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Beneath the white blanket of snow, down under the brown cold earth are the beginnings of glorious tulips.
Even now they are going through their yearly cycle of growth that will burst into wonderful colors and shapes in April and May. Tulips are really big in this area. Tulip Time in Holland, Michigan is one of the country's largest tulip festival and plans begin early to celebrate this exquisite flower and the Dutch culture it represents. Every year the festival highlights one particular image of the tulip on a poster and other items. Until very recently this image was commissioned from a particular artist. Three years ago the process changed to a competition whereby artists can submit their interpretations of the tulip and the festival. The top 20 artists' images are chosen and announced. Then the jury has the difficult task of choosing one image for that year.
I was honored to be among the top 20 artists again this year and last night enjoyed dinner and the company of the local arts council members as well as local sponsors and the Tulip Time board members. Highlights included the details of the upcoming festival in May and the unveiling of the winner - Maggie Schultz and her beautiful watercolor - "Clothed In Splendor". The other 19 images will be displayed in downtown Holland during Tulip Time when the people's choice event will be held. Viewers of all the artwork can vote for their favorites and awards will be given for the top 3 . It was a wonderful display of local and regional talent and I love seeing the variety of artwork that comes from this event.