2014-06-14 / News

Artists Present Festival Poster Paintings at Reception

By Macaela Bennett


Petoskey-based painter Kevin Barton displays his Lilac Festival poster submission painted in post-impressionistic style. Petoskey-based painter Kevin Barton displays his Lilac Festival poster submission painted in post-impressionistic style. Painters who competed in the 2014 Lilac Festival poster contest showcased their artwork during a reception at Ste. Anne’s Church Sunday, June 8, at 3 p.m.

Contest winner and Ste. Anne’s Church member Diane Neyer depicted Ste. Anne’s framed by lilac trees with a white wedding carriage in front. She used oils on canvas and titled her painting “Ste. Anne’s at Lilac Time.”

“Ste. Anne’s is the prettiest church I’ve ever seen and it is also our family parish,” she said. “We have had so many memories at Ste. Anne’s; our daughter Katie and son-in-law Brendan were married there and former pastor Father Jim Williams has become a dear friend over the years. It is an incredibly important place in our lives.”


Noel Skiba presents her Lilac Festival poster contest entry, painted with acrylics to add texture and accurately depict the color of lilacs. Noel Skiba presents her Lilac Festival poster contest entry, painted with acrylics to add texture and accurately depict the color of lilacs. Mrs. Neyer also won in 2009 with an Arch Rock-themed painting. She is traveling out of the country and could not be at the reception.

In second place, Kevin Barton portrayed Ste. Anne’s in his post-impressionistic style that focuses on bold colors, brush strokes, and texture.

“Mackinac Island has a feeling of antiquity,” Mr. Barton said, “and I wanted to capture that in a unique fashion.”

Mr. Barton, of Petoskey, who has painted for 19 years, is a frequent Island visitor and won the contest in 2011 and 2012 with his paintings of Grand Hotel and Wawashkamo Golf Club.

Local artist and last year’s winner, Noel Skiba, express the love she has for the church in her painting. She depicted Ste. Anne’s with a wedding party in front and a light shining through the front window to symbolize the church’s inviting spirit.


Sharlene Halverson, from Claremont, Iowa, painted her Lilac Festival poster entry using watercolor. Sharlene Halverson, from Claremont, Iowa, painted her Lilac Festival poster entry using watercolor. “There’s a spiritual quality you feel every time you pass by Ste. Anne’s, and it’s just awesome,” Ms. Skiba said. “I’m getting goose bumps just thinking about it.”

Ms. Skiba used acrylics to paint her scene from across the street.

“The purple acrylic color I use is so close to the real color of lilacs,” she said. “The church is surrounded by lilacs, and it’s like a fairy tale that we live in. I’m just trying to do it justice. It’s my job to capture what people don’t or can’t see.”

Two first-time contest participants also discussed their entries at the reception.


Mackinac Island caricature artist Jay De Foy presents his selfdescribed “moody” rendition of Ste. Anne’s Church for the Lilac Festival poster contest to reception guests. Mackinac Island caricature artist Jay De Foy presents his selfdescribed “moody” rendition of Ste. Anne’s Church for the Lilac Festival poster contest to reception guests. Painter of “Once Upon a Time,” Sharlene Halverson, submitted a watercolor portrayal of Ste. Anne’s that shows the church from the perspective of a viewer looking through a castle window.

“I’m the Cinderella type,” she said, “and my theme was love for the Island.”

She sees a heart in the shape of lilac leaves, and painted one of them red to symbolize love for the Island.

She looks forward to competing again next year.

Another first-year entrant, Jay De Foy, painted a self-described “moody” picture of Ste. Anne’s that moved one reception attendee so much that she wrote and recited a poem about his oil painting.

Although this was Mr. De Foy’s first entry, he is experienced in painting Mackinac Island scenes. He has worked as a commissioned artist for Lilacs & Lace on Market Street for three years and entertains tourists with caricature drawings downtown.

“Around 8 or 8:30 p.m. the lighting is really nice,” Mr. De Foy said, and he based his painting on a photograph he had taken at that time of evening.

Other 2014 finalists were Melissa Croghan earning third place and Bridget Beattie, who was awarded an honorable mention.

Other participants included Marion Layman, Irma Murray, Lisa DeLuca, Peg Panetta, Robert Schmaltz, Becca Spitzer, Diane Sprengel, and Joan Graven.

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