Artists, young and old, professional and amateur, are encouraged to enter original artwork into the 2019 Florida Strawberry Festival Fine Art Show. Your artwork may just be chosen as the Best of Show or win a Business Leaders Choice Award.

A Call To Artists has been issued by the East Hillsborough Art Guild (EHAG) for the 2019 Florida Strawberry Festival Fine Art Show. The show will run throughout the Florida Strawberry Festival which is set to run from Thursday, February 28 through Sunday, March 10 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.

There are multiple categories for both Adult and Youth entries. Adults are divided into Professional Groups (entry fee is $15) and Amateur Groups (entry fee is $12). Adults can enter Oils, Acrylics, Watercolors and Graphic/Mixed Media. The entry fees for both Miniature Art (2D Media) and Sculpture (3D Art) are $12.

The Youth Divisions are by ages. Youth can enter Oils, Acrylics, Watercolors, Graphic/Mixed Media and new this year, Sculpture. The entry fee is $5.

Adults can enter up to four entries, but no more than two in the same division. Youth can enter up to two entries.

The Annual Florida Strawberry Festival Fine Arts Show 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.

There are also prizes for first, second and third places in all Adult and Youth Divisions. Professional Adults can win $150 for First Place, $100 for Second Place and $75 for Third Place. Amateur Adults can win $100 for First Place, $75 for Second Place and $50 for Third Place. Likewise, Youth can win $25 for First Place, $15 for Second Place and $10 for Third Place.

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 over 20 businesses that will be sponsors this year.”

Back by popular demand is the People’s Choice Award. The winner will receive $50. Crumley explained, “We believe that active involvement by the festival attendees increases awareness of the great artists in our local community.” Attendees will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite piece. Voting will take place throughout the entire 11 days of the festival.

All Youth Division entries are sponsored by Jim Scott of Jarret Scott Ford. All Youth Entries receive a participation ribbon.

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 Friday, February 8. 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 22 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.

Crumley said, “This show is a great way to get exposure for artists. You can reach over 500,000 festival attendees.” Crumley added, “It is also a great way for the youngest artist, including high school students, to get the chance have a real-life experience of 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.