Musselfest Goes “Art Nouveau” for This Year’s Poster

Musselfest Goes “Art Nouveau” for This Year’s Poster

Spills and blots!  No, that’s not someone trying to clean up after trying to eat a delicious bowl of mussels along Front Street at Musselfest.  It’s actually how the artist for this year’s poster and mug describes part of the creative process for this year’s art.

For Whidbey Island artist Scott Rosenkranz, the journey to this year’s art began many months before Musselfest.  He says the Musselfest board, “gave me some art nouveau pieces to use as inspiration for this year’s art.”

“I picture her having jumped into the night sky to find a perch from which she can try to lure a companion with her tasty bowl of mussels,” he explains, adding, “a bowl of mussels is always best shared with a friend.”

Rosenkranz, owner of Rosenkranz Productions, has done work for many national clients, including directing photography over the top of the Hollywood sign and local work like branding and artwork for Whidbey and Camano Island Tourism and Eckholm farm.

But embracing art nouveau was going to take him in new directions.  He says, “It is not a style in which I have done much work, so I had a great time digging through poster art from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.”  He adds, “I burned through probably four pencils and 6 erasers coming up with and refining concepts. “

But, to get to the final poster style, Rosenkranz had to channel his inner kid-artist with, “liberal brushstrokes and spills and blots of water colors to get to the finished product.”

Rosenkranz was also the artist behind last year’s mermaid artwork that was shown sitting on rocks in Penn Cove, framed by a full moon with the Coupeville Wharf in the distance.

However, this year’s mermaid is literally “on the moon” with her bowl of mussels.  Rosenkranz explains that, “Putting her on the moon was a nice way to get her up off the background.”  He says the art nouveau style also played a role, explaining moving the mermaid, “gave us a chance to build the design for the poster and other pieces around a circular theme, which is a strong element in a lot of art nouveau work.”

Scott isn’t the only Rosenkranz to get credit for the poster.  He explains that he, his wife Kerry and daughter Erin, visiting from college, spent his birthday drawing and painting together.    He says, “In the end we chose one of her (Erin’s) paintings to use as the tail for this year’s mermaid.