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Grand Junction artist wins 2013 Colorado Mountain Winefest art competition

By Dave Buchanan

A richly hued painting melding two of the region’s growing economic forces has been selected as the centerpiece for the 2013 Colorado Mountain Winefest.

Grand Junction artist Judy Rogan won the 2013 Colorado Mountain Winefest art competition with her acrylic painting titled “Tipsy Trails.”

The painting, which shows a comfortable-looking bicycle carrying a basket laden with a bottle of wine, grapes, two wine glasses and a loaf of bread, all super-imposed on a conceptual map of various biking trails around the area, will grace the art and advertising for the 2013 Winefest.

Rogan’s work was selected Friday night by voters during a public showing at the Blue Pig Gallery in Palisade.

“I’ve done quite a few bike paintings and some wine paintings in the past and decided to put them together,” said Rogan, admitting she was “very surprised” when it was announced she had won.

“I had submitted a couple of times in the past but this is a real surprise, I honestly didn’t think it would happen,” said the quietly shy Rogan, who now can expect to see her work splashed on posters, T-shirts and other 2013 Winefest-related advertising.

“I noticed there are a lot of bike tours in Palisade and the area is becoming more and more famous with its bikes and wine and I thought it would be fun to combine the two,” said Rogan in a phone conversation Monday. She laughed when asked about the map, which combines trails on city streets and along the river.

“I did the map so no one would want to follow it,” she said. “If they did, they’d get very lost.”

Voters evidently had a hard time deciding between Rogan’s work and that of her friend, runner-up JD Janowksi of Whitewater

Her oil painting titled “Doin’ the Colorado Grapevine Stomp” shows a woman wearing a bright red dress and wide-brimmed straw hat dancing in front of grape vines with blue mountains on the far horizon.

“The model was me,” said Janowski with a laugh. “I’ve been to Winefest and I wanted to reflect that Western spirit of the event. So, I put on my broomstick skirt, hat and boots and danced in the backyard while my husband took pictures.”

Janowski also finished second in last year’s art competition.

This was the second year the art competition, which this year attracted seven entries, was held in a public-vote format, said Cassidee Schull, executive director for the Colorado Association for Viticulture and Enology (CAVE), the non-profit organization representing and promoting the state’s wine industry. CAVE also is the producer of the Colorado Mountain Winefest and the Colorado Urban Winefest.

“We were very happy with all the entries,” Schull said. “The voting was very close but we’re very happy for Judy and pleased to have her work representing Winefest.”

All of the Winefest art competition entries will be displayed in the Blue Pig Galley (119 West 3rd St.) for two weeks.

The 22nd annual Colorado Mountain Winefest is scheduled for Sept. 19-22. The Colorado Urban Winefest, the culmination of Colorado Wine Week, will be June 8 on the Auraria campus in Denver.

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