County fair kicks off

Argen Duncan

During the Roosevelt County Fair Entry Day on Monday, artists of a range of ages entered paintings, drawings and photographs into the photography and fine arts shows.

The fair officially opens at noon today.

“We’re just trying to get involved,” said Jessie Dodington, who entered paintings, photos and knitting in the fair.

Dodington, a professional artist and an amateur photographer, and her husband, Elliott Stollar, just moved to the area.

Dodington said she was excited to see the other submissions and to compare the Roosevelt County culture with that in the rural agrarian community where she grew up in Canada. After visiting the Curry County Fair, she said, she jumped at the chance to participate in the Roosevelt County Fair.

Stollar said since he is British, this year is his first experience with county fairs.

“But I think it’s a really good way to bring the community together,” he said.

Stollar said he was looking forward to the children’s pig chase Saturday.

At the photography entry table, Donna Woolley said she expected more than 200 entries by the end of the day. Show superintendent JoBeth Massey said entries seemed to be down compared to last year.

The show features amateur, professional and children’s divisions with seven categories each for black-and-white and color photography.

“Everybody loves to come and see the pictures,” said Carolyn Sanders, who was helping take entries.

Meghen Howard entered portraits in her third year of competing in the photography show. She said she participated because she always liked photography.

“It’s just a hobby for me, and I get to use creativity,” Howard said.

At the fine arts entry table, show superintendent Betsy Freeman said she expected more than 100 entries. She said the event seemed to have fewer entries than last year, since several regular contestants hadn’t been able to paint as much.

Nonetheless, Freeman said this year had the best showing ever from Portales High School art students.

Freeman said the show, run by La Escalera Art Guild, gives artists a place to show their work and is a beautiful display for the public.

Roy Tarango, who entered a drawing of a Smurf, said it was his first year showing his work. He said he was a little nervous but thought he would do “all right.”

Tarango began drawing about a year ago.

“It’s an easy way to express yourself,” he said.