Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Philadelphia, PA,  July 3, 2009… by popular demand PINOT, the popular wine accessories superstore in Old City, has decided to continue the  exhibition presenting the works of nationally acclaimed painter Samuel J. Formica.  A special art opening will take place on July 3rd, the first Friday in July. The artist will be  on hand signing special limited-edition lithographs prints designed exclusively for PINOT to celebrate their up-coming 3 year anniversary.  First Friday in Old City, is a monthly event that takes place on the first Friday of every month, attracting art lovers of all kinds who enjoy the neighborhood’s 40-plus galleries. Most of the galleries stay open until 9 p.m. Formica’s work came to prominence in 2003 when his painting Looking to the Future became part of the Ben Franklin Tercentenary Exhibit and was lauded by US presidents, including Bill Clinton, George H.W Bush and Gerald Ford for its powerful depiction of America’s history. This stunning painting is on display at the Franklin Institute, and has been published in numerous books and magazines including Ben Franklin In Search Of A Better World by Yale University Press. In 2007 Samuel was chosen one of the top 200 painters in America by Kennedy publishing.  On June 5th, PINOT will be sharing another side of Formica’s work -- his love of wine. Formica began collecting wine corks ten years ago while working as a bartender at Ristorante Panorama, an Italian restaurant in Philadelphia with a world class wine bar. One day in 2004, he got an idea for a series of wine paintings that would utilize the corks he had collected. The result: LeQuattro Stagione del Vino, four separate paintings depicting the four seasons of wine. Each of the four paintings measures 36” x 64” and is made up of 48 small canvasses. Dense in texture and rich in color his careful composition has led him to international recognition. Eight paintings including the Quattro Stagione series will be on display at Pinot throughout the month of June; this will be the first time in more than ten years that a group of Formica’s works has been exhibited.  

PINOT is gaining popularity among Philadelphia wine lovers for its wide variety of corkscrews, stemware, wine furniture, one-of-a-kind wine caddies and custom wine cellars–- as the tagline states:  “everything but the grape.”  In 2008 PINOT, located at 227 Market Street, was awarded Philadelphia Magazine’s coveted Best of Philly ® award for Best Specialty Shop. PINOT is also home of The Wine School at PINOT, the Old City branch of The Wine School of Philadelphia.  For more information, call 215-627-WINE (9463) or visit Portfolio

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Philadelphia Artist Samuel J. Formica Gallery Showing

June 5, 2009

The weather was less perfect, but the atmosphere inside PINOT in Olde City Philadelphia was warm, inviting and very exciting. On display for the first time in ten years were paintings by nationally acclaimed artist Samuel J. Formica. Creating a feeling of being surrounded by the smells and tastes of wine, ‘Le Quattro Stagione del Vino’ sets the mood for the enjoyment of wine during all seasons. Formica’s paintings are very unique in that each is comprised of 48 small canvasses making each painting 36” by 64” in size. When displayed, one is surrounded by all that is wine in every season with colors and textures of paint that is compelling. His technique brings a life of it’s own to the paintings. Fall brings an explosion of bright, deep, rich color and the feeling of a brisk, zesty flavor, winter brings the softer tones of white snow against the stark bareness of the season that just radiates cold and crisp feelings, spring comes alive with the burst of life that begins anew with a vibrant, exuberant feel and summer is gentle, warm and breezy bringing forth a smooth and comfortably lazy, hazy days of summer flair. One can imagine matching a wine to compliment each of these seasons. Mr. Formica is to be commended on taking tasting wine to the next level of sensory perception, that of wine imagery or “Wine Set To Art”.

Also on display were paintings utilizing corks that have been collected by Mr. Formica. Always one to see the artistic value of everyday items, Formica has very expertly integrated corks into another set of unique paintings. He has creatively designed the corks into geometric arrangements that compliment the paintings around them.

In 2003, Formica was recognized for his “Looking to the Future’ painting featuring Benjamin Franklin. This painting, with a wonderful historic theme, is currently on display at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. Former Presidents, Clinton, Ford
and G. H. W. Bush, all have lauded Mr. Formica for capturing such historical significance through this unique painting.

PINOT is located at 227 Market Street in Philadelphia and is a fascinating wine specialty shop featuring ‘everything but the grape’ for the wine lover. Pinot is also home of ‘The Wine School at PINOT’, the Olde City branch of The Wine School of Philadelphia.
Visit PINOT at
Visit Samuel J. Formica at

By: Barbara Garton