The husband/wife team of winemaker Paul Bianchi and artist Wendy Armstrong recently combined their talents and donated their efforts to raise $24,788 in support of war-ravaged Ukraine during an evening at their Amelia Wynn Winery Bistro on Bainbridge Island.
They promoted the event as Art & Wine for Ukraine, and the centerpiece of the fundraiser was an oil painting by Armstrong titled Camas Valley, a 4-foot-by-3-foot canvas work on display this spring at their Winslow Way restaurant. All proceeds from the evening were directed to the World Central Kitchen, launched by Michelin star chef José Andrés and his wife Patricia.
“There is a very deeply felt conviction that as United States citizens, one cannot imagine what it would be like to have your country invaded, your rights taken away and loved ones killed,” Bianchi told supporters.
Bianchi, Armstrong form artistic bond
A successful career in residential construction on Bainbridge Island inspired Bianchi, a self-taught winemaker, to launch Amelia Wynn with the 2008 vintage and join the Wineries of Bainbridge Island. A decade later, he married Armstrong, a third-generation artist who grew up in Marin County across the Bay Bridge from San Francisco.
Armstrong’s work as a professional artist spans five decades and several mediums, leading to displays within galleries in New York, London, Paris and Brussels. In 2017, her glass etching earned an invitation to join the traveling Monet Exhibit at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. Her commissioned work in Washington state includes the Three Trees steel sculpture for Poulsbo’s Centennial Park, a collaborative effort with Kitsap Peninsula artist Laurie Larson.
Camas Valley, which sold for $6,000 to an unnamed bidder, fits within Armstrong’s portfolio of Northwest-inspired landscapes. This summer, aspiring artists and beginners can learn from Armstrong — and other island artists — while sipping some of Amelia Wynn’s latest award-winning wines as part of the Painting Inside the Vines classes offered through the Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District.
Amelia Wynn recently received praise from judges at the Sunset International Wine Competition in Sonoma County for work with Williams family grapes on Red Mountain. Bianchi’s 2019 Heart of the Hill Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon was voted best of class and a double gold medal, and his 2019 Kiona Vineyard Cabernet Franc merited a double gold.