June Livingston is a wife, mother, grandmother and artist. And, as of six months ago, the 78-year-old resident of Fresno is the first-place winner of the 2018 Fresno County Blossom Trail Art Contest.
The contest is held to draw awareness and appreciation for the beauty of the Fresno County Blossom Trail, as well as the significance of agriculture in the Central Valley. Traditionally, the season runs mid-February to March.
Her piece of artwork depicting the Fresno County Blossom Trail is the face of the 2018 Fresno County Blossom Trail Poster, which became available for purchase as of last week.
Born and raised in Idaho, Livingston says she has been interested in art for a majority of her life. She works in several mediums: oil, graphite, color pencils, watercolor, charcoal, acrylic paint and mixed media.
Although her mother, Beulah May, died when she was a child, Livingston remembers she was a self-taught artist who inspired her to explore the world of art.
Livingston moved with her family to California — settling in Hanford — when she was a teenager. She graduated from Hanford Joint Union High and LIFE Bible College in Los Angeles.
She met her husband, Eugene “Roy,” as students at LIFE Bible College. They lived in Canada for a decade before returning to the Central Valley.
Roy served as an associate pastor at Valley Christian Center in Fresno for more than 30 years. They have been members of the Christian church since 1976. Livingston worked as an assistant in the Medical Library at Valley Children’s Hospital from 1997 to 2005. Two years later, she started to attend art classes at Clovis Senior Center and Clovis Adult School.
“Beginning in 2007, I participated in art competitions presented by the Clovis Art Guild,” she adds. Most recently, “Oops!” earned an honorable mention at the 2017 Fall Open Art Show.
She entered the Fresno County Blossom Trail Art Contest for the first time in 2010 — earning her an honorable mention.
Livingston was awarded the second-place prize for “Springtime Synergy” in 2014. When The Big Fresno Fair approached last year, she entered the contest in hopes of becoming the first-place winner.
She painted the various crops that are prevalent to the Central Valley, as well as the value and importance of water, using acrylic paint.
When Livingston heard that she was selected as the first-place winner, she says, “I was thrilled and honored, of course!”
The Fresno County Blossom Trail, organized by the Fresno County Blossom Trail Committee, is a self-guided tour that weaves through panoramas of orchards.
It starts and ends in Fresno — winding through Sanger, Centerville, Minkler, Orange Cove (for the option to travel along the Orange Blossom Trail), Reedley, Parlier and Selma. Livingston says her favorite part about the Fresno County Blossom Trail is “obviously, the beauty!”
In addition to The Big Fresno Fair, her work has been shown at Fresno City Hall, Fresno Art Hub, Chris Sorenson Studio, Circle Gallery (Madera County Arts Council) and the Tulare Palette Club Spring Show.
Livingston is also part of local fellowship groups like The Door Art Gallery and Art ‘N Soul. Today, Livingston is enjoying retirement with her husband, three children, nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
The 2018 Fresno County Blossom Trail Poster is available for purchase at:
Sanger Chamber of Commerce: 1789 Jensen Ave., Sanger
Fresno County Office of Tourism: 2220 Tulare St., Fresno - 8th floor