Los Banos

Fair poster depicts blend of Merced County’s top crops

Arrival of the annual Merced County Spring Fair poster signals the beginning of a flurry of activity leading up to the April 30 - May 4 event.

This year’s original artwork by Katherine Crinklaw, “Growing Our Heritage,” is certain to generate much excitement by itself. The contemporary art featured on the Merced County Spring Fair poster depicts a vibrant blend of Merced County’s top crops.

The 36-by-40-inch acrylic painting, donated by this local artist for the fair’s annual poster, is a stunning departure from her previous 17 works of art donated to the fair. The entire stretched canvas is covered with contemporary renderings of walnut, almond, alfalfa, cotton, corn, tomato and melon crops.

Honoring those crops that are such a large part of Merced County’s heritage inspired the painting and this year’s fair theme, Crinklaw said.

“I’m very excited about this contemporary format. It not only gives a tremendous energy, but informs the public about our heritage in Merced County.

“I bent a lot of rules and had fun with this one,” Crinklaw added.

Ron Brandt, Merced County Spring Fair manager, said Crinklaw’s amazing painting certainly embodies the heritage of western Merced County agriculture.

“Katherine’s artwork, her contribution to our community, shows the level of pride we have in our fair. This annual poster really puts a beautiful face on the Spring Fair and creates a lot of excitement,” he said.

The artwork featured on the fair posters also generates a lot of interest from local residents who purchase signed and numbered posters at auction during the annual kickoff dinner held in April. Proceeds from the sales of the posters benefit youth exhibits at the fair and scholarships. The original painting will be sold during the annual Junior Livestock Auction at the fair. Proceeds from the sale of the painting will be donated to the Merced County Spring Fair Heritage Foundation for scholarships and agriculture education.

“Growing Our Heritage,” this year’s fair theme, doesn’t end with the artwork. Merced County Spring Fair heritage is evident in the traditions held dear for many years by Los Banos area residents.

The fair’s additions of the Henry Miller Farm and agriculture education efforts are clear signs that the heritage of Merced County Spring Fair and the Los Banos area is strong and growing.