INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED ARTIST SANDRA GILMORE WINS
32nd ANNUAL CALIFORNIA STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL
OFFICIAL POSTER CONTEST AND TAKES HOME THE $2,000 GRAND PRIZE
Famed needlepoint illustrator Sandra Gilmore’s high-flying original strawberry design soared to top honors in the 2015 California Strawberry Festival Poster Contest.The Woodland Hills native who currently resides in Carlsbad, was awarded a $2,000 grand prize and will see her original design gracing 2015 California Strawberry Festival posters, T-shirts and collectible merchandise. This is a repeat performance for the talented artist whose image of a little girl coveting a bowl of strawberries was the signature poster in 2006.
After driving around Oxnard and taking in its unique elements of vast open spaces for agriculture, the ocean and awesome sunsets, she came up with an idea that would embrace that feeling. She first sketched the image, and then brought it to life using watercolors, color pencils, and ink.
Creativity is the essence of everything Gilmore undertakes. Most of her work is in needlepoint where she creates up to 50 original designs each year for stitching on painted canvasses with the acclaimed company “Fleur de Paris.” As a powerhouse in the industry, she has more than 1,000 designs in her catalog available throughout the United States, Canada and Australia. Never idle, she also creates custom pieces for clients in oils, illustrations, website designs and cartoons.
Gilmore has attended the California Strawberry Festival at least 10 times over the past decades. She says, “I’m real excited with this win. I love this Festival – it’s like a throw back to a time we don’t have anymore. I especially enjoy exploring the hundreds of Fine Arts & Crafts booths and visiting with the artists. “
Sandra Gilmore shows off her winning poster for the 2015 California Strawberry Festival.
View our poster gallery below.
The Berry Blast Off Recipe Contest
California Strawberry Festival Seeks Unique Submissions
For Annual Berry Blast Off Recipe Contest
Grand Prize Include a Resort Vacation Getaway and Chef Knife Set
If you love cooking with the berry heart shaped fruit as the main ingredient, then enter the Berry Blast Off Recipe Contest, presented by the Ventura County Star. You could be the winner who goes on vacation to celebrate! All contestants who submit a recipe will be awarded a free ticket to this year’s Festival. (limited to one person/one per family/one per residence)
Festival organizers are searching for the tastiest non-baking strawberry dish for the popular timed challenge that culminates Saturday, May 16th in the Festival’s Strawberry Promenade when two finalists prepare and present their recipes for judges and festival attendees in the ultimate “strawberry smack down.”
Applicants must enter a non-baking strawberry recipe with their favorite sauce, dessert, entrée, dip, drink, jam, spread, appetizer, snack, etc. – the more creative and complex the dish, the better. Submissions will be accepted until noon April 10, 2015. Five finalists will be selected to compete in a timed, iron chef-style challenge Tuesday, May 5 at 11:00am at the professional kitchen of the Courtyard by Marriott Oxnard, where they must prepare and present their strawberry dish within one hour. The judges select two finalists to continue on with VIP access in a competition for the ultimate reward at the Festival May 16th.
The grand prize winner will choose from a three-day, two night getaway vacation to Palm Springs, San Diego, Cabo San Lucas or Branson, Missouri, courtesy of Welk Resorts (airfare not included), and a Cutco studio knife set valued at more than $1,000. The runner up will receive an overnight stay at the Courtyard by Marriott Oxnard along with a complimentary dinner for two at acclaimed Tierra Sur Restaurant at Herzog Wine Cellars in Oxnard.
Annual Elementary School Youth Art Design Contest
Each year, the Festival reaches out to elementary schools throughout districts in Ventura and Las Virgenes to engage students — kindergarten to sixth grade — in the annual Youth Art Design Contest.
Every one of the thousands of students who participate will receive a Festival ticket as an appreciation for their efforts.
Connecting kids through art, the contest serves to spread awareness of the “homegrown” event that pays tribute to the county’s rich agricultural industry while giving back to the community. The class does a study plan around the art work and speaks of the berries growing in the fields and their importance to the region’s economy. Students can use any medium to create their masterpiece on a standard piece of plain white paper. (markers, pen/pencil, crayon, colored pencil, etc.) A committee judges all submissions to determine which student’s design best captures the look and feel of the Festival.
“Art offers a medium of expression that really connects with kids,” says Festival Chairperson Wendy Holder. “The student who wins gets a special surprise at his/her class during a presentation visit.”
The winning student will also receive a $100 gift certificate to Lakeshore Learning and tickets for his/her entire family to attend the Festival. The teacher receives a gift certificate for supplies. The framed art work will be on display for all to enjoy at the Community Connections booth during the weekend celebration.
Left to right: Teacher Mrs. Perez, with 2014 winner Itzel Gonzalez, and Festival board member Daisy Tatum