LEONARDTOWN, Md. (Oct. 6, 2009)—In celebration of Maryland's 375th birthday, the Lexington Park Rotary Club, in conjunction with the St. Mary's County Division of Tourism and the St. Mary's County Arts Council, sponsored a poster contest for the 2009 St. Mary's County Oyster Festival and U.S. National Oyster Shucking Championship Contest. Budding artists and experienced professionals were invited to create a poster design that incorporated the name of the event, the Rotary Club and Celebrate 375 logos.
The judges chose the design created by Samantha Gallagher from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Her design will be featured on posters to be sold during the St. Mary's County Oyster Festival. She will also receive $500 and recognition during the Festival. Gallagher will be presented with her prize on Saturday, October 17 at 2 p.m. at the Shucking Stand, right before the National Oyster Cook-Off Award Ceremony. She will also be signing the posters throughout the day on Saturday. Twenty-three artists submitted designs.
Gallagher's winning design features a colorful style that captures the festive nature of the Oyster Festival. The poster shows the Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge in the background with oysters and crackers surrounding the festival information. Gallagher got her inspiration for the design from her travels from Pennsylvania back to St. Mary's County. Gallagher lived in St. Mary's County for most of her life, but moved to Pennsylvania last October.
When asked about her inspiration for the poster design, she said, "For the past year I've made many trips back and forth from Harrisburg to St. Mary's to see family or participate in art shows. After a few hours of driving, as I cross over the Solomon's Bridge, I feel like I'm back home. The bridge is sentimental to me. For [the oysters], the simpler the better."
The St. Mary's County Oyster Festival and U.S. National Oyster Shucking Championship Contest will be held on October 17 and 18 at the St. Mary's County Fairgrounds in Leonardtown. For more information, log on to www.usoysterfest.com.