First Bloem 2023

Tulip Time's poster program began in 1982. Its long-standing history has produced a beautiful collection representing the festival and the Holland community. The poster is an integral part of Tulip Time. First Bloem invited artists in Ottawa, Allegan, Kent, Muskegon and Kalamazoo counties to submit artwork for the official Festival Artwork Competition and a Viewers' Choice Award. All entries were due in the fall of 2022 with the top 20 being selected by Margaret Vega, this year's juror. Tulip Time then selects the winner, with posters and merchandise created from the winning artwork.


Kristin Doversberger’s “Talk of the Town,” is the official Tulip Time poster for 2023. Doversberger’s piece is a paint and paper collage. Doversberger has a familiarity with different media; utilizing both to create a style that lends itself to flexible expression in an inspired form.

The Top 20 finalists for 2023 included:

“All are Welkom” by Cidy Bender
“Ready to Reign” by Betsy Buurma-Morton
“Grand Perfection” by John Cowden
“Tulips, Windmills and Mondrian” by Charles Cusack
“Talk of the Town” by Kristin Doversberger
"Tulip Patch" by Patricia Flynn
“Hollandia” by Thea Grigsby
“On a Spring Day” by Carol Hall
“Spring Blooms” by Karen Johnson
“Never Too Many” by Karen Johnson
“It’s Tulip Time!” by Steve Leary
“Tulip Daydream” by Andrea Rich
“Twee Landen, een Geest” by Lori Rivera
"Tulip Treasures" by Anne Rivers
"Evening Tulips” by Conni Schaftenaar
"Tulip Maze" by Michael Stewart
“Blended Colors of Spring” by Carolyn Stitch
“In the Round” by Sandy Swartzentruber
“Time to Celebrate” by Dian Taylor
"Let’s Dance" by Sally Yugovich

All top 20 pieces were displayed during the week of the festival and visitors were able to vote for their favorites in the Viewers' Choice Awards. After a total of 2,336 votes were cast over the week, the piece, "Grand Perfection" by John Cowden had the most votes.

From the artist:
"I consider myself to be more of a craftsman than an artist. I have a very straight forward no-nonsense approach to my life and I believe it shows in my paintings. I prefer realism to abstraction. I idolize many of the artists of the late 19th century such as John Singer Sargent, Anders Zorn, William Merritt Chase, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer and Cecelia Beaux. The Tulip Festival is a wonderful event and I always look forward to taking as many photos as I can. I use the best of these photos to create works of art on canvas."

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