TAWAS CITY – Shoreline Park in Tawas City will be brimming with art and artists when the 59th annual Tawas Bay Waterfront Fine Art Festival kicks off this weekend. 

On Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 3 and 4, visitors can browse and purchase from the various art exhibits, enjoy live entertainment and taste the fairs of various food vendors. Participating artists will be juried on their exhibited work and vie for honors and ribbons in a wide array of categories. 

This year’s festival includes artists from across Michigan and the country. “Our festival is recognized for year after year bringing quality art and artists to the sunrise side of Michigan,” says event Chairman Judy Howe. “We are excited to offer a venue where artists seek to participate and where visitors and patrons return year after year.”

Jurors for this year’s festival include Armin Mersmann for 2-D exhibits and Steven Pankhurst for 3-D work. 

Pankhurst is a working artist and instructor of ceramics, drawing and advanced critique at the Midland Center for the Arts and his drawings and painting have been exhibited widely throughout Michigan. 

Mersmann, senior visual art curator and artist in residence at the Midland Center for the Arts, is known mainly for naturalistic graphite drawings but also works in photography and encaustic wax. Mersmann has instructed classes and workshops including drawing, creative process, IPhoneography, and advanced critique throughout the United States.  

Howe explained that ribbons, Judge’s Choice and other awards, including Best of Show, will be available for the jurors to recognize exceptional artwork in the categories of clay sculpture, glass, graphics, jewelry, metal, painting, photography, print making, woodwork and wood carving.  

The Waterfront Fine Art Festival is sponsored by the Tawas Bay Art Council and the City of Tawas City. Admission to the event is free and artwork will be available for both viewing and purchase Saturday Aug. 3, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday Aug. 4, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Tawas Bay Art Council is a non-profit organization that promotes and supports art and artists in the Tawas Bay region through special events, educational opportunities, and the Tawas Bay Art Gallery at 302 Newman St., East Tawas.

Additionally, attendees to the fine art festival as asked to bring the whole family as well as sand-building tools. The Sand Castle Contest returns to this year’s event on both days of the festival, beginning at 10 a.m. each day. 

The event includes a sand castle demonstration, sponsored by Huron Community Bank. The competition is free and open to adults and children alike. 

“The beach at Shoreline Park in Tawas City is waiting for you to turn the sands of the Lake Huron shoreline into the castle of your dreams,” said Howe. “While you are dreaming about castles, you can dream also of ice cream.” 

She added as this year’s winners will qualify for coupons from McDonald’s and Dairy Queen with the top prize being sundaes from Marion’s Dairy Bar. 

For more information, contact the Tawas Bay Art Council at 362-5613 or visit the Tawas Bay Art Gallery on Facebook.