When Art and Wine Combine for a Beautiful Picture
A careful examination of Gulay Berryman’s painting “Dancing Under the Stars” reveals Williamsburg Winery founder Patrick Duffeler and his wife, Francoise, reveling in a courtyard. The original work by the Williamsburg Art Gallery director hangs in the lobby of Wedmore Place, the luxury hotel with a European flair that’s part of the Wessex Hundred farm.
Patrick is smartly dressed in his boxy gray Janker, while Francoise wears a strapless, backless blue gown. They’re dancing under a blooming lilac bush. Look long enough at the work that features several happy couples enjoying the evening and you might almost hear the violinist stroking his instrument.
The eye is quickly drawn to the fountain, similar to the ones in the Loire Valley, known also for its world-class wine that pleases even the most finicky palate.
A couple toasts each other while a waiter passes through with two bottles and more glasses. The detail on one of the bottles includes a tiny replica of a Williamsburg Winery label — the Governor’s White, perhaps?
Trained in France and Italy, Berryman has exhibited in those countries as well as Iceland, Senegal, Oman, Switzerland and the United States. She made the Williamsburg Art Gallery at Merchants Square her permanent home in 2007.
The acclaimed artist attended the opening day of Wedmore Place in 2007. That’s where she noticed the fountain in the courtyard, which reminded her of those in Belgium and France.
“I thought to myself, ‘What a fabulous venue to have a party!’ ” she said. “That was the inspiration for this painting.”
The painting reflects Patrick Duffeler’s favorite saying — “Enjoy life!”
Berryman and Duffeler share a belief that the making of art and wine are similar in many respects.
“We were extremely gratified that Gulay did paint this because in wine there is color, there is a nose, there is flavor. It’s also an artistry,” Duffeler said.
Berryman concurred, adding, “I believe the process of making wine is a form of art. It has several stages like we do when we create a piece.”
Duffeler’s friendship with Berryman predates the opening of Wedmore Place. He met Gulay and her husband, Clyde at the very beginning of his motor racing marketing career with Philip Morris International. Clyde’s love of motor racing started during his youth when he collected die-cast model racing cars. He attended his first Formula Two race in France in 1969. Gulay shares his passion and enjoyed the lively atmosphere of the sport as well as its color.
Duffeler met the Berrymans in 1970 at the first Formula One Grand Prix that he attended as the newly arrived addition to the team at Philip Morris.
Gulay and Clyde were later present at the inaugural celebration of Wedmore Place, where she presented a painting of the Monaco Grand Prix of 1970 to Patrick. Since the opening day of Wedmore Place, Gulay’s painting has been displayed in the hallway of the hotel, downstairs in a prominent place close to the Café Provencal.”
Berryman feels honored to have her work on display at Wedmore Place, adding, “I think any artist will tell you that nothing can make them happier than when a painting finds its perfect home!”