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‘Strawberry Dragon’ tops poster contest

Janet Thiets lives in Georgia but she was so inspired by the Marysville Strawberry Festival’s theme of “Magical Fantasy” that she produced a “Strawberry Dragon” for its poster contest.   - Courtesy photo
Janet Thiets lives in Georgia but she was so inspired by the Marysville Strawberry Festival’s theme of “Magical Fantasy” that she produced a “Strawberry Dragon” for its poster contest.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

MARYSVILLE — Maryfest Inc. and The Marysville Globe teamed up to support the community while offering an outlet to those with artistic inclinations, during the Marysville Strawberry Festival Poster Contest.

DeAnna Emborski, publisher of The Marysville Globe, explained that the contest had winners in both paid and free voting categories, with the latter including adult and youth winners. The paid adult category winner was given their choice of organization to which half of the proceeds from the voting would go, with the other half of the proceeds going toward funding the Strawberry Festival next year.

Janet Thiets won the paid adult category for her “Strawberry Dragon” submission, but she doesn’t even live in Marysville. Thiets, a Georgia native, was planning a summer visit to her brother and his family, who live in the Puget Sound region, when she decided to check out the area festivals online, and found out about the Strawberry Festival, as well as its poster contest.

“I do some freelance illustration and thought that the ‘Magical Fantasy’ concept was fun,” Thiets said. “I started to think of strawberries, wizards, fairies and dragons, and since I’m just a kid at heart, the ‘Strawberry Dragon’ came to mind. I used a combination of watercolors, pen and ink, pastels and colored pencils on a canvas board. It took a couple of days to complete.”

Thiets’ sister-in law suggested that she choose the Marysville Community Food Bank as the recipient for her voting proceeds. Unfortunately, because Thiets’ mother is undergoing surgery and will require someone to care for her afterward, Thiets will not be able to visit her brother’s family, or attend the Strawberry Festival this year.

Marysville resident Monica Berginc won the free adult category for her “Miss Strawberry Fairy” submission.

Berginc’s photography work specializes in subjects such as fairies, so when she learned that the theme of this year’s Strawberry Festival was “Magical Fantasy,” she thought it sounded like a perfect fit for her interests.

“I thought of a field of strawberries that fairies would be in,” said Berginc, who made the dress, wings and hairpiece worn by her daughter as the “fairy.” She then used advanced photoshop-style programs to add “glamour lighting,” “fairy dust sparkles,” graphic lettering for the Strawberry Festival banner, and a border for the piece.

“I just want to thank everyone who voted for me,” Berginc said.

Katie Stuart’s win in the free youth category, for her “Magical Fantasy” submission, surprised even her parents since she’d done it as part of Maggie Cameron’s second-grade class at Allen Creek Elementary.

“Katie is a hard worker who pays attention to detail and doesn’t give up easily,” Cameron said. “She’s also very good at following directions, which is probably why she won,” she laughed.

Cameron added that Stuart’s coloring work is frequently chosen by her peers for the winning entries in in-class coloring contests, even when the submissions are anonymous.

Cary Stuart, Katie’s father, didn’t know that his daughter had entered the poster contest, much less won in her category, until he received a call from The Marysville Globe.

“I couldn’t even think of something like that,” Cary Stuart said, as he looked at Katie’s pencil, pens and markers illustration of a strawberry castle. “I have two very creative daughters,” he added, noting that his other daughter had won a post office poster contest a while ago.

Not only did Katie Stuart draw a castle made of strawberries, she also gave it flags made out of strawberries, and populated it with fairies and princesses who were strawberries, with strawberry clouds overhead, and a sun with strawberry eyes. It took her half a day to think of the idea and another two days to draw in class.

“This has been fun for folks to do and it’s really gotten them involved in the spirit of the Strawberry Festival,” Emborski said. “All the entries were amazing. I’m glad I didn’t have to choose the winners,” she laughed.

Winning entries can be found online.

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