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Former Bottle Artist Selected As Winner Of Early Times® Mint Julep Artist Search Contest

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Feb. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The second Early Times® Mint Julep Artist Search Contest has concluded and Early Times is welcoming back a former bottle artist as this year's winner. After receiving dozens of entries from across the country, Celeste Susany of Saratoga Springs, NY was chosen as the winner for her artwork entitled "Out of the Gate."

For the past 25 years, the Early Times Mint Julep has proudly served as the "Official Drink of the Kentucky Derby®" with a commemorative artwork bottle released for the past 13 of those 25 years. Susany's winning artwork will be featured on this year's Early Times Mint Julep commemorative bottle. In addition, she will receive $5,000 and a trip for two to the 2012 Kentucky Derby.

For 11 of the 13 commemorative bottles, the paintings of Susany had graced the bottle. 2010 marked her final year with her masterwork entitled "A Golden Moment" featuring the field of contenders galloping along the back stretch while the twin spires stand majestically in the background. With 2010 marking Susany's final year of doing the artwork for the commemorative bottle, Early Times held the first nationwide contest where artists were able to submit their original artwork for consideration to be featured on the bottle. The 2011 winner was Marita Walizer of Oklahoma City, OK for her artwork entitled "Derby Cheers."

This year, consumers had a chance to become the 2012 Early Times Mint Julep bottle artist by logging on to the Early Times website and submitting their "Kentucky Derby Day" artwork. In the end, Susany's work was chosen and she will return for her 12th year as the official bottle artist.

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