Home Industry News Releases Museum of Sonoma County to Honor Dr. Walter Byck of Paradise Ridge...

Museum of Sonoma County to Honor Dr. Walter Byck of Paradise Ridge at Annual Gala


(SANTA ROSA, CA)- August 22, 2019 – The Museum of Sonoma County (MSC) is pleased to present the 2019 Museum Gala on Saturday, October 12 at the Hyatt Regency Sonoma Wine Country in Santa Rosa. The annual Gala is the Museum’s largest fundraising event of the year, generating funds to support the Museum’s exhibitions, educational programs, and collections.

This year’s Gala, chaired by Museum board member Staci Pastis, will be honoring Dr. Walter Byck, president and founder of Paradise Ridge Winery, with the 2019 Visionary Award. Dr. Byck and his family have been longtime supporters of local art, history, and the Museum.

Dr. Byck and his late wife, Marijke, opened Paradise Ridge Winery in 1994 and within a year had unveiled the first sculpture exhibit in the new Paradise Woods Sculpture Grove. Upon retiring from medicine in 1997, Walter turned his attention towards growing his sculpture project and connecting the local art community. “When my wife and I first planned our sculpture garden featuring local artists 23 years ago, we had no idea how much joy it would give us,” said Byck. “Working with and knowing the artists and others within the art world was a great experience.”

In addition to supporting the local art community, Paradise Ridge Winery has also made significant efforts to preserve the history and legacy of Fountaingrove, exhibiting the story of the land, Fountain Grove Winery, and Kanaye Nagasawa in their tasting room, which was lost during the 2017 Tubbs Fire. A replica of the Fountain Grove Round Barn, lent from the winery, is currently on display in the mezzanine gallery of the Museum.

“I find Dr. Byck to be a visionary,” said Pastis, “not only in how he appreciates and curates our history, but also in how he respects and protects our natural surroundings and our art. The purchase of the land that encompasses Paradise Ridge and the stewardship of that land is in itself a gift to our community. The addition of sculpture to the land allows the public to experience the art while surrounded by breathtaking scenery, exemplifying Dr. Byck’s vision and commitment to both our history and our art.”

This year’s Gala theme is “Color Our Story: A Bold Color Ball,” encouraging guests to make a fashion statement using bold colors. “This year’s theme celebrates the colorful history, art, landscape, and culture that make Sonoma County the unique and wonderful place it is,” says Jeff Nathanson, MSC Executive Director. “It is an invitation for our community to be a part of shaping our future.”

Gala guests will enjoy a reception with live jazz, a silent auction, and raffle, followed by a delicious dinner and live auction, led by State Senator Mike McGuire. Auction lots include an impressive and unique array of items and experiences, including tickets to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, a variety of local theater and performing arts events, a dinner with four Santa Rosa Mayors, and a private tour of Russian River Brewery.

Tickets are available online, by phone, or in person at the Museum and are $150 for Museum members and $200 for non-members. They are tax-deductible and available through Friday, October 4.

The 2019 Museum Gala is generously sponsored by individuals and businesses including: Steven and Angela Gelber, Resolution Capital/Eric and Debbie Green, John Pashilk and Diane Sotos, Dale and Susan Schmid, Richard and Margaret Tempero, Anderson Zeigler Law Firm, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, North Bay Bohemian, Paradise Ridge Winery, The Press Democrat, Signarama, Wooden Spoon Technologies, and Wright Contracting (list complete as of 8/21/2019).

For sponsorship inquiries, please contact: Maggie Stockel, Development Manager, [email protected], (707) 579-1500 ext. 104

The 2019 Gala is organized by the gala committee: Staci Pastis (Chair), Richard Tempero, Carin Jacobs, Estelle Rogers, Liz Uribe, Karen Weeks, Jeff Nathanson, Maggie Stockel, and Katie Azanza.

For more information and tickets, please visit: www.museumsc.org/gala.

About the Museum of Sonoma County

Located in Downtown Santa Rosa on Seventh Street between A and B Streets, the Museum of Sonoma County (MSC) presents exhibitions of modern and contemporary art and local and regional history. MSC is open year-round with changing exhibitions, public programs, school tours, and special events. MSC preserves and manages a regional art and history collection of over 18,000 objects, the region’s largest object documentation of Sonoma County’s history and culture.


The Museum of Sonoma County engages and inspires our diverse community with art and history exhibitions, collections, and public programs that are inclusive, educational, and relevant.

Smithsonian Affiliate

The Museum of Sonoma County has been a Smithsonian Affiliate since 2009. Smithsonian Affiliations establishes long-term partnerships with museums, education and cultural organizations to facilitate the loan of Smithsonian artifacts and traveling exhibitions, as well as to develop innovative educational collaborations locally and nationally. Created in 1996 by an act of the Smithsonian Board of Regents, the program is overseen by the Smithsonian’s Assistant Secretary for Education and Access and is one of the pillars of the Institution’s national outreach efforts. There are more than 200 Smithsonian Affiliates in nearly every state, Puerto Rico and Panama. Affiliates represent the diversity of America’s museum community—size, location and subject—and serve all audiences. More than 8,000 Smithsonian artifacts have been displayed at Affiliate locations for the past 20 years.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.