Downtown Napa Utility Boxes

Artwork by 13 Napa regional artists are being installed in Downtown Napa beginning of 2021. The project is sponsored by by all downtown property owners through the Property Based Improvement District (PBID) and the City of Napa. Artists were selected for the project based on their past work by a jury and paid $500 to create a design that has been transferred to vinyl and wrapped around a signal utility box located in downtown Napa. 

We are honored to be presenting their work in Downtown Napa. 

The project is a partnership between the City of Napa and the PBID. 

The selected artists and the location of their artworks are below. Map Coming Soon. 

1. Artist: Rafael Arana 

LocationJefferson and Second Street 

Artist Biography: 

Rafael Arana, has been influenced by street and comic book art from the start. He learned the technical process of mural making in high school, as a member of Precita Eyes' Urban Youth Arts program. Arana is a graduate of UC-Santa Cruz with a BFA in Fine Art, where he was the recipient of the Dean’s and Chancellor’s Award for a campus mural. After graduating, he quickly became the full-time artist for Ken Fulk, an interior designer in San Francisco whose work spans the globe. Arana has painted 15 murals over a five year span for Fulk, including at the designers private home in Provincetown, Rhode Island and at the iconic Saint Joseph’s Art Society building in San Francisco. His work has been profiled in Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Sunset, House Beautiful, Bon Appétit and Spaces magazine.

2. ArtistThe Baker Sisters (Melissa and Mercedes Baker)

Location: 1st and Franklin Street 

Artist Biography: The Baker Sisters continue to push the bounds of perception with vivid color, contrast, and texture that toys with surrealism, expressionism, and abstraction. Founders of the Ehlers Society and Artistic Directors for Nimbus Arts annual fundraiser NIMBASH, Melissa and Mercedes’ repertoire include productions, film, art shows, music, and stage sets. Their current studio, a 1920’s hay barn as described in “American Art Collector,” May 2015 is “ A 6- acre ranch in the sticks with hundred year old houses, trees, rusty cars, fields, a gypsy wagon, a river, and an abundance of talented artists. It's where community is luxury and creativity is treasure. So basically it's a mansion." - Domonique Ellermeir. At their studio, @ehlerssociety, they do productions, film, art shows, music, and stage sets. Though Melissa leans toward abstract and Mercedes representational, both toy with surrealism, expressionism, and abstraction. Their work comes from a place of spontaneity, idolizing the idea that painting comes from the subconscious and not the noisy opinionated mind. The Baker’s oil paintings have exhibited both nationally and abroad, in galleries, museums, universities and wineries.

3. Artist: Sue Bennett

Location: Second and Coombs Street

Artist Biography:

Working primarily in acrylics, Sue’s paintings explore her personal and innate expression of how she perceives the world. Her aim is to create novel and nuanced interpretations of the patterns of nature. Sue’s work has been exhibited throughout the Napa Valley in alternative spaces, the Napa Art Council Matchmaker Faire, and the Joan Jakel Art Studio. She has studied art throughout her life at various colleges including Ventura College, Lake Tahoe Community College, and Napa Valley Community College.


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4. Artist: Julia Crane

Location: 1st and Soscol Street 

Artist Biography:

Julia Crane is an environmental artist and aesthetic activist. She was born and raised in the Napa Valley; meadows and forests were her natural preserve. As a girl, her innate love of nature first found artistic expression through painted landscapes. But with age, life experience, and an academic interest in environmental ecosystems, her perspective shifted to a fascination with the chaos and chiaroscuro inherent in the natural world. At the same time, her art became multidisciplinary, encompassing sculpture, land art, installation and photography as well as paint. Julia’s land art is prominently featured at the winery property, in Rutherford CA, where she is currently “Artist in Residence”. Her full room installations, based on nature, have been featured at the Napa Valley Museum, Pacific Union College, Rasmussen Gallery, Angwin, CA, and the Martin Showroom, St. Helena, CA. She has held multiple solo shows at Nimbus Arts St. Helena and various venues in the Napa Valley. Her paintings, sculptures and photographs are part of many private collections throughout California and the San Francisco Bay Area. Julia is a graduate of the California College of Art, Oakland California, and holds a BFA in painting. Location: 1st and Soscol Streets

