Fair 2018: Paintings, sculptures and even an opossum

(Donna Giubbini shows an oil on canvas painting by Watsonville artist Rodger Bolles titled "War Canoe" inside the Fine Arts Building at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds. The work is part of the current 2018 art exhibit at the fair. Photo by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)

WATSONVILLE — For a glimpse of a wide range of today’s arts, from paintings and drawings, to ceramics, sculpture, photos and even a taxidermied whimsical opossum, step into the Fine Arts Building of the upcoming Santa Cruz County Fair.

For the past nine years the exhibits have been headed up by Donna Giubbini, a painter of pastels and oils and a picture framer.

“I’m a professional artist,” she said. “I enjoy setting up for the fair in the Fine Arts Building. When they offered this position to others no one else came forward, so here I am. I love it. I see pastels and watercolors, metal work and glasswork, oil paintings — you name it. You really get to meet so many people — it’s just fascinating.”

Giubbini said that one piece that was entered in the exhibit this year by Tracey Barrow, a taxidermist, was an opossum dressed as a Brownie, complete with a brown felt beanie and a sash that bears three merit badges: one for dumpster diving, one for playing possum and one for stamping out ticks. The opossum is titled “Cookie” (it has a Girl Scout cookie in its paw).

“I am certain that opossum is going to get a lot of attention,” Giubbini said. “People are already asking about it — it’s different.”

Of the 600-plus works of art that typically make it into the Fine Arts show each year, Giubbini said that trying to arrange art in one cohesive show is a challenge.

“It’s like a huge jigsaw puzzle,” she said. “Somehow it has to fit and it does.”


A taxidermic opossum titled "Cookie," by Tracey Barrow, is drawing attention inside the Fine Arts Building. Photo by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian


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