SEATTLE – Jan.4. 2017 – With shared Texan roots, winemaker Ben Viscon and painter Lindsay Peyton discovered a fast friendship and a kindred creative spark in West Seattle. Their respective mediums may differ, but both Peyton and Viscon are driven by a passion to make beautiful things. And now both of their creations will be featured side-by-side. Peyton’s work will be on display in the Viscon Cellars tasting room, located at 5910 California Ave SW in West Seattle, from January through March.
Peyton will be on site during the West Seattle Art Walk from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month – Jan. 12, Feb. 9 and March 9. The show comes on the heels of Peyton’s recent museum show in Houston, as well as a unique interactive installation in Issaquah over the summer.
“The Viscon Cellars exhibit will feature all new paintings,” Peyton said. “None of the paintings have been shown anywhere before, so that is always exciting for me.” Peyton said she chose recent work that fits the character and identity of Viscon Cellars.
“Viscon Cellars is such a community gathering spot, a place that brings together friends and neighbors,” she said. “I am selecting work that has that feeling for me, whether it is a painting of a favorite Seattle bar or a friend’s living room where I spent a lot of time. I also did a painting of the Viscon Cellars tasting room, inspired by Ben and his passion for wine.”
Both Peyton and Viscon are from the Lone Star State, which is how the artist and winemaker originally bonded. “When I first came into Viscon Cellars, I noticed a Texas license plate on the shelf,” Peyton said. “That’s how I learned Ben is from Texas too. We started talking and became instant friends.”
This will be the first time Peyton’s work is shown within the city limits of her current home of Seattle. “That is super meaningful to me,” she said. “I'm extremely grateful to Ben for the opportunity. Being in my neighborhood allows me to invite new friends who have never seen my work.”
The Viscon Cellars tasting room is open 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays. The space opened in 2014, a major milestone for the winery that owner and operator Viscon built from the ground up. What began as time spent volunteering with local wineries eventually blossomed into creating his own. “I’ve always had an innate curiosity about the science, the art and the romance behind wine,” Viscon said. “I got bitten by the bug while volunteering, then eventually decided to get serious about it.” He went back to school for winemaking and grape growing, while working more than 60 hours a week at his day job. “I studied every night from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.,” he said. “After graduating, I would consult with local wineries, and take some vacation time from my day job during harvest to help out where I could.”
By 2011, Viscon Cellars was born.
“That is when I made my first commercial vintage,” Viscon said. “We released those wines in August of 2014, which is when the tasting room opened.”
His story left an impression on Peyton.
“Ben Viscon is extremely inspiring,” she said. “He left a corporate job to take a chance on a creative dream. He is so thoughtful about the wines that he makes. I feel like he and I are similar in that aspect. We both put a lot of time and effort into what we make.” She is also struck by the fact that Viscon makes all the wines himself – and runs every aspect of the business with only help from his wife and a few friends. “It’s an amazing effort,” she said. “Similarly, my paintings take months to make. We both put everything we have into what we create, heart and soul. That's why I want everyone to meet Ben.”
Showcasing local artists like Peyton is part of the vision Viscon has for his tasting room.
“I love the arts,” he said. “My family owned some art galleries in El Paso, where I grew up. My dad had a kind of combination art gallery and artist supply studio that he owned and ran. As a kid, I worked with him all the time on weekends and summer breaks. I gained an appreciation for all forms of art.”
With his tasting room, he wants to help local artists share and sell their work. “Now that I am a small business owner myself, it is important to me to support art,” he said. “I want to feature local artists and help them tell their story. It is also a conversation piece with my customers. They come in for the wine, and then they start noticing the walls are full of beautiful art and start asking questions.”
Peyton and Viscon both believe that her art and his tasting room share a similar warmth.
“I do think the tasting room is a natural fit for my art,” Peyton said. “The space is definitely unique. Everyone loves the wine -- and talking to Ben and his family. It definitely has that pub feel -- a place where you're not necessarily there for the drink, but to talk to the owner or run into a neighbor. It has this warm, inviting feel. I want people to feel like they can walk into the interiors and spend time in them.”
Which is exactly how Viscon describes Peyton’s work.
“When Lindsay paints a room, she captures the essence and the warmth of the space,” Viscon said. “She can portray the essence of a place and you feel like you have been there. You see it and think, ‘Oh, I could just go sit on that chair, or I could just be right there and have a drink.’ Her work is warm in the sense that you can kind of tell there have been souls in the rooms she paints, like they are still there.”
For more information about the artist, visit lindsaypeytonart.com.
For more information about Viscon Cellars, visit visconcellars.com.