TAWAS CITY – For the third time in five years a Clio pen and ink artist was judged “Best of Show” at the 59th annual Tawas Bay Waterfront Fine Art Festival held over the weekend at the Tawas City Shoreline Park.
Kat Zinn, who spent her childhood in the area and who previously worked as a graphic artist in California, said she is again surprised to win the fine art show’s top award.
“I’m amazed and excited,” Zinn said of hearing her name called for Best of Show.
She won Best of Show at the fine art festival last year and in 2015.
“It’s a beautiful location and people here treat me so well,” Zinn said. “We look forward to coming to Tawas.”
Zinn said her art comes from her imagination.
“It’s all doodling,” she says. “I like to play with it and I have a lot of different techniques.”
From her mind, Zinn said she uses a technical pen to draw out her creations then brushes them in, mostly in watercolor.
She’s been selling her artwork for the past 25 years. Still, she considers coming back to northeast Michigan as a homecoming. Her family has a cottage in Greenbush.
“This is a special place,” she said. “I’ve been coming up here since I was a child.”
Organizer Judy Howe, a member of the cosponsoring Tawas Bay Art Council and Gallery, said the weekend’s festival “was a good show. We had great crowds on Saturday. Our judges from Central Michigan University told us this is a quality show.”
The fine art show was also cosponsored by the City of Tawas City and was held at its Shoreline Park along the beach of Tawas Bay.
Other top awards during the show were given to Mike Mishler, Best of Michigan provided by Dr. VanderVeen; Laura Hepworth, Best of the Sunrise Side; Cindy Mullen, Best of Tawas Bay; Dan Dillion, Duane Walters Memorial Award; Len Puzewicz, Dr. Kudwa Award; Doug Markusic, Boat House Award; and Paul Baker, O’Conners Award.
First place winners are Connie Ecker, mixed media; Fletcher Dean, photography; Kat Zinn, pen and ink; Connie Jane and Angela Rodlinski, water color; Jonathon McMurray, oil/acrylic; Sharon Drury, music/books/print making; Cheryl Carey, glass; Bonita Minor, carving; Laura Hepworth, jewelry; Collene Boyd, fiber art; Michelle Hawska, sculpture; and Eric Davis, pottery.
Second place winners include Mike Mishler, photography; Greg Jones, pen and ink; Claire Rettenmund, water color; Ron Watson, oil/acrylic; Matt Schellenburg, print making; Dan Dillion, carving, wood, ivory; Paul Baker, jewelry; and Wynn Erickson, pottery.
On the honorable mention list are Melanie Ferio, photography; and Erica “Marie La Pres” Emelander, books/printmaking.
Mullen, of East Tawas, who won Best of Tawas Bay, specializes in sea glass jewelry. A member of the Tawas Bay Art Gallery, she’s been making the jewelry for the past 10 years. Mullen said she got hooked on making her art when someone approached her with sea glass they found in Harrisville and wanted to make jewelry out of it.
And now, as a silversmith, she said “the sky’s the limit.”
In addition to art shows in Michigan, she has done shows along the East Coast including Cape Cod and Virginia.
Dillion of Tawas City, who won the Duane Walters Memorial Award, makes his art from wood, by turning them on a lathe, from pieces he harvests himself. He’s been crafting his art for almost 10 years and has attended the fine art festival as an artist for the past five to six years. He also attends other art shows in Michigan including Midland and Northville.