EMMITSBURG — After 33 years as a painter, Rebecca Pearl saw her handiwork — the original 150th Great Frederick Fair anniversary commemorative artwork — sell for $13,000 Thursday at The Great Frederick Fair.
Commissioned by the fair board, the painting garnered the highest price of Pearl’s career.
“I am elated,” the artist said Friday, “and surprised.
“I’m thrilled that the fair committee was very happy with the image,” Pearl said. “I was very honored they chose me to produce a piece of artwork like this.”
Carl and Norma Miller, of New Market, bought the painting. The Millers couldn’t be reached for comment.
Money from the auction will be used for the fair’s agriculture education program, fair manager Becky Brashear said.
“We are ecstatic that the painting generated that much money,” Brashear said. “But when you talk about a one-of-a-kind artwork, we are not surprised, because of its value.”
The Millers are longtime, consistent supporters of the fair and local 4-H programs, Brashear said.
Trying to capture 150 years in one painting was challenging, Pearl said, and she had not been very familiar with the fair.
“The fair has so many aspects to it — 4-H, Grange, machinery row, farm and garden, Midway, home and crafts, and entertainers,” she said. “I asked a lot of questions, but the bottom line is the project came together and it reflected what we wanted to convey.”The figures depicted in the painting are actual people taken from photos dating back to 1902 that were supplied by the fair’s organizing committee, Pearl said.
“Everybody in the print — the farm and garden people, the home art people, the machinery row people — were authentic people,” Pearl said.
The commemorative piece is awesome, Brashear said.
“Rebecca did an excellent job of capturing the fair’s essence over the years and what and who we are about,” she said.
“It’s also a great piece in that Rebecca actually incorporated some of our actual livestock exhibitors and the first 4-H queen, and every time I look at the piece, I see something that I didn’t see before.”
Pearl said she captured ideas from many angles — such as the spires from Barry Richardson’s fair print of the midway, the hot air balloon photos from the Civil War era and a horse head from the 1902 fair logo.
The work includes images from photos of the 1965 4-H Queen, Brenda Ogg, showing her sheep, and Ray Jones with his Hereford bull.
Limited edition prints of the painting sold out in May during the fair’s 150th anniversary celebration, but Pearl said she has a few remaining in her Emmitsburg store.