Vista CA -Surrealistic, droll, yet unmistakably Vista, artist John Alesi’s “Straw Man” is as witty as its name and the unanimously selected first-place winner of the 2015 Vista Strawberry Festival Poster Contest. The competition was coordinated by the ArtBeat on Main Street co-op gallery and presented by the Vista Chamber of Commerce, where the painting is displayed.
Alesi receives a $250 award, courtesy of ArtBeat. His artwork will be featured on the 2015 Vista Strawberry Festival poster and collateral publicity.
Alesi’s winning entry was announced at ArtBeat during the May 25, 2014 Strawberry Festival. ArtBeat owner Kait Matthews relates, “John is an artist, Vista businessman and civic-minded Vistan, making his win very sweet. He owns North County Graphics at 207 Main Street, and is incoming president of the Vista Art Foundation, which currently maintains a studio space at ArtBeat. John is an avid supporter of our gallery, and the feeling is definitely mutual!”
Alesi reveals that his painting is an homage to Belgian surrealist René Magritte’s “Son of Man,” which depicts a man in a suit and bowler hat with a green apple planted on his face. Alesi’s “Straw Man” sports a luscious strawberry instead of an apple. He says, “The background of my painting celebrates the abundant green hills of Vista. I’m honored that my work was selected and very happy to witness the vibrant mix of business and art helping to revitalize our downtown area. ArtBeat has been a good fit. I particularly like the many classes, workshops and opportunities for people to have get-togethers at their gallery. It helps everyone’s business.”
Matthews says that has been a consistent intent from ArtBeat’s inception in June 2012. She explains, “We want to enhance business opportunities and add to the community’s quality of life.”
ArtBeat on Main Street co-op gallery is located at 330 Main Street in downtown Vista. It is open Tuesday-Friday, 11:00 am-6:00 pm; Saturday, 9:30 am-6:00 pm; Sunday, 9:30 am-4:00 pm. For information, visit www.artbeatonmainstreet.com, www.facebook.com/artbeatonmainstreet or discover Vista’s creative vibe – now including a wine lounge and garden! – in person. To learn about gallery partnering opportunities, including space rentals, email firstname.lastname@example.org.