Umpqua Valley Winegrowers Association held its 40th "Greatest of the Grape" March 20, 2010

Uplifting Spirits 28x22 acrylic ©Sandi Whetzel
I exhibited my art at the Umpqua Valley Winegrowers' 40th annual Greatest of the Grape on March 20, 2010.  This was the third time I have participated in that event.  The first time I exhibited was in 2004 because I had submitted a painting to the organization to compete for the poster promoting that event.  That painting was Wine on the Vine which illustrated their theme very well.  It was not selected to promote the event but I sold it to an individual a few months later for a very good price.  That painting was the start of a whole series of wine-themed paintings.  I enjoyed the challenge of coming up with an image to illustrate that theme.  That impetus stoked my creativity.  It forced me to dream up an idea from my imagination  to illustrate the imposed theme; a painting that I would not have attempted without taking up that challenge.  Prior to that, I had not thought about painting wine-related subjects.  Little did I know how involved I was to become with all things "wine".

I attended the Greatest of the Grape again in 2006 when my painting, Uplifting Spirits, (pictured here), became the image for the promotional poster illustrating their theme of "Over 100 Cork Poppin' Years".  I exhibited at this event again this year. This time I sold a high quality giclee reproduction on canvas of the Wine on the Vine painting to the married couple who had also purchased my Uplifting Spirits original at auction during the 2006 Greatest of the Grape.  That was exciting because now they are "collectors" of my work.

During the evening of this event I met many people who were interested in my work and I was even approached by some wineries to have my work displayed in their wine tasting rooms and gift shops.  One wine representative suggested I print my art on higher end apparel.  I have been working on that project ever since and hopefully, I will be posting about that soon.

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