Serious about snakes

With the launch of the Lunar New Year on Sunday, everyone seems to be embracing the Year of the Snake. The image is appearing on T-shirts, screensavers and even wine bottles.

Grizzly Peak Winery in Ashland commissioned artist David L. Goines, who grew up in Grants Pass, to create illustrations of all 12 Lunar Zodiac animal spirits for wine labels to raise money for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, where OSF's "White Snake" was staged in November and December.

Goines' artwork has been reproduced in professional publications and acquired by private collectors and museums. The Schneider Museum of Art owns his "Mr. Espresso," a poster he created in 2000 that depicts a woman making an espresso. See the artist's website at

Goines, who started St. Hieronymus Press in Berkeley in 1968 after getting kicked out of U.C. Berkeley because of his involvement in the Free Speech Movement, may attend a release reception for the special-labeled wine in Ashland later this month and in Berkeley in March.

Next to his snake illustration is a short character synopsis of its personality type: People born in the year of the Snake — 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025 — "are tenacious, wise and cunning. Snakes symbolize wisdom and tend to be contemplative and work hard to ensure that things turn out just as they plan. They are cool in a crisis and are successful in business."

— Janet Eastman

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