Kate Morgan, a Columbus based artist whose work includes 2D mixed media and paintings, won the Best of Show award Saturday at the 17th annual Lazy Daze of Summer arts and crafts festival.

Kate Morgan, a Columbus based artist whose work includes 2D mixed media and paintings, won the Best of Show award Saturday at the 17th annual Lazy Daze of Summer arts and crafts festival.

Morgan was among about 60 exhibitors who displayed their work at the festival, which was held on the lawn and streets surrounding the Grandview Heights Public Library. The festival is presented by the Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Arts Council.

"This year's festival can be summed up with one word: hot!" said Ruthanne James, arts council president and Lazy Daze co-chair.

Although the sweltering weather appeared to hold down attendance a bit, many people still braved the blazing sun to stop by the festival, she said.

"We're really appreciative that so many people would come out in the heat, because it sure was hot," James said.

"I think it shows that after 17 years, we've developed quite a reputation for the quality of our festival," festival co-chair Jeri Diehl Cusack said.

In addition to the Best of Show, five honorable mentions were also named by festival judges.

They were:
Lenise Alexandra of Newark, who creates fantasy-themed prints and paintings. Kaska Firor, a fine jewelry maker from Cincinnati. Kelly Burt of Grandview Heights with her hand-sewn and painted shirts, bags and toys. Susie Lowder of Budding Arts, Powell, a floral and landscape painter. April Brehob and Amanda Polverini of Westerville, who make artwork using reclaimed materials.
The People's Choice Award, selected by the vote of festival-goers, was won by Mozart, a Great Dane rescue dog from the Harlequin Haven in Bethel that paints with his paws.

"Mozart just won people's hearts," James said.

It was fitting that Mozart was the People's Choice, because this year's festival was being called the Lazy "Dog" Daze, and featured a number of exhibitors displaying dog-related items and a pet parade.

"Wouldn't you know it, our pet parade winners were two Scotties," James said.

This year's festival T-shirt, designed by Mike Dexter, featured a Scottie dog.

"We just about sold out of our T-shirts. I think we have five left," James said. "In the five years I've been involved in the festival, we've never come so close to selling out the T-shirts."

Alexandra described her work as "being very feminine in nature."

At Saturday's festival, she was displaying pieces from her recently completed series of fairy paintings and new works of earth nudes.

"I have to be painting," she said. "If I don't, I just feel out of balance. It's not so much that it's therapeutic for me, it's just something I feel a need to do."

She tries to tell stories with her paintings, she said.

"It's really about capturing one moment that tells the entire story or entire life" of her subject, Alexandra said.

Alexandra's work can be viewed at www.lenisealexandra.etsy.com.

Doug and Cheryl Kneisely of Powell were displaying the photography they sell through their business, Underwater Images.

They got into taking photographs underwater because they wanted to capture the incredible sights they saw while diving, Cheryl Kneisely said.

"Every time you dive you see something different," Doug Kneisely said. "It's always amazing."

Their favorite sites for diving include the Bahamas, the Florida Keys and Bonaire, an island near Aruba.

Photographing sea life underwater takes time and patience, Doug Kneisely said.

"It's a real challenge to try to avoid startling the fish or other species you're trying to photograph, because you want to get as close as you can" he said.

Cheryl Kneisley said she most enjoys capturing the view one gets of the sun from underwater.

"You can float on your back and look up through the water and the way the sun or moon shines down through the water is magical," she said.

More information about the Kneisley's photographs is available at www.underwaterimagescd.com.