Strokes of SDG: Finch artist wins IPM poster contest

Strokes of SDG: Finch artist wins IPM poster contest
International Plowing Match (IPM) & Rural Expo chair Jim Brownell and IPM poster contest winner Laura Stevens at an unveiling presentation on Friday

By Adam Brazeau 
CORNWALL, Ontario – Laura Stevens mixed cultural and agricultural history on the Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry 2015 International Plowing Match (IPM) & Rural Expo poster.

The Finch resident won the IPM’s poster contest for her mixed-media piece consisting of paper, marker, and acrylic paint, at an unveiling presentation in the United Counties Council Chambers in Cornwall on Friday (March 27).

Stevens’ artwork was selected from 16 entries and she received the grand prize of $1,500. Each entry will be displayed in a silent auction during the week of the plowing match from Sept. 22-26.

“The technique was chosen specifically to illustrate the patchwork quilt that makes up SDG,” said Stevens.

She attended the Sheridan Institute for the Arts in Oakville, obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts at the Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, Que., and also studied illustration at the University of Worcester in England.

In the poster, two horses represent the traditional plough theme, while a tractor boasts modern developments in farming. The stallions stand prominently upon a map of the counties, with fruits and vegetables at its base to illustrate the bountiful produce harvested by local farmers, and the blue background is symbolic of the majestic St. Lawrence River.

To boast the musical scene in SDG, a farmer sits with a guitar. His plaid jacket nods to the region’s Scottish heritage. 

Speakers included Shauna Baggs, official poster committee chair, Melvin Switzer, Ontario Plowmen’s Association (OPA) president, SDSG MP Guy Lauzon, Marilyn McMahon on behalf of SDSG MPP Jim McDonell, and Laura Price, Queen of the Furrow.

The new artwork also incorporates the SDG 2015 IPM tagline ‘Link to the past…Look to the future.’

“These posters go on to become quite the collector’s items over the years,” said Switzer.

Two members from the IPM executive committee and one from the OPA selected the winner in a blind, numbered competition. It wasn’t until after the judges realized the artist was from Finch, the location of the five-day event.

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