Five Minutes With: Artist Michelle Don Konics, Heritage poster contest winner

April 8, 2011 

Like so many others, Michelle Don Konics had been wondering about the fate of the Heritage tournament. But instead of grousing about it with friends or writing a letter to the editor, she decided to take a different approach. She painted.

"Save the Heritage" won the Art League of Hilton Head Island's Heritage poster contest. Prints of the Hilton Head artist's watercolor work will be sold during the tournament as a fundraiser for the art league and a means to raise awareness of the tourney's plight to find a title sponsor. Michelle discusses her connection to the Heritage.

Question. What was the idea behind your painting?

Answer. Everybody's going, "What the heck is going on with the heritage?" This is my interpretation of it. I had the guy and cannon first with a little bit of Harbour Town in the back. I initially wanted the guy to be faceless, because the Heritage is a bit faceless now. But it didn't look right. The South Carolina flag in the back I added as one of the final touches. It sort of says to the state, "So, what are you going to do to help this tournament?"

Q. Why did you decide to enter?

A. My children and I have been the recipients of some of the charities that the Heritage Classic Foundation benefits. So you have all this hoopla over who's funding this, and on the other end there's the charities this tournament supports.

I never really went to the Heritage. Golf just isn't my thing. But I do benefit from the Heritage. Volunteers in Medicine is my health insurance. We just went to the Deep Well (Project) the other day.

I also have a ribbon on the guy. You know those support ribbon magnets you see on the back of cars? If they could knock out a bunch of those ribbon magnets that stick on the back of your car it could raise some money and some awareness, too.

Q. What other types of art do you do?

A. I do a lot of different things. I work with what I've got. I've done murals. I've done sculpture. I just made an aluminum foil sculpture. I'm not the type who says, "Oh, I only do paintings." I do what I can.

Q. How long did it take to complete the poster?

A. I didn't have much time. I found out about the contest the Thursday before I thought it was due. I thought it was due Monday. I work three different jobs and have to tote my kids around, so I managed to find an hour here and there to get it done. I later found out that the artwork itself wasn't due until Friday, so I had to sit at home and desperately try not to mess with it.

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