By Kathy L. Collins

The East Hillsborough Art Guild (EHAG) is seeking local businesses to participate in the Business Leader’s Choice Awards for the 2017 Florida Strawberry Festival Fine Art Show, which will run from Thursday, March 2 to Sunday, March 12 at the Florida Strawberry Festival Grounds in Plant City.

The Business Leader’s Choice Award is just $75. Businesses are invited to the show and have the unique opportunity to act as a judge and select an entry to win the award. The winning artist is given a Golden Rosette Ribbon with the sponsor’s name on the back as well as $50 is prize money. The remaining $25 is donated in the business’ name to the EHAG Grant Fund for continued education in visual arts.

Karen Crumley, Chairperson of the 2017 Florida Strawberry Festival Fine Art Show said, “It is important to keep the arts thriving in our community. This defines our society. In part, the arts are the basic cultural heritage of every American.” Crumley added, “Everyone has an imagination. Through art, children and adults can create visual manifestations of abstract ideas thus promoting self-esteem, motivation, aesthetic awareness, cultural exposure, creativity, and improved emotional expression.”

Crumley added, “The Florida Strawberry Festival Fine Art Show in Plant City is a perfect venue for professional artists. It is an equally good venue for amateur artists as well as they gain the experience of presenting their work in a competitive show.” Crumley said, “This art show offers the additional benefit of thousands of festival attendees who will see what great local artists we have to offer. Last year, over 500,000 visited the Florida Strawberry Festival.”

The Osprey Observer, thanks to the generosity of publisher, Marie Gilmore, has been a Business Leader’s Choice Award Sponsor since 2012.

At that time, there were only a few sponsors. Today, this has become a significant and prestigious aspect of the awards given at the Florida Strawberry Festival Fine Art Show.

To become a Business Leader’s Choice Award Sponsor for 2017, please call 924-3829. For information, visit or

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