On Thursday, June 30, Creative 360 hosted its seventh annual Artfest 55 festival. Designed to celebrate the creativity of Michigan residents age 55 and over, the evening included an exhibition opening, talent show and writing competition all with awards. This year, 157 entries came from 13 cities across Michigan. There were 127 art pieces from 73 artists; 21 written pieces from 13 writers; and 9 acts from 13 performers. Nearly 200 people attended the event.
As guests entered the gallery, they were greeted with a colorful and stunning exhibit. Jurist Anne Gochenour, University Art Gallery Director from Central Michigan University put her 35 years of experience curating and organizing art exhibitions to work as she juried the entries and chose the winners. Stuart Frohm (Midland) won best photography for Butterflies and Bark. Honorable mentions went to Steve Carlson (Midland) for Death is Lurking and Carol Speltz (Bay City) for Tawas Logs. Best 3D was awarded to Ron Derdowski (Bay City) for his sculpture Spruce Grouse, and Delphine McCann (Midland) received Honorable Mention for Excitement. Pricilla Olsen (Midland) won Best 2D for her painting River Days, Midland, and five honorable mentions were awarded to Mona Clark (Hope) for Sentinel, Nancy McGregor (Midland) for There be Whales Here, Alan Maciag (Midland) for Early Morn, Wilma Romatz (Saginaw) for Waiting and D. Joanne Rummel (Sebewaing) for Hatchlings. Christina Erskine (Midland) received Best in Show for her painting Bus Stop.
“The jurying process for visual art is always fascinating,” said Creative 360 Office Manager, Joannah Lodico. “The pieces are placed throughout the gallery with no artist information attached to ensure unbiased judging. The jurist looks at each piece on its own merits to determine which will remain in the show and which will receive an award. With a different jurist each year, it’s always great fun to see who they choose in each category!”
Luana Russel and Sarah Yoder, both from Midland, served as jurists for the writing competition. They read through 21 memoirs, poems and short stories without knowing their authors to choose Elodia Resendez (Midland) for best memoir for her Downstairs Upstairs; Jim Crissman of Midland for best poetry for Recalling a Lost Photo; and best short story was awarded to Mitzi Clark, also of Midland forEnter ZIP.
The talent competition took place the night of the event. Guest were treated to quite a variety show as they enjoyed 9 acts that included dances, songs, musical instruments and skits. Douglas Bloodgood (Otter Lake) and Janet Martineau (Saginaw) served as jurists and awarded Chris Gouin (Midland) first place for playing guitar and singing The Forgetter. Alma Cooke (Saginaw) took second place for her piano solo Toe Tappin Tunes, and Mitzi Clark (Midland) came in third for her tap dancing patriotic number Tip Top Tap.
Enjoy photos of the event on the Photolodico website.
The public is invited to stop by Creative 360 at 1517 Bayliss St. in Midland to enjoy the exhibition and read the creative writing entries through August 28.
If you’d like to be a part of the 8th annual Artfest 55 festival, it’s not too early to start planning your entry now. Call for entries comes out in March.