2018 MMF Poster by Down Johnson

2018 MMF Poster Competition Winner

Livonia, Michigan, painter Dawn Johnson’s view of the historic Mill Pond along M-109 has been selected as the iconic image of the 2018 Manitou Music Festival (MMF) poster.

“I painted this oil painting in September of 2016,” Dawn said of A Quiet Reflection, Sleeping Bear Dunes. “While looking for places to paint around Glen Arbor, I was captivated by this scene with the quiet stillness and reflections in the water surrounding the Sleeping Bear Dunes. The complimentary colors of orange tones and blues just set it apart from everything else. For me, this painting brings back fond memories of the times spent painting throughout the dunes, the interesting people I met while painting there, and the sunsets viewed from the top.”

The Dunes occupy a deep and beloved place in Dawn’s life. She and her family have been visiting the area for decades. “Ever since my children were young, my sister and brother-in-law would invite us to vacation with their family at their vacation home on Big Glen Lake,” she said. “The Sleeping Bear Dunes was always the backdrop for whatever we were doing that day. The endless beauty, crystal clear water, and serenity of the whole area was always breathtaking.” Dawn received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Madonna University in Livonia in 1983, and then embarked on a multi-decade career of studio practice, teaching visual art, and exhibiting in solo and group shows. In 2008 Dawn was awarded an artist’s residency with the GAAC. “Shortly after this experience, I was approached to paint a mural for the cardiology department of Detroit Children’s Hospital. The subject matter was open and I was free to paint whatever I thought would be interesting,” Dawn said. “Using my reference photos and sketches from both my vacations and GAAC Artist-in-Residence, I chose to paint this area and titled my mural The Heart Of Glen Arbor. This painting shows the old Narrows Bridge with people in the foreground participating in a variety of activities on Glen Lake and the Sleeping Bear Dunes in the background.”

The Manitou Music Festival, one of the GAAC’s summer highlights, offers a series of live musical performances between July and August. There were 25 entries from Michigan, Ohio and Illinois for the 2018 poster competition. It’s open to all GAAC members. Copies of this year’s poster will be available in the spring. The cost is $18.