Janis Howes wins 2022 Puget Sound Bird Fest poster art contest

The winning entry, by Janiis Howes

Artist Janis Howes has been named the winner of the 2022 Puget Sound Bird Fest Poster Art Contest with her watercolor and gauche painting Trumpeter Swans of Skagit Valley Farmlands. The piece was selected by a jury from among 17 entries, and will be featured on the promotional poster for the 2022 Puget Sound Bird Fest event set for Edmonds on Sept. 10-11.

The Puget Sound Bird Fest Poster Art Contest is held each spring to select a piece of original art to be used for the festival’s promotional poster. Sponsored by the Edmonds Arts Festival Foundation, the winning artist is awarded a $350 prize.

The Puget Sound Bird Fest is a celebration of birds and nature that happens each September in Edmonds. Typically, the weekend-long event offers presentations by local experts, field activities, exhibits, vendors, kids’ activities, and workshops and demonstrations. Many Bird Fest activities are free; other activities require a nominal fee and advance registration.

Trumpeter Swans of Skagit Valley Farmlands was inspired by Howes’ visits to the beautiful Skagit Valley, where so many swans and geese spend their winters. “The Trumpeter Swans really captured my curiosity,” Howes said. “The way they run along the surface of a pond, honking as they take flight, looking so graceful and serene flying above the farmlands.”

The painting was selected by the jury because of its exceptional sense of place, movement, and evocative storytelling qualities. “Landscapes are difficult to do,” said Tanya Sharp, who represented the Edmonds Arts Commission on the jury. “This piece really shows the range of close-up to further away.”

The theme of each year’s poster art contest is determined by the subject of the Bird Fest keynote presentation. This year, renowned swan biologist Martha Jordan will be presenting on Washington’s Swans and Snow Geese: Connections to land use, agriculture, and dairy farms on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 10:30 a.m. in the Edmonds Plaza Room.

Janis Howes has worked in the graphic arts for the past 30 years as a graphic designer and illustrator. In 2016 she earned a certificate in Natural Science Illustration from the University of Washington and has lately focused her work on birds, botanical subjects, and other wildlife using colored pencil, graphite, watercolor, gauche, and pen and ink. Janis is continually inspired by the beauty she finds in the natural world and intrigued by the science behind every subject she illustrates

To learn more about the Puget Sound Bird Fest, visit www.pugetsoundbirdfest.org.

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