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Contest proves arts liquid value
Local artist is among Essential Artists chosen by 1800 Tequila
Chad Shore

Chad Shore art show
When: 6-9 p.m. Friday
Where: Quinlan Visual Arts Center, 514 Green St. NE, Gainesville
How much: Free
More info: 770-536-2575

Gainesville artist Chad Shore says he never intended his graphic acrylic painting, "My Angel," to be seen outside of his private collection at home.

But as it turns out, the painting of a red-lipped woman adorned with wings will appear on a limited edition series of 1800 Tequila bottles, since Shore is one of a dozen artists named winners in the national Essential Artists competition sponsored by the tequila company.

To mark the honor, there will be a reception of Shore’s work, along with bottles adorned with his painting on the label, on Friday at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center in Gainesville. The reception is open to guests age 21 and older.

There were 60,000 people who entered artwork in the Essential Artist competition sponsored by 1800 Tequila. Ten winners were chosen, along with two celebrity artists.

The original artwork for the bottle label, "My Angel," is a 48-inch square acrylic on wood painted in 2005.

"The series I keep in my personal archive. These are my personal collection," said Shore, a full-time artist who also has his own clothing design company, Sixtus, which features his self-titled "fashion art" on custom T-shirts. Shore has also created advertisements, logos and vehicle graphics for local and national companies.

But the artwork on a tequila bottle is a new place for his work to be shown.

"I mix up my own paints and I do a finish on top that makes it look like glass," he said of his paintings, which have a pop art style. But you won’t be able to check out the original "My Angel" painting at the Quinlan. "It’s in New York now in Proximo (Spirit)’s private gallery."

Born in Gainesville, Shore graduated from Johnson High before leaving for school and eventually traveling around the world. After a while, Shore said he realized he wanted to set down some roots in his hometown and do art full time. "I finally decided, ‘Hey, I’m going to finish college and be an artist,’" he said. "This is probably the hardest job, but I love it."

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