Festival season is upon us, and posters for annual events are jostling for space on Midcoast bulletin boards and telephone poles. The art on some of these posters derives from open competitions, while others are produced by event-affiliated graphic artists. In any case, their public exhibition is as short-lived as summer, but they are available for sale to keep the season alive year-round.

Common Ground: first and last

The first summer poster to see press is that of the Common Ground Country Fair, which caps the summer season in September but unveils its poster in the dead of winter, at the annual Maine Agricultural Trades Show. The 2017 poster features three roosting Columbian Wyandotte chickens, an uncommon variety well suited to Maine's climate, created by Benton artist Dwight Gagnon.

The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association is accepting design submissions for the 2018 poster from Maine residents and MOFGA members (regardless of residence) through Aug. 4. The winning artist receives $2,500, a press release and celebration in MOFGA's quarterly newspaper, The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener. The selected design is featured on the fair poster, T-shirt, promotional literature and MOFGA’s website. Poster guidelines and application are available at mofga.org/TheFair/Poster. The fair runs Sept. 22 though 24.

Maine Lobster Festival goes retro

Megan Rogers, who grew up marching, dancing and driving in Rockland’s annual Maine Lobster Festival, created the poster for this, the festival’s 70th year. Being part of an artistic (and musical) family, she has painted on and off since childhood, more seriously in recent years. Homarus americanus was a new subject for her and she approached "Hardshell" first by sketching, then doing a pencil study and, finally, an oil painting. She said she’d always wanted a poster with a live, rather than boiled-red, lobster and that’s what the poster offers; she credits Jeffrey Thibodeau and his crew at Brio Promotions with choosing the font and ramping up the retro look.

The Maine Lobster Festival runs Aug. 2 through 6. Rogers will exhibit “Hardshell” and other artworks at Rock Coast Roasters during the Sept. 1 First Friday Art Walk.

Handcrafted for Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors

Hand-painted poster artwork by St. George illustrator and furniture maker Clayton Thompson echoes the annual Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show’s focus on hand-crafted design, style and workmanship. Thompson has been an exhibitor at the show since he and his family — his wife is from Maine — arrived in 2015 from Salt Lake City. This is the second year he has designed the poster.

"I felt like hand-drawn shapes, lines, and textures were a good fit for a show full of beautiful handmade, handcrafted wares,” he said. “Not to mention those insane boats!"

As a souvenir of the 15th annual show, a limited number of signed copies of the poster will be on sale at the Aug. 11 through 13 event at Rockland’s Harbor Park.

Union Fair: of bovines and blueberries

Alyssa Willey of Warren was determined by the 2017 Union Fair, Maine Wild Blueberry Festival poster committee to have submitted the poster art that best reflects Union Fair as a true agricultural fair, as well as the Maine Wild Blueberry Festival.

The posters are available for $5 each at Snowdrop Confections in downtown Rockland; the Union Agway on Route 17; and Sweet Season Farm, Route 220 in Washington. Posters, framed and unframed, will be available during fair week — Aug. 19 through 26 — in the Blueberry Acres building.