About the Artist: John Fisher

THANKSGIVING 2017 – NOVEMBER 5, 2017

Local artist, John Fisher, has created iconic posters and imagery for many Wine Country Thanksgivings. Get to know the artist, his story, and his inspirations.. Read full article


About The Artist: John Fisher

About The Artist: John Fisher

The Art that Captures the Essence of Thanksgiving in Wine Country

Thanksgiving In Wine Country celebrates its 35th birthday this November, a festive Willamette Valley tradition winemakers and wine enthusiasts alike have come to associate with autumn in Oregon. Looking at the iconic artwork of John Fisher, who has partnered with the Willamette Valley Wineries Association over many projects and vintages, you’d think the holiday weekend and its endless array of events was much, much older.

Fisher operates in both fine art and graphic design. His latter work for the association is clean and seemingly timeless, offering the crispness of a photograph yet animated by way of playful, often primary colors. There’s slick layering to much of his work, as though it was a handful of separate cutouts to begin with, stacked nearly atop one another.

Many have witnessed his art, even if they couldn’t tie a name to it. Fisher’s visual accompaniments to the wildly successful Pinot In The City campaign neatly encapsulate every journey of that ongoing roadshow. There’s the Seattle poster, with a dripping Orca’s tail in the foreground the the Emerald City skyline in the distance. The Los Angeles poster depicts a black-and-white maze of buildings and off-ramps cloaked in the golden hue of southern California sun. This is to say nothing of his local subject matter, which overwhelmed him upfront.

“The Oregon landscape was challenging at first,” Fisher admits. “I felt a little claustrophobic with all the hills, as opposed to the midwest landscape where you can see the horizon for miles.”

Fisher visited his Portland-based sister while in high school frequently. The terrain blew him away and soon he packed up and headed west. Soon, he found himself getting lost on winding Willamette Valley roads, meandering in and out of the many vineyards, farmhouses and forested hills that would inform his work.

“Most of the artwork is seasonal, so it needs to capture a sense of place and time,” Fisher says. The greatest example of such seasonality also happens to be his favorite piece, a simple but evocative illustration for Wine Country Thanksgiving 2003. In it, a golden leaf droops over ripe ready-to-pick Pinot Noir clusters. A hushed and stoic background of brushy foothills and Mt. Hood’s silhouette completes an eye-catching and economical piece.

Fisher continues to pen illustrations for the association, in between painting stirring Oregon country landscapes and offering graphic design services for a host of clients including wine labels like Alloro Vineyards and Evesham wood via he and his wife’s firm Fisher Carlson Co.

Like any good artist, Fisher is willing to offer up inspirational colleagues. For his Pinot In The City pieces, he mentions David Lance Goines, whose symbolism, layering and tight presentation is not at all unlike Fisher’s. Both artists have taken on expansive content and both have excelled in capturing it with a certain precision.

The Willamette Valley may be home to hundreds of wineries and many more vineyards, but Fisher can somehow distill that into a single iconic image.


by Mark A. Stock | markastock.com
Mark Stock is a writer from Portland, Oregon who spent a healthy stretch in the Dundee Hills making, selling and drinking wine. He’s written for Willamette Week, Oregon Wine Press, Travel Oregon, Sip Northwest, SevenFifty and more. Fly-fishing, Icelandic soccer and The Simpsons are among his favorite distractions.


A Community Affair – Willamette Cares Food Share

THANKSGIVING 2017 – OCTOBER 25, 2017

The Willamette Cares Food Share, a partnership between the Willamette Valley Wineries Association (WVWA) and Oregon Food Bank, devotes the months of November and December to regional hunger.. Read full article


A Community Affair – Willamette Cares Food Share

A Community Affair

Willamette Valley Wine Country’s Famed Hospitality Segues To Seasonal Giving

The spirit of generosity is entrenched in Willamette Valley wine culture. As the holidays approach, wineries remind us to look beyond the bustling industry to those in need, many of whom reside right in our backyard.

The Willamette Cares Food Share, a partnership between the Willamette Valley Wineries Association (WVWA) and Oregon Food Bank, devotes the months of November and December to regional hunger. Wine Country Thanksgiving, a 35-year-old tradition wherein producers and tasting rooms celebrate the end of harvest and the coming holidays, is the marquee weekend of the stretch and a great opportunity for tasters to show their support.

This year, 38 WVWA member wineries are collecting food and donations with the hopes of breaking the 75,000 meal mark. Many tasting rooms incentivize donations, rewarding those who do with complementary or discounted wine flights. What’s donated will get passed along to the Oregon Food Bank’s impressive network of pantries, located throughout Oregon and southwest Washington.

“Our family has been a part of the community for nearly fifty years. We were raised here, went to school here and continue to feel we are responsible stewards of both this land and its people,” says Maria Ponzi of Ponzi Vineyards. “We’re proud to be a part of the Willamette Valley Cares Food Drive, bringing necessities, and maybe a little joy to the most vulnerable in our community during the holidays each year.”

The Yamhill County Action Partnership is a major partner within the network, set in the heart of wine country. “We offer Seed to Supper classes and partner with Oregon State University Extension and the SNACK program to increase awareness of health and nutrition to children,” says Diane Longaker, the Partnership’s Resource Development Coordinator. “We work hard so that our neighbors are provided with low fat, low sugar, low salt, fresh and single ingredient foods to encourage overall wellness.”

In addition to the education element, Willamette Cares Food Share supports school-based food programs and heightens access to local health care organizations. Countless Oregonians do not qualify for federal food support so the need is ever-growing. An estimated one out of five people in Oregon and Clark County, Washington are food insecure. This equates to roughly 650,000 people, more than a third of which are children.

“By just about any measure, 2017 has been a difficult year. As we find ways to support national and international relief efforts, it’s imperative that we don’t lose sight of local families in need,” says Matt Tracy of Anne Amie Vineyards. “The Willamette Cares Food Share is a program that we look forward to supporting each year. Knowing the small impact we’re having on our neighbors warms the heart. However, what makes Willamette Cares so powerful, is knowing that we’re not alone.”

by Mark A. Stock | markastock.com
Mark Stock is a writer from Portland, Oregon who spent a healthy stretch in the Dundee Hills making, selling and drinking wine. He’s written for Willamette Week, Oregon Wine Press, Travel Oregon, Sip Northwest, SevenFifty and more. Fly-fishing, Icelandic soccer and The Simpsons are among his favorite distractions.