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WINE TASTING TO BE OF AUSTRALIAN VINTAGES

June 25, 2001 – Recent works by St. Thomas artists Phebe Schwartz and Jane Ryan-Clemo and wines of the Rosemount Estate in Australia will be featured at the Da Da Wine Down Friday at Cafe Amici.
The monthly event is from 5 to 8 p.m. at the courtyard restaurant in Riise's Alley in downtown Charlotte Amalie. Admission is free. Cafe owner Rick Kingsland provides complimentary hors d'oeuvres and there's a cash bar. For those taking part in the wine tasting and seminar, which goes on continuously until supplies are exhausted, there is a $10 fee. Door prizes of art, wine and dining certificates will be awarded toward the end of the evening.
West Indies Corp. is hosting the seminar and tasting of wines from Australia's Rosemount Estate, which in a little more than 30 years has become that nation's leading family winery. More than half of the company's annual production today is exported, to 34 countries.
Single vineyard, premium regional and classic varietal wines are produced from vineyards established in seven distinct vitcultural areas of the Australian continent. Each vineyard is used to cultivate the varieties of grapes best suited to its climate, soil and topography.
Phebe Schwartz came to St. Thomas in 1987, sight unseen, and has been painting and teaching art at Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School ever since. Recently, she has moved in the direction of designing home fashions as a sideline to her painting and educational pursuits.
Five years ago, she created a fund-raising project for her advanced art class at BCB: producing African-Caribbean art quilts. In this undertaking, she drew on her Peace Corps experience in Liberia and her fabric-art work with Judy Chicago's Birth Project. Her advanced students have produced one-of-a-kind quilts each year for five years that have been sold to raise funds for the class.
Schwartz says her current series of acrylic paintings, collectively titled "Shells," evokes warm summer days spent on beaches with her father, a coastal geologist. "The paintings capture the feeling of staring into the sand and small sea shells for hours, contemplating the limitless and infinite amount of sand, the amazing architecture of the shells, a child's wonder at the thought of infinity and the meaning of the universe," she says.
Jane Ryan-Clemo, a 17-year resident of St. Thomas, describes herself as a self-taught folk artist whose "primitive art exemplifies creation in its purist form." She is especially known for her mocko jumbie soft sculptures and has won several awards for her designs.
Emphasizing innovation in a variety of media, she says she strives to keep her designs light-hearted and whimsical in theme, using vibrant colors to convey her feelings for life in the islands.
She collaborated with artist George Adelwerth of the CybiLL Pottery last year to transfer her mocko jumbie designs onto ceramic works.
Her fascination with shapes and color was honed when she studied sewing and tailoring as a high school student. Working with adding layers of fabric, she created her unique style of dimensional art.

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