On February 2, 2017 Festival of the Arts unveiled the official poster for its 48th annual event which happens June 2 – 4, 2017.
Each year the event co-chairs are tasked with the privilege of choosing an artist or artists to create a poster that is the inspiration for the designs on t-shirts, sweatshirts, and other official Festival of the Arts merchandise that is sold on site, Grand Rapids Art Museum Store, and online at Grand Rapids Store.com.
The evening reception to unveil the poster, hosted by current Festival of the Arts Co-Chairs Merrie Pieri-Clark and Lisa Radeck, took place at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. This year's Poster is a collaborative design led by local award-winning children's book author/illustrator Ryan Hipp.
This year's chosen theme, "Make it a Family Tradition" was inspired by all the stories that have been passed on through generations of festival families. This seemed to resonate with the four artists. Ryan Hipp, along with fellow award winning performer/artist/author Kevin Kammeraad, Kevin's son artist Carlos Kammeraad, and retired Rockford high school art teacher Ken Vidro produced an imaginative event poster that embodies the theme while melding the whimsical styles of all four friends and collaborators involved.
This group of artists have a family tradition of their own, Ryan and Kevin met while in collage and it was after Ryan had began speaking with school groups about his published books that Ken Vidro asked if he could collaborate with the two of them. They became such good friends and connected through their love to draw characters, music, and writing they decided to apply to Festival of the Arts to sell their art, books, and music together.
It's been ten years since they were all juried in to Festival of the Arts and it has become a special tradition for this group of friends and, of course, within the past 10 years Kevin's son Carlos joined the family business as he started to hone his art skills by collaborating with the group.