various places on the Newberg campus, a company spokesman said. Some photos will be showcased in the renovated tasting room at Rex Hill Winery in July and there will be an exhibit of Chitty's photos at the Chehalem Cultural Center beginning in early November.
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