Wine and design: The Art of Sparkling program offers an internship loan

An educational experience highlighting one of Oregon’s most natural combinations – art and wine – will be even better this fall at Pacific Northwest College of Art.

Performers selected for Art of Sparkling, a collaboration between PNCA and Argyle Winery in Dundee, which offers a $ 5,000 scholarship, can officially receive an internship loan.

Each year, three PNCA artists tour Argyll’s vineyards, winery and tasting room to create works of art to be used on three labels for the limited edition Vintage Brut. They start the program by gaining an idea of ​​every aspect of the business – from its agricultural practices to the science behind wine – then create a work of art in response to experience. In the fall, they will make official presentations of their work to Argyle staff, wine members and the public at an event on the first Thursday.

left: 2022 art by sparkling artist Moss Mata ’23, vineyard manager Erica Miller and director of operations Jeff Hall in May at Knudsen Vineyard. All photos by Greg Kozawa.

Available to all PNCA artists since 2016, Art of Sparkling provides recipients with professional experience and creative freedom. The combination is not uncommon: food and beverage brands usually have to work with strict design restrictions, but Argyle deliberately avoids directing artists, said Christine Rogers Brown, an associate professor of graphic design and PNCA mentor.

Even the choice of wine serves the art. Each bottle has the same wine, so staff can focus on sharing the story behind customer etiquette, said Katie Martin, Argyle’s marketing manager.

The approach stems from a deep respect for the creative process. Argyle sees a parallel with winemaking – wildly different wines that can be made from the same grapes, the personal ties that strengthen a product, the evolving nature of ideas – and the artists’ attitude towards the winery also informs its narrative.

Conversation of the winemaker

Wine producer Nate Klosterman leads Sadé Dubois ’24 and Mata through the winery.

“We use their answer as a reflection of ourselves – what resonates?” What are they catching? ”Martin said.

Subin Young ’17 joined the program for her first year as an illustration major for her junior years. Now a freelance illustrator in New York, she said she appreciates Argyle’s trust in artists to realize their vision and the practical experience they have gained.

“It was a good practice to go through the circles, sketch my ideas and present my work to real clients,” she said. “And it was a great opportunity to do something outside the classroom, which is rare for students in general.”

But for international students like her, the program was even more meaningful – she would need a work visa once she graduated to even get a chance to work with US-based clients, she said.

Wine production facility

Some artists work with the winery. Argyle commissioned 2020 recipient Eduardo Soto to create a piece for his Ojo Brilloso collection by stretching the vines on three bottles, while another unsuccessful candidate will take a photo for them this fall.

Art of Sparkling helped Young determine his career. After a long process of finding out what she likes and is good at, she found she is passionate about creating artwork around food and culture around food, she said. Her dissertation developed branding and merchandise for the Portland farmers market.

“I can definitely say that the reason I liked working at Argyle Winery was that it was in line with my growing interests as an artist,” she said.

Internship applications open in December or January each year, with a final selection in the spring. This year’s artists are Sadé DuBoise ’24, animator and artist Moss Mata ’23 and illustrator Madz Thomson ’23, and their set comes out this fall. See all previous Art of Sparkling labels here.

Conversation with the winemaker
Klosterman spoke with (left) PNCA Talent Hub Director Lynn Brown, Dubois, MADZ Thomson, Mata, Associate Professor of Graphic Design Christine Rogers Brown and Katie Martin, Argyle Marketing.

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