Former Argentinean artist transforms wine boxes into masterpieces in SRB


Brooke Gontarek and her artist husband, Juan Francisco Adaro, who was recently chosen as one of three winners of the "Award of Excellence," during Mattie Kelly's 17th annual Festival of the Arts held at Henderson Beach State Park.

Jessica Coker | The Sun
Published: Sunday, December 23, 2012 at 08:00 AM.

Twelve years ago, when Niceville-native Brooke Gontarek went to a street fair in Buenos Aires, Argentina, she left with amazing memories and two huge paintings by Argentinian street artist Juan Francisco Adaro.

Gontarek, who didn’t speak Spanish at the time of their first meeting, was accompanied by a translator. They came upon Adaro at a street fair, and even though Adaro spoke passable English, the translator told him not to speak it so that it appeared like he was "doing his job."

Nine years later when Gontarek returned to Buenos Aires to study wine and teach English, the two reconnected.

“Somehow we ended up spending that night out dancing the tango … we were engaged within two weeks,” Gontarek said.

“Instead of taking home art, she took home the artist," added Adaro.

The newlyweds moved to Santa Rosa Beach where Gontarek got back to work as a wine sommelier, and Adaro settled into his new country and life, creating his unique works of art.

The couple found a way to tie their love of wine and art together when Gontarek began bringing home wooden wine boxes for Adaro to use as his canvas.

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