The face of the Winefest

Colorado Association for Viticulture and Enology/Special to The Daily Sentinel Marla Deaver's painting, "A Taste of Palisade," bottom, won the 2018 Colorado Mountain Winefest Commemorative Poster Art competition on Jan. 26.

Imagine having the world of wine in your glass.

If your world is centered in the Grand Valley, you'll see in Marla Deaver's eye-catching watercolor titled "A Taste of Palisade" encompassing all that makes the Grand Valley special.

Many others think so as well, for Deaver's artwork recently was awarded first prize by public acclamation in the 2018 Colorado Mountain Winefest Commemorative Poster Art competition.

The painting will be the featured art for the 27th annual Colorado Mountain Winefest presented by Alpine Bank set for Sept. 13–16.

The artwork features a long-stemmed wineglass filled with scenes of vineyards, Mount Garfield and the changing hues of aspen leaves, all on a background of grape leaves and bunches.

The painting will grace all local and national print and digital Winefest marketing efforts, including posters, T-shirts, brochures and the popular wine totes given to Winefest attendees.

Deaver, a Grand Junction resident and graduate of the Colorado Art Institute, is an independent Realtor and said she dreams of someday being a full-time artist.

"But I have to make a living first," she said with a laugh.

This was her first entry into the annual Winefest poster art contest, and Deaver credited her mother for the inspiration behind the painting.

"She said 'Paint inside the glass,' and I went from there," Deaver said recently. "I tried to include everything that's really wonderful about Palisade."

Deaver's favorite medium is acrylic, but she chose watercolor for her Winefest entry because "I wanted to get the right effects and the intensity for the colors in the aspen and the grape leaves in the background," she said.

The poster art competition and Colorado Mountain Winefest are sponsored by the Colorado Association for Viticulture & Enology (CAVE). Executive director Cassidee Shull said this year's art contest attracted more than 20 entries and a record crowd of more than 200 people for an opening reception Jan. 26 at the Blue Pig Gallery in Palisade.

"It was an amazing crowd, and it's so nice that Marla won," Shull said. "I think Marla was the most-excited winner we've had, and she had a huge support group to cheer her on."

Two other Grand Junction artists were awarded second and third. Wendy Videlock took second place with her painting "Spill the Wine" and Cynthia Underwood was third with "A Toast to Wine Country."

All winning artwork may be seen at the Blue Pig Gallery, 101 West Third St., in Palisade, through the end of February.

Shull said tickets to the 2018 Winefest already are selling quickly, a boost after the festival last year was named Top Winefest in the Nation by USA Today.

Shull noted only 100 or so tickets remain for the VIP tent and those are expected to sell out by the end of March.

Information about Winefest is available at coloradowinefest.com.

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