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Artist Wins Chance to Design Grateful Dead Tickets

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    Grateful Dead artwork, posters and photographs are prepared for auction on March 27, 2015 in Union, Illinois. The items will be offered for sale with a trove of other Grateful Dead memorabilia at a two-day sale on August 11 and 12 by Donley Auction Services in Union. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

    Artist Chelsea Elliott has been selected as a winner in the Grateful Dead's Fabulous Envelope Contest landing her artwork on the front of the tickets for one of the last shows of the band's 50th anniversary tour.

    "I think my jaw hit the floor. I didn't think I would ever win. I'm really excited," said Elliott, of Frostburg.

    The Grateful Dead, the iconic San Francisco-based rock band, had announced that they wanted to honor the "days of old" by holding a mail-order ticket sale. A throwback to the 1960s, those wanting to attend shows were asked to get tickets through the mail. As was done in the past, those requesting tickets often decorated the outside of the envelopes with art in an effort to get their ticket request noticed.

    The artwork was often very original and well-crafted. There have even been books published featuring the envelope art.

    "There were a half million requests for tickets," said Elliott.

    Elliott's artwork was one of nearly 600,000 mail-in ticket requests.

    The Grateful Dead's final concerts of the tour are three shows at Chicago's Soldier Field. The three sold-out shows will be held July 3, 4 and 5.

    Elliott's ticket design will be on the front of the tickets for the July 3 show. Elliott's artwork also includes the Cumberland postmark that appeared on the envelope.

    "Mine was the only one to include the postmark on it," said Elliott.

    A tattoo artist at Tattoo Nouveau on George's Creek Road in Midland, Elliott's boss, Jessica Muessen, also had her number design of "50th" selected to appear on the back of the tickets.

    Elliott received a call from a staff member of the the Dead's website ticket-sales company, "GDTS Too," in California on April 8. She received the good news that her envelope art was selected as a contest winner.

    "I screamed like a little girl. I couldn't believe it," said Elliott.

    Elliott had sent requests for two tickets, each for all three nights in Chicago.

    "I thank my dad (Michael Elliott) for getting me into the best kind of music. I'm a huge Grateful Dead fan," said Elliott, a 2007 graduate of Allegany High School and a 2012 graduate of Frostburg State University.

    Known as the "Fare Thee Well," tour, the Dead's 50th shows include longtime members Bob Weir, Phil Lesh and Mickey Hart. Trey Anastasio has joined the group on guitar.

    Elliott and her boyfriend plan to travel by Amtrak to the concerts. She was able to get tickets for all three nights with one night free for winning the contest.

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