Festival Artwork Competition

Each year a work of art is selected for the official Tulip Time Festival Artwork Competition. Area artists create and submit their images which are then judged by a local art expert. This year’s submissions were reviewed by John Berry, Former Vice President of Corporate Communications at Herman Miller and first Executive Director of Design West Michigan. This year, a total of 103 submittals were received from 58 area artists. 

The artists and artwork listed below were selected as the 2020 Top 20. Click on the image to see a close up of the artwork. We'll be adding artist bios and details about their work over the next several weeks. Check back often to learn more about this talented group of artists and their creations!

Janice Aalderink: Arlene
Cindy Bender: Beautiful Diversity
Cindy Bender: Primarily Tulips
Bob Bosgraaf: Delftly Divine
Tanner Bosma: Ablaze
Betsy Buurma Morton: Simple Elegance
Susan Day Martell: By the Bunch
Susan Day Martell is a contemporary painter living and working in the small town of Douglas in West Michigan. She is inspired by the beauty of her surroundings and her own flower garden. Largely self-taught, she has also studied with other contemporary artists around the country. Her medium is both oil and acrylics. Painting since 2011, in recent years she has been concentrating on honing her skills in photorealism with her animal portraits and floral art. She has been selected for the “Top Twenty” of Holland’s Tulip Time Art in Bloom competition the last three years. Her work has also been selected for many regional art exhibitions and is in private collections around the country. Martell’s background and education is in interior design and business. She owned a decorative and mural painting business in the Chicago Area for twenty years.
Alla Dickson: Alice in Wonderland
Barbara Doss: Harlequin Tulips
The black and white diamond-patterned fabric in the background of Harlequin Tulips reflects the visually striking costume of the “Harlequin”, a classic comic pantomime character. The word harlequin also means brightly colored and refers to a specific greenish-chartreuse hue. Both definitions are captured in the tulips that are the theme of Harlequin Tulips. Solid colored tulips have specific symbolic meanings, and variegated (multicolored) tulips are said to symbolize beautiful eyes.
In Harlequin Tulips, each tulip is composed of lively colored fabric and some of the petals are hand-dyed cotton made by the artist. Tulip leaves form a circle around a white central oculus (eye). Extending outward from the leaves are more tulips adapted from a computer-modified image of the central flowers. The three intertwined tulips within the center oculus derive from a quilt applique pattern, and Harlequin Tulips illustrates the fluid interface of craft (quilt making) and mixed media fine art.
Composed of multiple fabrics, layered to create a colorful and joy inspiring composition, Harlequin Tulips celebrates the levenvreugde (joy of life) that is spring in Michigan and Tulip Time!
Patricia Flynn: Checkerboard Tulips
“Through watercolor, I have found the perfect expression of my love of color. I began painting watercolors in the fall of 1998, after retirement from a career in teaching. I have experimented with several different styles of watercolor: realistic portrayals, floral samplers, impressionistic plein air paintings, and an abstracted “imargination” style. Though my florals seem to be popular, I also enjoy painting children, landscapes, and other facets of nature.” Patricia has a B.A. degree in sociology/teaching of social studies from Northwestern University and an M.A. degree in Guidance & Counseling from Northeastern Illinois University. She was involved in education in Glenview, IL and Bangor, MI for 27 years, and lived in both the Bangor area and South Haven from 1977 to 1988. She currently lives in Holland, with her husband Ron. She is the past president of Woman’s Literary Club, and is a member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood. Art activities include board member of Holland Friends of Art, President of the Board of the Holland Area Arts Council, a member of the Michigan Water Color Society,a member of the Muskegon Museum of Art and the Grand Rapids Art Museum and the Arizona Watercolor Association. Patricia enjoys attending art workshops and networking with other watercolor artists in the area, and continues with watercolor painting at the Holland Area Arts Council. Patricia has illustrated the Hospice of Holland cookbook, Hugs from the Kitchen, and has designed the Hospice Christmas card. She has also donated paintings for fund-raising auctions to many Holland area non-profit organizations. Pat decorated an Adirondack Chair for the “Take a Seat” project for downtown, has painted two banners in the “ReMastered” project, and designed the 2007 Art in the Park poster. A hand-decorated child’s rocking chair was painted for an auction for the Children’s Advocacy Center, as well as two banners for the 2017-18 downtown project. Patricia’s watercolors can be seen on her Facebook site, Patricia Flynn Watercolors.
Justin Foster: Shapes on Tulips
Michelle Fuller: To Kiss or not to Kiss
OiLin Jaeger: Love Connection
Karen Johnson: Lookin' Sharp
Karen Johnson is a West Michigan native currently living in Holland. She has a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University having majored in art with concentration in graphic design. Since then her "day job" has been as a Senior Designer, but she also likes to create mixed media and polymer clay pieces, draw, make jewelry and do other creative things including ArtPrize in her spare time. After a long, cold winter, Holland is filled with bright, beautiful colors that dot the landscape during Tulip Time. “Lookin’ Sharp” uses a favorite medium, Sharpie markers and a touch of colored pencil, to depict the colors of Holland during this favorite time of year
Aron Lowe: Dutch Dance
Kate Moynihan: Dressed in Dutch Costume II
Kate Moynihan loves to engage you by using color! Her passion for color began during her years as a registered nurse. She realized the psychological effects color had on the patients. In her mid-thirties, she decided to return to college as an art major continuing to be intrigued with color. For 25 years, Kate owned an art gallery in downtown Holland, retiring in 2018. Today you'll find her creating large and small commission paintings, and public speaking, relating to her latest book: A Lone Birch, My Artistic Journey.
Todd Norman: Tulpenmanie
Robert Ortman: My Walk
Marguerite Riker: Bloom Where You're Planted
Conni Schaftenaar: Three Pink Tulips

The winner of the 2020 Tulip Time Festival Artwork Competition will be selected from these top 20 by representatives from Tulip Time and the Holland Area Arts Council. The Top 20 artists and their works will be featured at First Bloem, a special reception celebrating Tulip Time’s Visual Arts Series.  Held February 6, this event is open to the public and serves as both a preview of the Visual Arts Series and the announcement of Poster Artwork Competition winner. 

The remaining 19 finalists’ original works will be placed on display at the Holland Area Arts Council from May 2 through May 10, inviting the public to participate in the Viewers’ Choice Awards by voting for their favorite image. Cash prizes will be awarded on May 9 to the top three works of art with the most public votes.

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