Michigan Arts Events and Awards

Polish Artists Shine at Gala
By Henryka Olbrot, Ph.D., President, Lakeland Society of Artists

Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) Highlights “REMBRANDT and the Face of Jesus” Show

BLOOMFIELD— The presenting artists were front and center at the preview reception at the Festival of the Arts at Nativity Episcopal Church. It was the artwork that was the real stars though. Shining brightest was ‘Best of Show,’ a mixed media fiber piece by veteran gallery artist Cynthia Trevino-Bodene. The Farmington Hills artist was all smiles as she graciously accepted the many congratulations.

Regarding ‘Best of Show’ art historian and commentator, Jan Waller added, “This award piece is a winner. It is very complicated with the layers. It has a great use of nature and is very accessible to the eye. She finished it brilliantly.”

The "Best of Show" was presented to veteran artist Cynthia Trevino-Bodene for her mixed media fiber piece titled "Rare-Remote-Irreplaceable" at the Nativity Episcopal Church, Festival of the Arts held recently in Bloomfield, Michigan. She attended Kendal School of Design in Grand Rapids, MI. -- Photo by T. Wittlinger
The ‘Peoples Choice Award’ voted on by the event patrons went to longtime Lakeland Society of Artists member Lauren Calhoun. Her painting “What Remains” was an oil with subtle yet colorful tones. She had recently completed a charcoal tutorial in Rzeszów, Poland.

My co-chairs of the event Tim and Diane Wittlinger checked and rechecked all the details and the opening reception was Bardzo Dobrze to the second power. They welcomed guests and gave everyone a comprehensive program booklet with all the details. The viewer’s responses and enjoyment were enhanced by the musical offerings of harpist Susan Behrens. “These are the best attendance numbers we have ever experience,” added Tim Wittlinger.

The three day event concluded with a concert by ‘Joyful Noise’ a musical group from Grace Episcopal Church in Southgate. In total, 43 artists presented in the long running showcase. Besides Nativity Episcopal Church, the event was supported by the Lakeland Society of Artists, Polish Mission and Yager and Associates, a financial group in Northville.

Evelyn Bachorski-Bowman of the Polish Mission Art Gallery in Orchard Lake won the first place in sculpture. Bob Nixon a clay artist got the ceramic blue ribbon and was very popular with his bowls. The former design chief at General Motors had items with great pastel combinations. Other top prizes went to Lidia Simeonova, Gerry Pas and Joe Pas.

The influence of the Cranbrook Academy of Art and Wayne State University was represented. The educational aspect of the festival fostered by Rayneld Johnson, Ph.D., and the honored juror, Professor Urban Jupena both of WSU was informative and ambassadorial for the future.

Jupena was popular describing his experiences presenting at the International Triennial Tapestry Exposition in Łódz, Poland. Dr. Johnson was explaining new genres such as ‘Art to Wear’ as highlighted by hand painted “The Coffee Filter Dress” by student Erica Woodliff. It demonstrated eco-friendly and sustainable art principals.

The comprehensive communication efforts of Raymond Rolak and the hospitality styling’s of Estelle Zelasko added a professional assurance to the event. Rolak also networked the support of the Detroit Institute of Arts and Zelasko coordinated the gala reception with Uptown Weddings of Chelsea. Her committee of Eva Barczynski, Michele Schindler, Ryszard Kosowicz and Krystyna Rizk made the evening elegant and tasteful. The wine tasting and mini-meatballs with dill sauce (kuleczki mięsne w sosie koperkowym) got enthusiastic responses.

Long time art supporter Joe Greenbaum said, “Everything is so stylish and attractive.” His wife Eva added how wonderful and delicate the dessert offerings were. Many asked where the fine pastries came from? It was easy; they came from Polonka Market in Livonia, Michigan.

The DIA highlighted their upcoming opening of a special exhibit, “REMBRANDT and the Face of Jesus.” It will run from November 20, thru February 12.

Many pieces in the gallery sold on the opening night. Bachorski-Bowman said as she mingled throughout the gallery, “Look at the red stickers, people are buying and of course this is what supports and validates the artists.”

The reception and prize announcements for the ‘Polish Mission Art Competition’ organized annually by the Friends of Polish Art are Sunday, October 2, at 3:00 p.m. at Orchard Lake Schools. This year’s edition (26th) is dedicated to the memory of Richard Kubinski, the veteran art and Polonia culture ambassador. The first prize will be given in his name.

In other art news, there will be a remembrance of longtime and celebrated Lakeland Society of Artists member and contributor, Donna Andruccioli-Vogelheim. Her special presentation is supported by the Providence Hospital Foundation. It is titled, “Donna Vogelheim – Healing Power of Art” and will run from October 6, through November 30, at the Providence Park Campus in Novi at the Assarian Cancer Center. The Nancy A. Fox Art Gallery will have selected Vogelheim pieces available as part of their fine arts show. There will be an artist’s reception on October 6, at 7:00 p.m. Vogelheim passed recently after a long and brave fight with cancer.

The Detroit Design Festival concluded on September 28. It is a not-to-miss event for next year. There were 85 separate happenings throughout Metro Detroit over eight days. Art shows, gallery presentations, competitions, installations and exhibitions were just some of the events. There were also fashion shows, studio tours, performances and networking events. Coordinated by the Detroit Creative Corridor Center, they showed that new art ideas are rooting throughout the Detroit area.

“Festival of the Arts” – Award Winners

  • BEST OF SHOW: Cynthia Trevino-Bodene, “Rare-Remote-Irreplaceable”
  • PEOPLES CHOICE: Lauren Calhoun, “What Remains”
  • FIBER: Cynthia Trevino-Bodene, “Dragonflies of the Desert”
  • PAINTING: Lidia Simeonova, “The Door 2”
  • SCULPTURE: Evelyn Bachorski-Bowman, “Portrait of a Soul #5”
  • CERAMIC: Bob Nixon, “Peacock Fruit Bowl”
  • OTHER MEDIA: Joe Pas, “Ciderhouse”
  • PHOTOGRAPHY and DIGITAL: Gerry Pas, “Running Free”