Almost as exciting as the fair itself is the unveiling of the artwork chosen to adorn the iconic Ag Fair poster and the other promotional materials that canvass the Island in the lead-up to summer’s most beloved festival.
Last week the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society announced the winning poster design for the 154th Agricultural Fair, created by Kathy Maghini, a mixed-media artist from Bristol, Conn. Ms. Maghini, the married mother of two adult daughters, works in special education, and teaches various afterschool art programs in her school district. Her artwork has been on HGTV, published in national magazines, and displayed at many local galleries in Connecticut.
Ms. Maghini’s chosen poster design features a collage of a rooster against a blue sky in a daffodil-filled pasture. The image, reminiscent of an Eric Carle illustration, highlights the vibrancy of the fair with its bright colors, and the essence and history of the event with the inclusion of a farm animal. Last year’s popular winning poster by artist Omar Rayyan depicted a portrait of Sonny Boy, a friend’s deceased horse, standing in a pasture, with a goose nearby.
In an email to The Times, Ms. Maghini shared her motivation for entering the annual poster contest, and the inspiration behind her design.
“I have been vacationing on the Vineyard for the past 20 years, as one of my best friends, Traci Cavanaugh, owns a second home in Oak Bluffs. She introduced me to the Vineyard, and I fell in love with its relaxing Island charm. I have visited the fair many times, and love its country vibe. Traci has collected Ag Fair posters for many years, and always implored me to enter the annual contest. I finally decided to give it a shot this year. I have always loved roosters, what with their colorful red headdresses and vibrant plumage, so I chose that for my design. My mixed-media style combines painted papers printed with textural designs using everything from bubble wrap to carpet segments and bottle caps. I also like to incorporate printed texts from catalogues and dictionaries. It really is a collage of various mediums. The end result was this vibrant cheery rooster, which I think captures the essence of this terrific summer tradition of the Agricultural Fair. I hope people respond favorably to my bold graphic image, as it truly was a labor of love for a very special place.”
Posters and T shirts with the image will be available for purchase at the fair. The 154th Agricultural Fair will take place from August 20 through August 23, 2015, at the Ag Hall in West Tisbury. For additional information, visit mvas.vineyard.net.