Napa, California, USA | 2017
Huether’s artwork for the CIA (The Culinary Institute of America) at Copia pays tribute to the Napa Valley as a world-class destination for art, food and wine, but most importantly, to Margrit and Robert Mondavi’s legacy.
The sculptures decidedly define the new CIA facility and are destined to become characteristic attributes and iconic reference points for locals and visitors alike. They are not only artistic additions to the CIA’s new grounds and facility, but also function as way-finding elements.
High-Density Foam | Each, approximately 8’ tall x 8’ – 3.5”
“Is that Bob & Margrit?” is a tribute to Robert Mondavi and Margrit Biever Mondavi. It is an installation that is befittingly placed atop the CIA at Copia’s 75-foot tower, as though the iconic Napa Valley couple is watching over the valley’s good fortune, while tipping their wine glasses as a toast to this world-famous viticultural und culinary destination.
The Mondavis founded and funded Copia (operational from 2001 – 2008), the center for wine, food and the arts, an educational non-profit institution, which is now owned by the CIA and houses the new CIA’s classrooms, a restaurant, and much more.
The Mondavis tirelessly advocated to not only help put Napa Valley on the map as THE wine destination in the USA, but also one for an intriguing offering of arts and culture. Margrit outlived her husband and continued to realize this mission with unflagging dedication until her passing on September 2nd. 2016.
Margrit and Gordon shared an international background as well as a sound focus on cultural education and the consciousness of art. Margrit, “Grande Dame” of Napa Valley, and artist Gordon Huether met some twenty years ago and celebrated a kinship unlike many others. In light of this extraordinary development and bond, it only seemed fitting for Gordon to create artwork, which commemorates these outstanding Napa Valley personalities, without whom, the cultural landscape of this region would not be what it is today.
The figures are approximately eight feet tall and are made of high-density foam. The art installation is a tribute to the achievements of the Mondavis, and furthermore, it is a welcoming gesture to locals and visitors, but especially to all of those individuals who strive to contribute to the continued growth and forward movement of this unrivaled destination for food, wine and the arts.
Stainless Steel, Salvaged Forks | 18’H x 2.5’W | 2017
“Fork”, is primarily inspired by the culinary arts. Gordon created this larger than life utensil as a metaphor and to underline the significance of the culinary arts and well-established food culture in the Napa Valley. His contemporary approach for these pieces represents the Valley’s forward thinking attitude. Using over 8,500 recycled forks to build this gigantic fork also emphasizes the region’s focus on sustainability, the farm-to-table movement, locally farmed produce and responsibility for future generations. ‘Fork’ also functions as a way-finding element, a ‘fork in the road,’ leading visitors to the entrance of The Restaurant at CIA Copia.
The installation welcomes locals and visitors alike, inspiring and sparking curiosity for this reputable culinary education institution, as well as this region and its culture.