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Atwater man wins $500 in Merced County Fair logo contest

Atwater resident Mark Keach's winning logo for the 2010 Merced County Fair.
Atwater resident Mark Keach's winning logo for the 2010 Merced County Fair.

The Merced County Fair said Mark Keach won its annual logo design contest.

His entry in the 2010 competition took first place. Keach’s design will be paired with the fair’s theme, “Wetlands, Water & Wildlife.” The theme and logo will appear on posters, T-shirts, billboards, ads, buttons, banners, schedules and other promotional materials used to publicize the fair, a news release said.

The fair will be June 15-20.

The fair’s board picked the winning drawing, which was one of 64 entries The top design features a frog leaping out of the water and a duck perched on a sign that says “Wetlands, Water & Wildlife,” with cattails in the foreground.

Keach, who lives in Atwater, is a graphic artist who works part-time teaching art to school kids. But he’s looking for a full-time job in graphic design after his former employer, a Modesto map company, went out of business, the fair news release said.

Keach will be awarded $500 in prize money and a pair of season passes to the six-day fair.

The 2010 theme, “Wetlands, Water & Wildlife,” was the winner submitted by Jeff Denno of Merced. He received $100 for his winning theme and a pair of season passes to the fair.

Keach, 44, designed the fair logo in 2007 for the “Gateway to Great Cheese” theme. He said taking first place honors in this year’s contest lets him share his artistic success with his art students. He’s working at an after-school program teaching drawing, cartooning and sculpting to Madera County elementary school students.

He’s the father of two boys, Logan, 8, and Scottlen, 5. His wife, Lori, spotted a story online about the logo contest and encouraged him to enter it again. He entered some of his artwork in last year’s fair and took home first-place ribbons in fine arts for a black-and-white photo and a sculpture of a Viking.

The contest’s second-place logo winner was Alan Cleetus, 14, of Merced. The Merced High School sophomore was encouraged by his graphic arts instructor to enter the contest, fair officials said. Third-place logo winner was Carlos Lupian of Merced, a graphic designer at the Turlock Journal newspaper. Each will receive a pair of season passes to the fair.

For more information, call (2109) 722-1507 or e-mail or fax at (209) 722-3773. The 2010 Merced County Fair’s Web site is