Florida woman is the winner of the 2017 Gilroy Garlic Festival poster

Published in the May 10 – 23, 2017 issue of Morgan Hill Life

By Staff Report

Patty Curtis

Patty Curtis is proud to know her creative talents will be featured on posters for the 2018 downtown Morgan Hill Wine Stroll.

The local singer and art teacher won the first-place award for her painting at this year’s event hosted by the Morgan Hill Downtown Association. Her work shows two bunches of grapes transforming into wine and cascading into two wine glasses.

It was the overwhelming favorite among this year’s Wine Stroll guests who cast their votes among nine art entries that were displayed on the walls of GVA Cafe’s lounge room. Two other painting tied for second place, said Kathy Sullivan, a MHDA member in charge of this year’s art competition.

“Patty was clearly the favorite but every one of the art entries got votes,” Sullivan said. “There was always somebody who thought a picture was the best, so that shows the quality of the art work submissions.”

2017 Wine Stroll Poster Art First-place Winner

The fun and friendly contest was inaugurated at last year’s Wine Stroll. Local artist Christine Hwang won in 2016 with a painting of a woman walking with a wine glass in her hand. Wong’s image was used for marketing this year’s contest.

The MHDA will have a poster design team take care of the details of adding verbiage, sponsors and logos to Curtis’s painting to turn it into a promotional poster for the 2018 Morgan Hill Wine Stroll.

Curtis has a long background of involvement in local arts, singing in bands at various events in Morgan Hill as well as teaching art to children in local elementary schools, Sullivan said.

“She’s just a multi-talented woman,” Sullivan said. “I’m glad she’ll get some recognition for her artistic skills. She’s really an amazing lady. The artist will also be given a prize. We offer $100 and wine or $100 and a gift certificate for art supplies. I think Patty is choosing the arts supplies one.”

Downtown Morgan Hill in recent years has enhanced its image with artistic works throughout the various blocks. Sullivan came up with the idea of the art contest in 2016 when she noticed the trend of various public works of art including the downtown garage spider sculpture and the poppy jasper glass wall.

“I started the arts (poster) contest last year because our Morgan Hill Art Gallery was still in town and I wanted to promote that building and I wanted people to know we have artists who are show-casing there,” she said. “It turned into a real blessing for us because the art is created in a way that makes things very unique and wonderful for Wine Stroll. It gives us a chance to showcase the artist and gives us a poster to represent the event.”

Besides posters, Wong’s image was seen throughout the downtown on “clings,” or special paper with the 2017 art winner that adheres to the sidewalks. Sullivan thinks it is a natural fit to combine works of local artists with Wine Stroll to enhance the experience for the guests. This year the MHDA sold all 1,000 tickets for Wine Stroll thanks in large part to the more enhanced marketing, she said.

“Art and wine go together,” she said. “Our new building, the new Edes Building where the pop-up park on Second Street and Monterey Road now stands, is going to have an art gallery and wine bar. Those two together will create a nice combination for everyone to enjoy.”

The results of another art poster contest were announced a few miles south of Morgan Hill in April. The artistic creation of a woman in the Sunshine State will help promote this year’s Gilroy Garlic Festival. Diane Grosman from Winter Haven, Fla., won first place and a $500 prize in the 2017 festival’s art poster contest.

The winning design will be available for sale during the 2017 Gilroy Garlic Festival, which will be held July 28 to 30. This is the third time Grosman has entered the contest. She said she was “absolutely tickled to win.”

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The inspiration for her poster art came from all the rain the Golden State received this winter. The deluge led her to put on canvas a Monet-like Impressionistic image of garlic bulbs. It features swirling rain clouds in the background and the green of new growth on the bulbs. The original acrylic painting will be going to a friend’s French bistro café in Prague, Czech Republic, she said.

After attending art school in Boston in the 1970s, Grosman worked as a graphic designer until her retirement. Since then, with the encouragement of her husband, George, Grosman has returned to her roots as a fine artist.

“Winning this contest was like an affirmation for me,” she said. “For the first time, I truly felt like an artist.”

Having lived in Southern California for about 25 years before recently relocating to central Florida, Grosman attended the Gilroy Garlic Festival several times and said she has wonderful memories of “good music, lots of happy people, and the yummy garlic ice cream,” she said.