With Arts & Entertainment Editor Kathy L. Collins

A Call To Artists has been issued by the East Hillsborough Art Guild (EHAG) for the 2018 Florida Strawberry Festival Fine Art Show. The show will run throughout the Florida Strawberry Festival which is set to run from Thursday, March 1 through Sunday, March 11 at the Festival Grounds in Plant City. The show will be held in the Milton E. Hull Building.
Karen Crumley, a member of EHAG, is this year’s chairperson. Crumley encourages all area residents, both young and old, to enter the show. The show is open to both amateurs and professionals. All entries must be original works of art.

The Annual Florida Strawberry Festival Fine Art Show is always a grand one and has grown over the years. Entries are eligible for substantial monetary awards. This includes $100 for the Strawberry Theme Award, $300 for Best of Show and $500 for the Exclusive Purchase Award. The latter is sponsored by Suncoast Credit Union. In addition to the prize money, the winning artist’s piece is displayed at the Suncoast Credit Union Plant City branch.

Artists who do not win one of the above prizes are eligible for a Business Leaders Choice Award. These awards are sponsored by local businesses and chosen by a representative of the business. Crumley said, “We have had requests from new businesses to be a part of this. They love the thought of having the opportunity to be a judge and select the entry they think is the best.”

All Youth Division entries are sponsored by Jim Scott of Jarret Scott Ford. Youth can win $25 for First Place, $15 for Second Place and $10 for Third Place. All Youth Entries receive a participation ribbon. Crumley said, “Jim is very interested in supporting the youth in our community.”

New this year, is the return of the People’s Choice Award. The winner will receive $50.
Crumley explained, “We want to engage the public more this year to let them feel they are a part of the art show. As such, we have reactivated the People’s Choice Award.” Attendees will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite piece. Voting will take place throughout the entire 11 days of the festival.

While this is not a juried show, there is limited space. Entries are accepted on a first come, first serve basis. Anyone interested in entering artwork must carefully review all of the rules and take care to follow them. Early entries are accepted until Monday, February 12. Artists can mail their entry form and fee to East Hillsborough Art Guild, P.O. Box 3055, Plant City, FL 33564. Arts must be brought to the Festival Grounds on Friday, February 23 from 12 Noon to 6 p.m.

Youth entries have the option of mailing their paper art along with their entry form and fee. However, if youth art is on canvas gallery wraps or canvas boards, youth must follow the above procedure.

Artists can enter up to four pieces of original artwork.

There are multiple categories are for adults ages 18 and up including professional and amateur in oils, acrylics, watercolor and graphics/mixed media. In addition, entries for miniature art (2D media) and sculpture are accepted.

For Youth, the ages are separated into four age categories- N for ages 6 to 8; M for ages 9 to 11; L for ages 12 to 14; and K for ages 15 to 17. Youth can enter oils, acrylics, watercolors, and graphic/mixed media.

Crumley said, “We want to encourage the youngest artists, including high school students, in our area to enter this show. The Florida Strawberry Festival has a huge audience of art lovers. This gives the young artists the opportunity to receive real life experience in showing their artwork in a gallery setting that is seen by thousands.”

Entry forms and rules can be found at www.FLstrawberryfestival.com. Simply click on Contests and scroll down to the Art Show. If you have questions, please email Crumley at kscrumley@yahoo.com or call 924-3829.