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photos copyright 2011 Christa Wise, Judy Anthrop (Wittliff and Wise) and Jim Hanson (Hanson and Stec, Porbe and Brandess, the Smiths and Mayor Verplank, Wilcox and the Bechlers)

The Saugatuck Douglas Art Club is pleased to announce the award winners at the 33rd annual Waterfront Invitational Art Fair which was held in Cook Park, Saugatuck on Saturday, July 2, 2011. The Waterfront is one of two juried Saugatuck art fairs put on by the Saugatuck Douglas Art Club, which uses the proceeds to fund a scholarship program for local students pursuing a career in the arts, to support the art programs at Saugatuck Public Schools, and for other arts projects in the area.

Sculptor Skeeter Aschinger of Aurora, Illinois won the Fred T. Larson award, donated by Mrs. Harriet Acton of Chula Vista, California, Larson’s granddaughter. Aschinger’s work involves several materials, and is often of figures in the spirit of classic French art deco. Fred T. Larson (1869-1944) was a Chicago painter and woodcut artist and founder of the Palette and Chisel Club in that city.

Watercolor painter LeAnne Sowa of Cedar Springs, Michigan won the Cora Bliss Taylor award, donated by the Art Club. Sowa’s watercolors were singled out by fair judge Judy Anthrop, a Douglas painter, fiber artist and historian, for their multi-layer technique. Cora Bliss Taylor (1889-1986) was a Saugatuck painter and art teacher who taught many early Art Club members.

Glass artists Greg and Jean Smith of Mattawan, Michigan, whose delicately colored blown glass works are evanescent and ethereal, won the City of Saugatuck award, donated annually by the City. Their works were selected for the award by Mayor Jane Verplank.

Ceramics artist Diana Wittliff of Gobles, Michigan won the Jean Goldsmith award, donated by the Art Club. Fair judge Anthrop admired Wittliff’s raku, a ceramics style that originated in Japan, characterized by hand molding, lead glazing, and removal of the pieces from the kiln while still blazing hot. Jean Delo Goldsmith, the first president of the Art Club, was a Saugatuck painter and ceramics artist.

Watercolor painter Betsy Buurma Morton of Holland won the James Boyce Family award, donated by the late Mr. Boyce’s family. Mr. Boyce, from Saugatuck, originated the award some years ago for the best marine scene in the fair.

Jeweler Kristin Perkins of Ypsilanti, Michigan won the DeMond’s SuperValu award, donated by Saugatuck-Douglas’s hometown grocery and liquor store. Perkins makes lampwork beads and ornaments by melting glass with a torch.

Photographer Chris Hillman, of Byron Center, Michigan, whose abstract photographs are often of walls or boat surfaces, won the Drongowski Family award, donated by Karen and Phil Drongowski of Saugatuck. The Drongowski Family award is for the best photograph or piece of mixed media art in the fair.

Sculptor Jack Hillman of Ada, Michigan won the Saugatuck-Douglas District Library award, donated by our local library. Anthrop found Hillman’s minimalist metal wire sculptures and mobiles light and whimsical.