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Inspiration strikes again for Farmington Dew Days button artist

Farmington High School student Haley Zinnel loves how her life is enriched by her artistic expression. “There is so much stress in life and I love different forms of art that help relieve stress, and drawing I think of it as a way to look at the world and show other people in your eyes because you can take an ordinary object and make it your own by using impressionism, surrealism.” Photo by Kara Hildreth

This year’s Dew Days button design brainstorm followed a funny conversation with the artist’s mother.

Farmington High School student Haley Zinnel, 15, was sharing in a funny conversation with her mother who recommended she draw a pig behind the wheel driving a cool car.

Zinnel got busy sketching an image of a pig driving a car and in two hours her playful, creative button design came to life. For the second year in a row, her design was chosen as the official Dew Days button. The 2017 button portrays a playful, cartoonish-looking pink pig driving a baby blue classic collector car. She inscribed the words “old-fashioned fun” underneath the car.

“My button design is kind of incorporating two events from Dew Days — the car show and Kiss the Pig,” Zinnel said.

Last year Zinnel’s badge of honor was chosen as the 2016 Dew Days button. She used bright colors when she decorated each letter with a different design and theme to represent Farmington’s history and heritage.

Art serves as an outlet for creative expression and relaxation for Zinnel.

“There is so much stress in life and I love different forms of art that help relieve stress, and drawing I think of it as a way to look at the world and show other people in your own eyes how you can take an ordinary object and make it your own by using impressionism, surrealism,” Zinnel said.

When she was 6 years old, Zinnel submitted a Dew Days drawing for the festival button design. Even though her artwork was not chosen, this experience planted a seed. She realized how she enjoyed working on deadline to create graphic images. Especially creating art to be worn by locals during her favorite summer festival, Farmington’s Dew Days.

As an art student who plays the French horn in band and dabbles with photography, Zinnel loves to enhance and improve her creative, expressive side by delving into all kinds of art.

She credits inheriting her love of drawing and artistic talents from her grandfather, Donovan Wagner, who was an architect.

“My Grandpa Wagner has been a big influence in my life,” Zinnel said.

Her grandfather died a couple months ago, but Zinnel cherishes the time she spent with him. She feels grateful for his influences in her life today and how it may guide her in her educational journey and future career path.

“Art is everything to me and in middle school I took every single art class I could, but not now since I have more responsibilities, although I do a lot of drawing by myself and when my grandfather was alive,” Zinnel said.

The baby blue antique car on the button closely resembles a 1969 classic car her grandmother, Audrey Wagner of Bloomington, used to drive. “It was an old-fashioned blue color and my grandma loved to drive that car,” Zinnel said.

Zinnel hopes this year’s summer festival will attract more traffic to come to town and celebrate community.

In 2015-16, Zinnel was proud to represent Farmington as a junior ambassador with the Miss Farmington royalty. The experience helped her climb out of her shell, she said, because she needed to sell Dew Days buttons. Many local Farmington businesses offer specials and discounts with the buttons.

“You get a lot of discounts from stores in Farmington, so that is very cool,” Zinnel said.

Proud to call Farmington her hometown, Zinnel feels fortunate to have attended first grade at Akin Road Elementary and then Dodge Middle School.

“I like Farmington because besides all the friends I have made, I love the education and the community and I especially love the high school and how you can shape your own education and take special classes,” Zinnel said.

Zinnel recommends young students who are budding artists enter the Dew Days button design contest next year.

“I encourage anyone to enter the button contest next year because it is fun, and the competition is rewarding,” she said. “It is cool that people are wearing miniature pieces of your art.”

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