Amy Coffey from the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society said Barbara Ronchetti’s twist on this year’s Ag Fair poster stood out from the other 40 entries as “fun, colorful, and traditional.”
She said Ronchetti is “amazingly talented in many ways,” and since she’s also the owner of Island Alpaca, she knows her way around a farm.
Coffey said the Ag Society works on the annual Agricultural Fair year-round, but that the selection of the poster serves as a sort of kickoff for that year. “It gives life and personality to the fair. This year will be the 157th annual MVAS Fair,” she wrote in an email.
The poster art is judged by the Ag Fair advisory committee, which meets monthly. The judging is anonymous, so they don’t know who the artist is while they’re deciding. And, she said, determining the winner isn’t taken lightly.
“The images are sent to each judge days before the actual judging, to give them time to reflect on them,” Coffey said. “Criteria is that the image be agricultural and able to present well on a poster, T shirt, and other promotional pieces. It’s not an easy task to create the image! Nor is its selection.”
Ronchetti said she met her first alpaca at the fiber tent at the Ag Fair back in 2003, and was inspired to start her own farm. She entered the poster contest the past two years, but used alpaca as inspiration. This year she went with an ox.
“While searching for subject matter, I happened upon the photo of this lovely ox, who inspired my drawing, taken at the 2011 Ag Fair by Islander Susie Middleton,” Ronchetti explained in an email to The Times.
While many people know Rochetti from Island Alpaca, they may not be aware that she’s also an artist.
“I had the pleasure of drawing beside my very creative 96-year-young mother, Luise Ronchetti, who helped motivate me to complete the project in time for submission, one evening close to deadline, working until 1 am!” she wrote.
Ronchetti is ready for August, she admitted: “I am looking forward to August! Island Alpaca hopes to bring along two of our alpaca ambassadors, Leonardo and Atticus Rex, to the fiber tent again this year, for what will be our 11th year at the fair. Please come by and visit us at the fiber tent!”