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HCPS Display Takes 1st Place at the 2018 Florida Strawberry Festival

March 08, 2018

A huge congratulations goes out to Martha Genualdi and all the Plant City HCPS art teachers and students who worked hard to create the Area 6 display booth at the Strawberry Festival. When you visit the festival and walk into the Roy and Helen Parke exhibit hall you will see the vivid, bold and sparkling display adorned with its big, blue first place ribbon, under the education category. The attention to detail is remarkable!

A lot of planning goes into this display. After the theme is revealed each November, the art teachers gather to brain storm ideas using the festival theme and create sketches for a plan on how they want the back wall, theme sign, side walls, floor and fence to look. Then they divide and conquer, planning art lessons to fit the theme and have student art in the booth from each area school that participates. Over the years Genualdi’s main helper has been her husband with building transportation and support— putting up with a bunch of stuff in the garage and extra bedroom.

The theme this year at the festival is Building New Memories. Genualdi, an art teacher at Wilson Elementary School in Plant City, had a vision to bring the construction of the festival grandstands into focus with this year’s theme. And seating was built as if you are watching a concert at the festival, with seats dedicated to cancer survivors and those who have served our country. There is a camera lens as the backdrop revealing the old venue and student portraits covering the display — hanging from ceiling to floor. Student artwork features cellphones with student selfies capturing how they are building memories at the festival this year. HCPS students also virtually shared how they are building memories at the festival. Visitors can watch the video once they see the URL link creatively displayed on a construction tool while visiting booth #81.

“It would be my dream to have more schools realize this exhibit, even though it's not the only way to show crafts or fine arts in Hillsborough, but it is an important one. I've been honored to lead this endeavor for a number of years working with very talented art educators. The festival draws many people from out of town and locally. It's important that we support our community, show what we have to offer in our schools, share our student work in the festival and be excited about it," said Genualdi.

You have through Sunday, March 11 to visit this display and several other displays created by FFA (Future Farmers of America) students and teachers in Hillsborough County. Don’t forget to grab that strawberry shortcake and catch a livestock show featuring several of our students and their animals while you are there.

It’s the berry best time of the year!

Click here for more information on the Florida Strawberry Festival. 

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