Troyfest award winners recognized and applauded

Published 8:37 pm Tuesday, April 26, 2022

TroyFest 2022 was a tremendous success with 91 exhibitors participating in a variety of categories.

Morgan Drinkard who chaired the TroyFest committee with her husband, Rob, said they both believe the 2022 show was one of the best in a long time.

“The weather was beautiful and the artwork was incredible,” Drinkard said. “Thank you to our fabulous volunteer committee, the wonderful city employees, our talented artists and supportive community members for another successful year.”

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The difficulty in selecting the artist award winners was expressed by Alabama artists Steve and Debbie Garst, who said the artwork and craftsmanship throughout the entire show was of the highest quality.

However, the couple was tasked with selecting awards in various categories and that was no easy task, the judges said and congratulated the TroyFest committee on having put together such a quality arts and crafts show.

“It is the best arts and crafts show I have been to,” Steve Garst said. “The quality of the artwork is amazing. The TroyFest committee is to be congratulation for putting together such a great show.”

The pottery of Dawn Prietz of Marianna, Florida was judged TroyFest 2022 Best of Show. With the top award came a $1,000 cash prize and the opportunity for a solo exhibition at the Johnson Center for the Arts in downtown Troy. The exhibition is set for August.

Prietz she was extremely honored for her work to be selecte  Best of Show at the prestigious juried show.

“I am devoted to detail,” Prietz said. “To create detail, I use stamps, plants, fossils, anything from nature. My work is functional. I want those who have my pottery to use it.”

And, to say the work of Prietz, is one-sided, would be an understatement.

“I put stuff on the sides and on the bottom,” she said, with a smile. “Designs, scriptures. “I want my work to be complete.”

Donna Tucker was the TroyFest 2022 First Place Fine Arts Award recipient and, although, Tucker said she likes to “doodle,” she is no doodler. Whether the Crestview artist is painting landscapes, a still life or animals, her work is award-worthy, as verified by the TroyFest prestigious award.

“My work is personally challenging; it’s emotional,” she said. “Whether I’m painting a landscape, still life or animals, I want it to bring a smile to the face of the viewer.”

Mississippian Chuck Shumaker was the first-place recipient of the TroyFest Craft Award. Shumaker has been “working with wood” since 2018. Since his retirement, he is making wood a work of art.

“I use different kinds of woods but pecan is a favorite,” he said. “I like the way it finishes off.”

Shumaker uses wood with nature-provided opportunities to add color and a different texture through the use of resins.

Jean Lake Folk Art Award recipient Katherine Michael of Tampa, Florida was originally a realistic painter. After nearly 10 years, she realized “it was not good.”

“I wanted to paint how I felt inside,” she said. So now she sits at her kitchen table and paints the stories of everyday life. Stories of swimming in a pond, picking flowers, paying hopscotch, Sunday in church or eating at the supper table.  “Just what folks do day in and day out.”

The TroyFest committee offered congratulations to all artists and crafters who participated in the 2022 TroyFest Arts and Crafts Show. The committee members are now looking forward to having all the artists back again for TroyFest 2023.