The 2016 Black Swamp Arts Festival poster has been honored as Most Creative in Sunshine Artist magazine’s annual competition.
The poster, featuring wildflowers found in the Black Swamp, was designed by Erin Holmberg, of Bowling Green.
Holmberg said she was inspired by her local upbringing. Her mother was an avid gardener. “Living here in Bowling Green throughout my childhood, I really started to appreciate the natural beauty around here.”
Holmberg noted the past two posters, her own design in 2015 and Will Santino’s poster in 2014, both focused on the downtown scene.
“It’s not just an arts festival, it’s the Black Swamp Arts Festival,” Holmberg said. “I wanted to try to tie it back to the local community, the namesake of the festival.”
So she decided to focus on the swamp. The colored front has an artful profusion of plant life found in the Black Swamp. Though some of the plants she learned in the process of creating the poster are not native to the area.
The back side of the program challenges the viewer to identify the 21 flowers depicted on the front and to identify those not native to the Black Swamp. It also includes factoids about the swamp.
Holmberg consulted local naturalists, and even got permission to collect a few samples from Wintergarden Park.
The goal is to create “a thoughtful design that really is a homage to the people and places” the festival’s audience knows. “You get much better response. People want to participate and want to be there.”
The festivals’ poster have received numerous awards from Sunshine Artist, the leading journal for the art fair scene.
“It’s an art festival,” Holmberg said. “It makes perfect sense to make a well-designed, thoughtful piece of promotional material at the forefront.”
This year’s poster for the festival’s 25th year is being designed by Amy Karlovec, who designed the festival posterswith her husband, Matt, for about a decade before taking a break the past three years.