There’s quite a bit of fruit on this year’s Britt poster – grapes, apples, pears, cherries. And that’s appropriate considering that the artist who created it used to be the executive art director at Harry & David.
He’s Frank Rinna of Medford, who moved to the Rogue Valley in the 1970s and worked for the famed mail order company until his retirement in 1988. Since then he’s had more time to pursue his first love, watercolor painting.
Rinna’s scene for the 2006 Britt poster depicts the Britt experience through both music and refreshment. You see a violin and some other musical equipment as well as a glass of wine, bread and the fruit.
He initially created the painting for the Britt Bash auction last winter. The original was indeed sold, but Britt officials thought the scene would make a good poster as well.
This is Rinna’s third poster for Britt, each endeavor spaced four years apart. In 1998 he depicted Britt’s gothic revival cottage, which was built in 1860 and was destroyed by fire a century later. And then in 2002 his watercolor was based on a Britt family photograph showing Peter Britt and some of his friends toasting each other in the original vineyard on the Britt grounds.
Rinna graduated summa cum laude from the California College of Arts and Crafts, and then went to work for the San Francisco Chronicle in the early1950s as a staff artist. After five years with the newspaper he freelanced in San Francisco, working with agencies on accounts for the Standard Oil Company, Chevron, PG&E, Pittsburgh Paint, and also Harry & David.
While working on the Harry & David account he was offered the job of executive art director, which involved a move to Medford.
His watercolors are in private collections in Oregon, California, Colorado, Connecticut, San Francisco, Amsterdam and Zurich, Switzerland. He’s an award-winning member of the Watercolor Society of Oregon.
Some of his favorite works are on display in his Medford home, along with photos and magazine covers of his famous daughter, actress Lisa Rinna.