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Reed Ramseys work is Mayors Purchase Award winner
Lathrop Mayors Art Show volunteers Joyce Gatto and Jim Monty get ready for the awards ceremony to start Friday at Lathrop City Hall. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

When Reed Ramsey entered  a photo of rolling waves taken on an Oahu beach into the 24th annual Mayors Art Show and Sale, he didn’t expect much.

In the several shows that he has entered to showcase his art, Ramsey had only previously walked away with an honorable mention ribbon and hadn’t sold any of his work to date. 

But after Friday night, Ramsey’s photograph – which was taken with a Canon 5D Mark III camera and then screened onto a piece of reflective metal to give a glass-like appearance – will forever hang inside of an art gallery. 

Reed, the son of USA Motors owners Steve and Rhonda Ramsey, was honored with not only an award for his photography, but arguably the most prestigious award of the entire show – the Mayor’s purchase award which guarantees that the artwork itself is sold and then placed inside of the Joyce Gatto Gallery inside of Lathrop City Hall where it will remain with all the previous winners for community display. 

“I think shocked was a good way to describe my reaction,” Ramsey said before the start of the awards ceremony Friday night at Lathrop City Hall. “I’ve been taking photographs since high school but the only shows that I ever really enter are this one and the Lodi Grape Festival art show and the best I had done before this was an honorable mention. 

“It’s definitely an honor and not what I was expecting.”

Ramsey entered three photos in all as part of the nearly 150 works of art that were created by local artists and showcased inside of Lathrop City Hall for nearly two weeks – giving local residents the chance to view the entries and appreciate the scope of work that the regional artists brought to the table. 

Lathrop Mayor Sonny Dhaliwal, who selected Ramsey’s photograph for the award, said that the annual show – which has grown to become a regional event in the art community – wouldn’t be possible without the work of community pillars Joyce and Bennie Gatto and a dedicated committee that have been working together for years to make the show into what it has become. 

“I want to thank Bennie and Joyce Gatto for all of the work that they do in making this possible and the entire Mayor’s Art Show committee for their hard work,” Dhaliwal said. “I’m proud of the work of the committee and the volunteers and the people that have made this into what it has become, and it’s something that’s very good for Lathrop as a whole.”

Started 24 years ago by Joyce Gatto to honor local artists that were going unrecognized in the community, the show has become a touchstone for artists throughout Northern California and beyond and was judged this year by CSU Stanislaus Art Historian Dr. Staci Gem Scheiwiller. 

And for Gatto, this year – with the varied entries and the level of artistic talent – was a rousing success. 

“I think this year things were really good and we had a lot of good entries,” Gatto said. “We had a lot of sponsors this year which was wonderful and all of the artists have been so great to work with.

“It’s an event to be proud of and now we focus on a big event next for the 25th which we’re hoping will be the best one we’ve ever had.”


To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.