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The embodiment of California’s Central Valley is captured in Merced’s newest upscale restaurant concept, Rainbird, located within the historic El Capitan Hotel opening in early Q1 2022 for dinner and weekend brunch. With an experimental and thought-provoking five-course tasting menu restaurant from Executive Chef Quentin Garcia, Rainbird celebrates the very best of the season, reflecting deep relationships with the community and the surrounding agricultural region. The name Rainbird--inspired by the animal known to sing before rain--represents the bird’s unique migration patterns that signal the coming of rain and a forthcoming bountiful harvest.

The farms and vendors that we feature are: 

Humble Rice farmer

Marchini Farms

Gallo Farms

Country Nerd Farms

Burroughs family farms

Old Lake Mill, George Pena

Margaret Haden



Dimensions: 50” x 96” (on wall)

Bio: Margaret grew up in California's Central Valley, but more recently lived in New York where she received her MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Margaret is now living a relatively nomadic, bicoastal lifestyle. Margaret makes things out of clay, working with her hands to build vessel-oriented objects as well as utilitarian pottery. Her process of cutting and removing clay while simultaneously adding and pushing dictates a degree of imperfection in the form, creating a unique organism each and every time.


Art Info: The piece represents an aerial view of an almond orchard. There are 4 rows of 8 forms. The forms are all in a grid similar to the way tree orchards are laid out. The 8 forms in each row are representing the germination of a growing almond tree (from flower to seed). The colors are similar but not hyperrealistic to the different stages of almond tree growth. Whites, pinks, greens, browns, and gold are scattered throughout. 

Daniel Van Gerpen


Mixed media on canvas

Dimensions: 48“ x 72” each

Bio: Daniel grew up in the Midwest and began creating art at an early age fostered by a painterly mother and a pastoral father. With continued education and exploration, Daniel has worked to develop a style that reflects the contemplative nature of the natural landscape. On his work, Daniel notes that “the inherent rhythm of the rows of agriculture is juxtaposed by the flowing curves of the river. The ebb and flow of nature create landscapes smoothed, carved, and hewn into shape by the seemingly invisible forces of time.”

Contact: 831 -320 -0944

Dal Henderson

Break Down

Archival rag print with polyurethane on wood Dimensions: 30“ x 72”

Bio: Dal’s work is the result of constant decision-making. He deals with materials as honestly as possible, seeking to develop cohesive surfaces. Dal’s primary goal is to make art that is both closed and open. The art is closed when the surface seems complete. It remains open because it doesn’t necessarily deal with representational imagery. It is its own image, its own idea, and there are questions that haven’t been answered. “The end result of my art making is that I have a fragment of reality. It is a piece of something I can hold onto,” he notes.


Photography Credits

Gary Fx LaMorte

Christopher Stromberg