By Kathy L. Collins

Arts_photo (1)The public is invited to the Eastern Hillsborough Art Guild’s (EHAG) A Christmas Showing of Fine Arts on Thursday, December 4 from 5-8 p.m. at the Plant City Entertainment located at 101 N. Thomas St. in historic downtown Plant City (behind the old post office). This annual event is free and open to the public.

At the A Christmas Showing of Fine Arts there will be wine and cheese, live music throughout the evening and drawing for prizes. Tickets for the drawing are two tickets for $1 and the proceeds help fund EHAG’s scholarship fund.

According to Mike Bryant, chairperson of A Christmas Showing of Fine Arts, “This is our annual members’ show. It is not only a gift to the community; it is also an opportunity for them to see and recognize the passion and skill which abounds within their own neighborhoods. This will be our first year at this venue, and we are anticipating some of the Plant City Entertainment’s performing artists to join us in entertaining our guests. Because we will be more central to the downtown area this year, we are looking forward to an increase in attendance from the local public. Our Guild offers a variety of artists pursuing many visual art forms, so there will be something for everyone to enjoy.”

Richard Wagner, president of EHAG said, “We are excited to bring this show to the downtown area as a holiday festivity. It will be our first cooperative event between the performing arts and the fine arts. The Guild’s showing of fine art is a wonderful way to begin your holiday season. You can meet and talk with the artists. Santa also joins us for this special evening of cheer.”

To celebrate this new cooperative between EHAG and Plant City Entertainment, EHAG is donating a painting of the Plant City Entertainment, Inc. building to the organization as a token thank you for their generous support of EHAG in allowing the use of their space for the event.

Debra Bryant, a member of EHAG and chairperson of the Annual Florida Strawberry Festival Fine Arts Show said, “This beautiful painting was generously created by Richard Wagner, our Guild president and framed by the Guild. There will be an unveiling around 6 p.m. at A Christmas Showing of Fine Arts. Richard has a particular fondness for painting historical architectural pieces and figures.”

To see Wagner’s artwork, visit rwagn erfineartcom.weebly.com.

EHAG was established in 1992 with a mission that includes promoting the enjoyment of the visual arts, enabling members to publicly show and sell their art, actively participating in community events and giving support and encouragement to both professional and emerging artists.

Wagner said, “EHAG has been a driving force in promoting the arts to all residents in and around Plant City as well as other areas in Hillsborough County. Each year two fundraisers help fulfill our intention to sponsor an individual or group that strives to study the arts. Our sole reason for existence is to further the arts.”

Bryant added, “EHAG is a group of like-minded artists pursuing their passions and inspirations in a visual way. We are concerned with helping others in the same quest and fund a scholarship program through community donations. Recipients are selected by a committee process and awarded in May each year.”

In addition to getting ready for A Christmas Showing of Fine Arts, EHAG is gearing up for the Annual Florida Strawberry Festival Fine Arts Show which is a non-juried competition open to all Florida residents and winter visitors. The show runs from February 26 through March 8, 2015 at the Florida Strawberry Festival Fairgrounds.

Non-artist community members can get involved by becoming a Business Leader Awards contributor. A representative from the Business Leader is given the opportunity to select an artist’s work and award them a Business Leader ribbon and cash prize.

For more information, visit www.ehagfinearts.com.