Emily Poole is a natural history illustrator, raised in the Rockies & now rooted in the hills of Eugene. She received her BFA in Illustration from Rhode Island School of Design in 2016 & created work for numerous organizations including the National Museum of Wildlife Art, Mt. Pisgah Arboretum, Sasquatch Books, and High Country News. Emily creates images with the goal of inspiring & educating about the natural world & what we can do to be better stewards of the land. Her inspiration for the 2022 Oregon Country Fair poster came in the form of bear scat she encountered on the Fair grounds during an off-season wander. In considering the cyclical sharing of space between human and non-human species over the course of a year, she created a design that spoke to the gifts of stewardship and renewal that all the communities on the site (plant, animal, and human) give to each other. The design was created in 2018 with the intention of unveiling it in 2020, & the events that have passed since have transformed the concept of the poster into something more for this year—the bear bringing the Fair out of a long hibernation, returning the site to fairgoers for the first time after a period of quiet & restorative growth.
Her concept for the 2023 Oregon Country Fair poster is a follow-up on the theme of the previous year: now that the Fair has come out of hibernation, a parade of flying animals swoop in to bring food, music, and craft to the Fair site. The space that many Fairgoers may know as a parking lot is a lush field of camas every spring, represented in the poster to continue the themes of return and restoration. The biodiversity of the animals and the gifts they bring speak to the abundance of perspectives, skills, & energy that Fair guests, staff, & volunteers bring to the event each year.