Lifetime resident brings vision to Viking Fest logo

POULSBO — A vision of her home town and a love of one local event became a masterpiece for Northwest College of the Arts student Carrie Tilton.

And a grand vehicle for the Viking Fest celebration to make its entry into Little Norway.

Tilton’s drawing of a Viking long ship was recently chosen as the winner of the Viking Fest Corporation’s Barbara Krell Memorial Scholarship. Each year, one NWCA student’s artwork receives the honor, which gains its artist a $1,000 scholarship and makes it the logo of that year’s Viking Fest.

Tilton, a 2003 North Kitsap High School graduate, commented that she was excited for the scholarship money, but even more thrilled her handiwork would become the symbol of Little Norway’s biggest annual event.

“I couldn’t believe it, I didn’t think I would win so I was so excited,” Tilton commented. “I’ve been to Viking Fest quite a few times. I was in band in high school and marched in the parade. I love Viking Fest.”

Besides staging the annual Syttende Mai (Norwegian Constitution Day) event, the Viking Fest Corporation emphasizes providing scholarships to local students. In addition to the annual logo contest, the corporation also provides money for higher education through its Miss Viking Fest Pageant, which will take place April 24.

The Barbara Krell Memorial Scholarship is named after a long-time Viking Fest volunteer who was a talented amateur artist and loved instilling the love of art in children. Krell was the Poulsbo Artists’ League’s Historian, who also served as an Art Docent at Breidablik Elementary School. She also sang in Christ Memorial Church’s contemporary choir, taught in its religious education program, tutored for the Literacy Council of Kitsap County and helped raise funds for breast cancer research.

Tilton, 19 and a freshman at NWCA, is also a local woman who is consumed by art. She said she counts some of her earliest memories as revolving around creative endeavors, including taking part in coloring contests at Keyport and PTA “reflections” art showcases in elementary school.

“That’s pretty much where it started,” Tilton commented. “Coloring and scribbling were my hobbies when I was little.”

Though her junior high and high school years also included things like Key Club, playing flute in the band and running track, Tilton said her love of art never left her. During her senior year at North, she entered two paintings in North Kitsap’s Arts and Crafts Festival and one acrylic piece won viewer’s choice. She was also the recipient of a Tony White memorial (visual arts) award and a Booster Athletic club scholarship, which helped her attend NWCA.

Tilton said she hopes to earn a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and visual communications.

Though her winning logo of the Viking long ship is a graphite drawing, Tilton said it started out as a painting. She liked the finished canvas so much that when she heard about the Viking Fest competition, she decided to try and recreate it in another medium. And although it wasn’t her first intent, she admitted that Liberty Bay served as an inspiration for the finished product.

“I think it was meant to be Liberty Bay,” she commented. “Originally, I was going to do a ocean painting but then I decided to do a bay and I decided I needed to add some mountains, so I started looking at the Olympics.”

The 36th annual Viking Fest celebration takes place May 14-16 in Poulsbo. For more information, go to

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