The 2018 Florida Strawberry Festival Fine Art Show, presented by the East Hillsborough Art Guild (EHAG), once again showcases the artwork of the talented residents of the area. The show is open to the public during the Annual Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City.

According to chair, Karen Crumley, “We had a record number of entries this year. We had 548 pieces of artwork entered.” Crumley added, “The Youth Division continues to grow, bringing in large amounts of work thanks to the commitment of area art teachers.”

The judges for this year’s show were Kerry Lynn Vosler, a painter of heirloom portraits and landscapes. Her work is exhibited nationally and internationally. Vosler is a faculty member for the Portrait Society of America’s Portrait Academy Series and has been their Florida Ambassador since 2003.

Ellen Chastain, the Education Manager for the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland was also a judge. Chastain serves as Polk Museum of Art’s liaison to the Polk County School District, Polk County Tax Collector’s Office for Special Programs and VSA of Central Florida.

This year, the coveted Best of Show award was given to Esme Coward of Crescent City. In addition to the accolades bestowed upon Esme, the Best of Show award is given along with a cash prize of $300.
The Strawberry Theme Award winner is Heather Espisito of Lakeland. Espisito received a ribbon and a cash award of $100.

The winner of the Suncoast Credit Union Purchase Award also went to Esme Coward. The winner of this category is chosen by a representative of the Plant City branch, and the winning piece will be on display at the branch throughout the coming year. Esme also received a cash prize of $500.

The student entries this year were outstanding. In addition to the above awards, area businesses stepped up to be a part of the Business Leader Choice Awards. This year, there were 12 Business Leader Choice Awards. Among them were the Osprey Observer and Winthrop Arts, Inc.

For more information on this year’s show and to get information for next year, please visit www.ehagfinearts.com.