By Kathy L. Collins

Strawberry Festival Arts_BESTPlant City is synonymous with strawberries and each year this fruit, along with fine arts, are celebrated at the Annual Florida Strawberry Festival which showcases a Fine Art Show presented by the Eastern Hillsborough Art Guild (EHAG).

Under the direction of Chairperson, Debra Bryant, the show continues to grow both in size and prestige. Bryant said, “The entries this year created an impressive display of artistic talent from Hillsborough County and several surrounding counties.” In addition, the show was in a new location exhibited in the Milton E. Hull Building.

This year there were 324 entries. Two highly-qualified individuals acted as judges for this year’s show including Jerry Crawford, a retired gallery owner and John Hardin, a professor at Hillsborough Community College. The judges looked at many aspects of each piece of art including draftsmanship, composition, color harmony, values of light and shade as well as creativity.

The Best in Show award went to Lois Staller of Tampa for her piece entitled “Glade Creek.” Petera Semple’s “Berries and Sweet Onion” won the Strawberry Theme Award.

There were additional winners in four categories of adult professional for oils, acrylics, watercolors and graphics/mixed. Adult amateur awarded winners for the same categories plus one for sculptures and miniatures. There were youth winners in drawing/painting.

Over $3,800 was distributed in prize money including $300 for Best in Show.

Bryant said, “We were happy with the number of entries. Because of our more accessible location, we expect a much larger volume of artwork next year.”

There was an additional winner in a category known as the Business Leader’s Choice Award. Local businesses contributed $75 to choose a winning work of art. Bryant said, “Our Business Leaders have been very generous in their participation, not only as monetary sponsors for the awards and to our scholarship fund, but in their endeavor to support our arts community.”

This year’s scholarship recipient will be the McDonald Training Center.

To support the arts and become a Business Leader for the 2015 Florida Strawberry Festival Fine Art Show, contact


Previous articleSummer Lifeguards Wanted For Local Parks
Next articleTwin Lakes To Hold Community Garage Sale