Each year in preparation for Lincoln County’s Apple Festival, it’s tradition to choose a local artist’s work for the annual T-shirt, said Joyce Dorsey, festival liaison at the county’s Cooperative Extension office.
This year, the 40th for the festival, 33-year-old Jon Deal’s “quaint, small-town” theme won the spot on the back of the shirt for the upcoming event, with proceeds going to Amy’s House in Lincolnton.
Several applicants applied this year, but the apples, North Carolina and United States flags won over Dorsey.
Deal is a tattoo artist at Living Arts in Gastonia, and hopes to someday be the first tattoo shop in Lincoln County, he said.
Never applying for the competition before, he heard about the opportunity to have his work displayed and a $200 cash prize through a friend.
He currently lives in Lincolnton and has been in the county off-and-on since he was 5 years old.
Using his county roots for a muse in the project helped him bring to life the wholesome feel of the city, he said.
He is also an artist who relies on “God-given talent” Dorsey said, explaining that Deal has never taken an art class and just picked up drawing on his own.
Amy’s House Manager Vicky Lingerfelt welcomes the proceeds after severe budget cuts to her organization, she said, which she hopes will fill in the financial gaps.
The shirts are available for $12 at various locations in the area, such as the Lincolnton Cultural Center and Knob Creek Orchard in Lawndale.
For more information on the Apple Festival or locations where T-shirts are available for purchase, call (704) 736-8452.