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Fair Poster Archives

2019 Poster Artist: Jessie Carter McDonald!

Jessie Carter McDonald, Artist

Jessie Carter McDonald first visited on a bike tour of the San Juan Islands in the spring of 1980. It was on this tour that she fell in love with the islands and got the feeling she may someday return. In 1996, Jessie returned as a vendor for the San Juan County Fair. Fairy wings, skirts and face painting made for a booth of abundant charm and magic that returned to the small farming community year after year to participant in the Fair. In the spring of 2001, Jessie moved to San Juan Island, making it her permanent home. Jessie remains an active participant, volunteer and lover of the San Juan County Fair and the magic and history it shares with the community.

All this brings us to present day and the 2019 San Juan County Fair theme “A Wheel in Time: Cultivating Roots”. With her heart and mind filled with a love of history, illustration and mystery Jessie took on the task of solving the riddle of the theme through illustration.

“I have a love affair with small county fairs and all of the history, community and magic that they bring to those who visit. From the rides and events all lit and garishly painted, to the animals, carnival food, local art and the history that is apparent in all of the exhibits and the meeting of old friends and new, how one would not fall in love.”

In the winter of 2018, Jessie started on a series exploring her love of carnivals and fairs. This, initial series, was noticed by a fellow artist who encouraged Jessie to inquire about being the Fairs poster artist. This was the starting point and an original study in wheels, the Ferris Wheel. As the theme continued to percolate, the roots started to take shape linking the depth of our islands history and the San Juan County Fair, research began and Jim Crook became a focus. It was Jim Crook's farming of sheep, creation of machines, the famous carding machine to process wool, that Jessie discovered the wheels of creativity and progress that still held true to present day island activity and small sheep farming, and the bigger creative process that is still in play on the islands. It was with all this in mind that Jessie truly understood how a wheel in time carries the past into our present day. Where it beautifully cultivates roots that to this day brings us joy and beauty at the San Juan County Fair.

Today one can visit a building on the fairgrounds named after Jim Crook. It is here the youth of the islands share their own forms of creative endeavor. It sits in a circle, next to the Textile Building and Fiber Arts Courtyard where weavers, spinners, knitters, quilters and other hand crafters use wool to create beautiful items, a wheel, connecting activities that have roots in our islands past and still being actively carried out today.

"Rockin' the Salish Sea"

"Rockin' the Salish Sea"

2018 Poster Art by Grace Brown and Kristine Brown
"It's All the Buzz"

"It's All the Buzz"

2017 Poster Art by Ryanne Pluff
"Barn & Raised in the Islands"

"Barn & Raised in the Islands"

2016 Poster Art by Jill Bliss
"Strawberry Fields For-heifer"

"Strawberry Fields For-heifer"

2015 Poster Art by Audrey Sable & Natalie Joost
"Farm-tastic Fun"

"Farm-tastic Fun"

2014 Poster Art by Tom Rierden
"Footloose at the Fair"

"Footloose at the Fair"

2013 Poster Art by Jennifer Rigg
"Food, Fun, Fair!"

"Food, Fun, Fair!"

2012 Poster Art by Jayne Hemmerich
"A Razzle Dazzle Wingding starring YOU!"

"A Razzle Dazzle Wingding starring YOU!"

2011 Poster Art by Rebecca Cook
"Locally Grown"

"Locally Grown"

2010 Poster Art by Annie Howell-Adams
"Unity Through Community"

"Unity Through Community"

2009 Poster Art by Jennifer Rigg
"The Heart of the Islands"

"The Heart of the Islands"

2008 Poster Art by Doug Bison
"Bloom It and Groom It"

"Bloom It and Groom It"

2007 Poster Art by Alice Shull
"A Century of Harvest"

"A Century of Harvest"

*Centennial Year*
2006 Poster Art by Daniel LoBue
"Where There's Magic in the Air"

"Where There's Magic in the Air"

2005 Poster Art by Wynn Barnard
"A Treasure Chest of the County's Best"

"A Treasure Chest of the County's Best"

2004 Poster Art by Beth Hetrick
"Bringing in the Harvest"

"Bringing in the Harvest"

2003 Poster Art by Annie Howell-Adams
"Goodness Grows"

"Goodness Grows"

2001 Poster Art by Jennifer Rigg
"Blue Jeans and Island Dreams"

"Blue Jeans and Island Dreams"

1998 Poster Art by Cady Elliot

Interested in becoming a future Poster Artist?

The Fair Board gladly accepts inquiries from artists who are interested in volunteering their work as a marketing tool for the Annual County Fair. The final product is one that captures the current year’s Fair theme. If you would like to be considered please email us at info@sjcfair.org and we can let you know when a theme has been decided upon for the current year.
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