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5. Artist: Tracy Fitzgerald

Location: 2nd and Main Streets 

Artist Biography:

Tracy is a mixed media artist. She works with wood and tin, joined together with paint, papers, and recycled odds and ends. She was greatly influenced by folk art and textile design. Her whimsical and colorful subject matter often features nature, animals, birds and portraits of men and women. She has worked in her studio in Napa since 1995 and has been a participant in Napa Valley Open Studios since 2000. Her exhibitions and installations have been shown throughout the Bay Area. She is the founder of Sawtooth Studio in Berkeley, California where she participated in East Bay Open Studios and was a member of Berkeley Artisans. Tracy is a graduate of San Jose State University, College Of Marin and the Pacific Basin School of Textile Arts in Berkeley.


6. Artist: Peter Hassen

Location: 3rd and Combs Street 

Artist Biography:

Peter Hassen is a conceptual artist using sculpture, painting, printmaking, photography, video and landscape intervention. His work focuses on themes of nature, science, and spirituality. Born in Cincinnati, Hassen received his BFA from University of Colorado in Boulder and now lives and works in Sonoma. In the 80's and 90's Hassen started working as a guerrilla public artist in Colorado, Cincinnati, Manhattan, Florida and San Francisco, installing illegal murals and billboards that addressed social issues, such as greed, corruption, and personal responsibility. In 1994 he was commissioned by Perry Farrell to paint a series of large canvases for the Lollapalooza tour that examined similar socio-political issues. Now working in multiple media, Hassen seeks to open dialogue between these themes, and raise questions about our tribes, societies, and cultures, and their commonalities. “My work can be found at that point at which spirituality and culture meet. Using cultural icons, language, symbols and historic context, I try to illustrate the influences that varied cultures have had on each other and the evolution of society. I track the arc of these icons through history in order to reinterpret and filter them through a contemporary sensibility.” “I believe that connections between the past and the present, different tribes and traditions and the functions of spirituality and culture, hold clues to understanding. By providing opportunities for discovery, in nature and the everyday environment, I encourage people to consider their own place in the wider scope of human history.”


7. Artist: Mikey Kelly

Location: First and Combs Streets 

Artist Biography:

Mikey Kelly is a contemporary artist living and working in Napa, CA, he is best known for his abstract paintings, drawings and metal sculptures. His work explores the use of cryptography, language and mathematics to design neurally and retinally challenging geometric abstractions. His interest in systems, patterns, color theory and visual perception are also evident in his work.Kelly exhibits regularly, including shows at Chandra Cerrito Contemporary (Oakland, CA), Art Market (San Francisco, CA), Miami Project (Miami, FL), Franklin Parrasch Gallery (New York, NY), Cranbrook Art Museum (Bloomfield Hills, MI), Crocker Art Museum (Sacramento, CA). His work has been shown nationally and is included in several public and corporate collections. Kelly received his BA from the University of Oregon and MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art.


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8. Artist: Barbara Murphy

Location: 3rd and Soscol 

Artist Biography:

Barbara Murphy is a photographer and mixed-media artist based in Napa, California. Her work has been commissioned and also exhibited at the Imani Gallery. She has been recognized and awarded for her work in alternative photography techniques, layering scanography, reflective surfaces with water, shadow, text and assemblage. She finds inspiration in nature as she travels and also with dramatic portrait staging in her studio. Her staging process involves manipulation of light, along with environment and costume design, which evolves into large scale, photographic canvases where she adds paint and collage. Barbara takes a fluid and intuitive approach to experimentation that results in highlighting the mystical, whimsical, and mythological aspects of nature, dreams, and human relationships. Her latest work investigates the cultural landscape of hope in the face of uncertainty as the dangers of climate change advance on the planet.


