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Art competition kicks off Avocado Festival

Entries in the Fifth Annual Art of the Avocado contest were judged at a wine and cheese reception held April 9 at the Fallbrook School of the Arts. Sponsored by George and Gayle Bamber and the Fallbrook Chamber of Commerce, the contest featured 14 avocado-themed works of art in a variety of mediums including acrylic, watercolor, gourd art, collage, sculpture and quilting.

Temecula artist Leslie Sweetland won first place and $300 with her acrylic painting titled “Guacamole” while Menifee’s Carol T. South won second place and $200 for her watercolor painting, also titled “Guacamole.” Third place and $100 went to Fallbrook’s Denise Gillen and her acrylic painted gourd which is titled “Out of my Gourd for Avocados.”

The contest was organized by Anita Kimzey who recruited 19 judges to vote for the winners at the reception. Steve Slaughter of Major Market helped by coordinating the fruit, cheese, and wine offered at the event. The wine was produced by Beaulieu Vineyards

Chamber staff member Kathie Richards called the event “just fabulous,” adding, “The art was extraordinary this year. It was a huge success.”

During the Avocado Festival the Art of the Avocado entries will be on display at Pinnell Gallery, 124 N. Main Avenue. Festival-goers can vote for their favorite entry for the People’s Choice Award which will be presented along with the first through third place awards at 3 p.m. at the Community Stage during the festival.

For art lovers who can’t make it to the festival, the entries will be on display at the gallery through May 18.

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