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June 4, 2018 | All Posts, Community, Destination |

Meet the Maker: Artist Barbara Rawls


artist Barbara Rawls

The Laurelwood at Ponzi Vineyards is a wine country hospitality space like no other. Every detail has been thoughtfully planned and even the smallest element has been crafted to reflect the history, values and aesthetics of Ponzi Vineyards and the Willamette Valley. Dedicated to supporting local makers, the Ponzi Family found the perfect visual artist for this project with fine art painter Barbara Rawls.

Previously working in ceramics, Rawls has been painting for 15 years. She works primarily with acrylic, sometimes also incorporating plaster, charcoal, collage and graphite to create complex layers. She marks the work with scribing and scraping tools. “To create history and depth in the surface,” Rawls says.

It’s this depth of history that makes Rawls the right choice for The Laurelwood, a space that pays homage to a rustic past while looking forward into the future. Rawls’ husband once lived at the Ponzi Historic Estate and helped with some of the first vines planted by Ponzi Vineyards. This long connection between the families gives Rawls a truly personal perspective on The Laurelwood and enabled her to create a piece that fit perfectly into the space.

The painting is a triptych and blends abstract landscape with realism, with the Ponzi Historic Estate set among contemporary forms. Larger than most of her work, it is prominently displayed behind the marble bar in The Pearl Room, the intimate reception area of The Laurelwood.

painting in The Laurelwood at Ponzi Vineyards

“The space works really well for my piece,” states Rawls, “with the lighting and the dark wall and the marble.”

This is not the first work Rawls has created for Ponzi Vineyards: two other pieces are displayed in the Tasting Room, where Rawls’ abstract, color-driven shapes complement the modern lines of the room’s design.

painting in Ponzi Vineyards tasting roompainting in the Ponzi Vineyards tasting room

The triptych created for The Laurelwood is a perfect match for this hospitality space grounded in a legacy that has had such an influence on Oregon history and that endures into the future. Rawl’s work resonates that concept by grounding images of the past in strong colors, shapes and textures. In selecting artists and craftspeople for The Laurelwood, Ponzi Vineyards looked for not just skill, but also for people who have an intrinsic understanding of the area and its culture, and who contribute to the elevation of the region’s prominence through their work. Joining Rawls on that roster are a gifted woodworker, ceramicist and metalworker. The synergy of their creations is unique, yet reflective of the past, making The Laurelwood truly one of a kind.

To inquire about The Laurelwood, contact events@ponzivineyards.com or call (503) 628-1227.


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