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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

Archive of past events: 2004 through 2014

2013: Festival - Entertainment - Top Hat Dinner - Quilt Raffle - Judge - Awards - Sponsors - Map - How to Enter

For tickets,
call Gualala
Arts Center

Art in the Redwoods Festival
Top Hat Dinner (2013)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Doors open at 6:00 p.m.
Dinner served 7:00 p.m.

Art in the Redwoods Festival logo

Rosemary Campiformio The Top Hat opening dinner & wine celebration at the Gualala Arts Center starts at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday evening when the doors open. Diners will get a sneak peek preview of the Fine Art Exhibit and have the opportunity to purchase art before it is judged.

Gualala Arts is very pleased to have St. Orres co-owner and Executive Chef Rosemary Campiformio as this year's Top Hat guest chef.

Famous for her creative and delicious North Coast cuisine, Rosemary will focus the night's menu on dishes that showcase her philosophy of cooking that uses ingredients native to the area, food created from elements that occur (or should occur) naturally in the landscape and the sea outside her windows.

Her creations are the result of her love of foraging, both real and as a metaphor, and her consuming passion that what you can't forage you should buy locally. You can expect a fabulous dinner of locally sourced delicacies, artfully prepared and presented in Rosemary's signature style.

St. Orres buildings, drawing by Eric Black
St. Orres buildings, drawing by Eric Black
The Top Hat Dinner will also celebrate Eric Black, designer, builder and co-owner of St. Orres. Eric, along with his recently retired brother, Ted Black, and Executive Chef and Co-Owner Rosemary Campiformio, created the magical St. Orres Hotel and Restaurant 36 years ago. With incredible skill and care, Eric designs and builds the unique structures that echo and honor the romantic Russian heritage of this beautiful coast.

Eric has always made it a point to use and re-use all the resources at his disposal. The original cabins on the property were either kept intact and remodeled or torn down to use as building materials for the new structures. Every possible stick of wood, piece of paneling or outdoor siding has been recycled into what is there today. The wainscoting in Pine Haven, for example, comes from the old 1920s wood paneling from some of the original fishermen's cabins, and the copper roofing on the domes is from reject circuit boards. The Main Hotel building was constructed using materials from the original Seaside Hotel, and heavy beams and larger timbers came from a 100 year old logging mill near Philo, CA, which was carefully taken apart and hauled to the coast on an old logging truck. Even the firewood for the wood stoves and fireplaces is split from dead trees on the property. Eric makes sure that nothing is wasted; instead it is re-used to create new and beautiful structures and features. Gualala Arts is honored to have these two true artists participate in this year's Top Hat Dinner.

Art in the Redwoods Top Hat Dinner, Bob & Roxanne Claflin and David 'Sus' Susalla Only 100 tickets, which include a VIP Festival pass, are available for this evening of evenings. Reservations for dinner ($150, includes $100 donation) are recommended as it usually sells out.

By attending the Top Hat Dinner you also receive a VIP Festival pass. Included in the VIP Festival Pass is the Friday, August 16, Champagne Preview from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. with award presentations and the judge's critiques. The fine art exhibit will be available for viewing and an opportunity to purchase when doors open to the gallery at 4:30 p.m.

The heart of the festival is the magnificent exhibit of fine art throughout the building, including oil paintings, acrylics, watercolors, pastels, drawings, photographs, sculpture, woodworking, stained and fused glass, jewelry and fiber arts - most of them for sale. The Top Hat VIP Pass also includes admission on Saturday and Sunday August 17 - 18.

The Gualala Arts Center, located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, CA,
is open weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and weekends from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information, or email

Serving the coastal communities of northern Sonoma & southern Mendocino Counties.