9. Artist Ann Nunziata

Location: Pearl and Soscol 

Artist: Biography:

Ann studied electrical engineering at Stanford University. After earning her undergraduate and masters degrees, Ann went on to a 17 year career in R&D at Apple Computer. She retired in 1999 and moved to Napa where she started taking art seriously after a minor sports injury in 2005. She studies with both local and internationally recognized artists with the same intensity that she brought to her engineering career. She is currently working in watercolor on both traditional and alternative surfaces. In addition to painting, Ann volunteers with Art Association Napa Valley, exhibits in the association co-op, writes a column for the newsletter, and chaired the recent redesign of the association website. Ann has become increasingly aware of habitat loss and climate change. As a result, her artwork often focuses on wild creatures and places. She hopes to engender environmental appreciation and awareness in others, and inspire others to consider their impact on the environment before it is too late to save it. She is a member of the California Watercolor Association, Art Association Napa Valley, and Napa-Solano Audubon Society.

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10. Artist: Kate Salenfriend

Location: Second and Randolph

Artist Biography:

Surrounded by artistic inspiration from a very early age, Kate Salenfriend learned most of her technical skills from her great-grandfather, Stewart Robertson, the registered California portrait painter, who began teaching her while she was still just a toddler. Growing up in the agricultural San Joaquin Valley, Salenfriend developed a deep and lasting connection to the land around her, along with a sensitivity to the time of day, season, and atmosphere. The resulting alchemy from her experiences of the California landscape, her solid connection to the environment around her, and her own artistic point of view, gave rise to her first professional work, the now highly-collected series of Cypress trees, “Order from Chaos.” Her work has been exhibited widely throughout the Napa Valley, including at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery (formerly Chateau Souverain), Darioush, Skipstone Ranch, Bouchaine Vineyards, the Getty Family Trust, and can be found in the public and private corridors of Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA.

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11. Artist: Cathryne A. Trachok

Location: 3rd and Main Street

Artist Biography:

Cathryne Trachok has been a working artist for 35 years. After graduating from the University of Nevada with a BFA, she attended Art Center College of Design, worked in commercial art, illustrated children’s books, and created a 6’ x 18’ mural in the Children’s Section of the Napa County Library. Her paintings have been commissioned by the Reno Rodeo, two Federal Judges, clients from Greece to Hawaii and featured in exhibitions throughout the Southwestern United States. Her work has been accepted into the Oil Painters of America National and Western Regional juried exhibition, Women Artists of the West annual juried exhibition, California Art Club Gold Medal Exhibition, American Women Artists, and Art Renewal Center International. In 2015 she won Best of Show in the AWA National Juried Exhibition in Scottsdale, AZ. She is a Signature Member of the AWA, as well as a Board Member. Currently her artwork is represented by Mary Williams Fine Arts, in Boulder, CO, and Cheryl Newby Gallery in Pawley’s Island, SC.


12. Artist: Beverly Wilson

Location: 1st and Main Streets

Artist Biography:Beverly Wilson’s paintings are inspired by the dramatic changes of the seasons, temperature and light. With bold compositions, unique strokes, and a personal collection of colors, she expresses the universal rhythms of rural life and her love of the countryside. The land itself and man's place in it are favorite themes. As a student of Richard Diebenkorn in the early 1970s at UCLA, she was drawn to the qualities of the expressionists and colorists and her work began an evolution into a vibrant style of her own. After earning a BFA, she spent a year in Italy selling her sketches as she traveled through the vineyard regions born in Washington DC., where his parents encouraged him to draw and paint.He has studied at the University of Maryland and the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, and studied design and metal work at the Fachhochschule fur Gestaltung in Schwabish Gmund Germany. He received a BA from Virginia Wesleyan College in Art and Education in 1974.