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Stonescape's Second Annual Summer Celebration

The first thing I think of when I see the words "pool party" on an invitation is, How can I politely get out of the being-in-the-pool part? I don't even know where my swimsuit is--being fair-skinned and generally heat-averse, I steer clear of sunbathing whenever possible. (That being one of the points, for me, of living in SF.)

So, of course I didn't bring a bathing suit to Norman and Norah Stone's barbecue and pool party up at their Calistoga farmhouse and "Art Cave" late last month--and, judging by how empty the infinity-edge pool was before dinner, neither did a lot of the other 100 or so guests. What we'd forgotten (this despite the fact that the guest list was riddled with heavyweights of the art world) was that the only way to experience the Stones' James Turrell installation, Skyspace, properly is by swimming into it--it sits in the middle of the pool. Or maybe everyone else just underestimated how much they'd want to experience it once they'd heard Norman and Norah's tag-team speech during dinner. (Which, yes, involved some outdoor grilling, but--given the quality of the food turned out by Melissa Teaff Catering--resembled your average barbecue as much as, well, the Turrell does a garden shed.)

Luckily, the Stones--gracious and generous hosts that they are--provided disposable Tyvek (I think) suits, in a surprisingly cute blue Polynesian pattern, and goggles. More people than I'd have guessed turned out to be game to go in, and--after changing in tiny communal dressing rooms--we were rewarded with bathtub-warm water and an amazing view of the sunset sky turning all kinds of Turrell-influenced colors.  --Christine Ryan



Inside the Art Cave: Antiqued, by Mike Kelley is in the foreground;
Christopher Wool's
Feet Don't Fail Me Now is hanging in the rear


Brian Burkhart and Allison Arieff heading to dinner...


...as are Austin Hills and Catherine Hall (the Art Cave is in the background)


Dinner was set up on the lawn of the old farmhouse, which guests were invited to explore
after dinner--lots of art and art furniture, along with some gorgeous Danish pieces



Leslie Jones, Greg Dimich


Norah Stone, flanked by artists Jimmy Raskin and Deborah Cox


Johanna Baruch, Barbara Kate Repa


Jonathan Gans, Abby Turin


The pool house, pool and Skyscape, at the end of a field of lavender


Norman Stone promising that the water in the pool is 90 degrees


Getting ready to swim into the interior of Skyspace