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Ventura County Fair Unveils Poster Contest Winners

Pictured is 15-year-old Jessica Han from Newbury Park High School was this year’s winner of the Ventura County Fair’s annual youth poster contest. (Photo Credit: Tim Pompey)

By Tim PompeyThe Ventura County Fair unveiled the winners of the fair’s annual youth poster contest on Tuesday, July 9 in the conference room at the fairgrounds. This year’s contest theme was “Boots, Barns & Banjos.”

The announced winners were: 1st place, Jessica Han (15) from Thousand Oaks; 2nd place, Amanda Vassaur (18) from Fillmore; and 3rd place, Megan Kane (13) from Ventura.

For first-place contestant Han, winning an art contest was something of an eye opener. “It’s kind of surreal,” she said, “because I’ve never won anything that’s so publicly displayed where we have a meeting, where we take pictures and we have interviews. It’s a really different experience but I hope it happens again.”

Han’s poster incorporated scenes from a barn (including boots and a banjo in the center) with a series of rides as a backdrop. As inspiration, she used images from past county fairs. “I looked back at a lot of the old posters and I really liked the ones that had the simple feel, the country images,” she said, “so I went online and I found some pictures that were actually from the fair and I used those and kind of put them together.”

Han, who attends Newbury Park High School, has been taking art classes on and off since she was a young girl. This year however presented her with a new set of challenges. She found the art classes at her high school to be quite challenging. “You have almost an hour and a half of art every day,” she said. “It made me try a lot of new techniques that I would never have tried before.”

As for her future in art, she thinks that, whatever her profession, art will remain an important part of her life.  “I want to be able to use it as one of my strengths in whatever I do,” she said, “and even if that doesn’t happen, I definitely want to use it as a very important hobby.”

The Ventura County Fair has been running a youth poster contest since 2010. This year, 57 entries were received from students in grades 5-12.

For James Lockwood, the fair’s public relations and marketing director, the poster contest is representative of the importance of art in the county’s local communities, especially among young people. “We like to promote creativity and children’s involvement in art and the community,” he said.

He views youth art as particularly telling and unique. “What you get,” Lockwood noted, “are the ingenious images that come forth when you ask children to consider the theme and to interpret that as an art piece. Their imagination takes over in ways that most adults wouldn’t consider.”

Barbara Quaid, the fair’s CEO, concurred. “Congratulations to the talented winners of this year’s contest,” she said. “You have told us many personal Fair stories, each in your own talented way. We thank every child who participated and encourage all children to continue creating and making art to share with us at the annual Ventura County Fair.”

Each winning poster along with information about the artists can be found at
This year, the Ventura County Fair will run from July 31 to August 11. For more information, visit their website at

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