With Arts & Entertainment Editor Kathy L. Collins

A Call to artists has been issued by the East Hillsborough Art Guild (EHAG) for the 2017 Florida Strawberry Festival Fine Art Show which will run from Thursday, March 2 to Sunday, March 12. The Fine Art Show will be held in the Milton E. Hull Building on the Strawberry Festival Fairgrounds.

Karen Crumley, a long time member of EHAG is back as chair of the Florida Strawberry Festival Fine Arts Show. Crumley was the chair for 17 years. She took several years off from her duties, but is excited to be back. While Crumley is not an artist herself, she is a staunch advocate for the arts. Crumley said, “I am not an artist, my son is, and he wanted to join the club (EHAG) in 1992 when it first started. We joined together so I could help on committees to help make sure the fine arts thrive in our local area including Plant City.”

Crumley encourages artists, young and old, professional and amateur, to enter original works of art in the 2017 show. Crumley said, “The Florida Strawberry Festival draws a huge audience, and the chance for local artists to have their work viewed is tremendous.”

This year’s show will be a grand event with nearly $5,000 available in prizes. This includes the prestigious Purchase Award sponsored by Suncoast Credit Union ($500), the Best of Show ($300) and the Business Leaders’ Choice Awards. The latter is sponsored by area businesses that advocate and support the arts.

While this is not a juried show, there is limited space. Early entries are being accepted through Sunday, February 12. Artists can mail the entry form and fees to EHAG, P.O. Box 3055, Plant City, FL 33563. Artwork is to be hand delivered to the Florida Strawberry Festival grounds on Friday, February 24 from 12 Noon to 6 p.m.
For anyone who is entering the show, it is crucial that you carefully review the rules prior to entering. There are size requirements as well as framing and hanging requirements.

Artists can enter up to three pieces of art. There are four Adult Professional Divisions which have an entry fee of $15 per entry. There are four Adult Amateur Divisions which have an entry fee of $12 per entry. There are also divisions for Adult Miniature and Adult Sculpture. Each of these has a $12 fee per entry.

Youth, ages six to 17, are encouraged to take part in the Florida Strawberry Festival Fine Art Show. This is a great opportunity for young, aspiring artists to create an original piece of artwork, have it hung in a gallery setting and have it viewed by thousands who visit the festival.

Crumley said, “We especially want to encourage students to enter and spread their wings. The experience lets them learn about competition and how to display their work.

The Youth Division has an option of allowing them to mail their 8.5” x 11” paper entries only by Sunday, February 12 along with their entry form and fee of $5 per entry. If they do not mail the entry, they can bring it to the festival grounds on Friday, February 24 from 12 Noon to 6 p.m.” It should be noted that if students opt for the hand delivery of their artwork, they still have send their entry form and fee in the mail by Sunday, February 12.

If you have ever considered entering an art show, this is the one for you. The show is open to all Florida residents, including winter residents.

The entry forms and rules can be found at www.FLstrawberryfestival.com just click on Contests and Rules. If you have any additional questions, please email Crumley at kscrumley@yahoo.com or call 924-3829.