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'The Best Art Show in the Michigan Area'

Orchard Lake Fine Art show celebrates 10th birthday with awards and benefits.

For the 10th consecutive year in the Greater West Bloomfield area, the united artists from various areas and different mediums this past weekend.

More than 160 artists were selected to participate in the juried show — painters, sculptors, potters, jewelry and clothing designers, and other artists came from around the globe — as well as from around Metro Detroit.

Fenton native Sally J. Bright was arguably the biggest winner of the weekend, coming away with the Best in Show award in her first try as an exhibitor. Bright, who produces contemporary sculptures using traditional basket-weaving materials as palm and rattan, joked that she could hardly believe she had won.

"I was like, 'Really? Me?'" laughed Bright, whose work can be found at sallyjbright.com. "It's exciting. I've done shows all over the country and it's wonderful to know that one that I like so much is so close. The artists here are spectacular and the show gets better each year."

West Bloomfield native David Frank said that he was thrilled to receive an award of excellence, but perhaps even more glad to be among friends and family in his hometown. Frank, now living in Livingston, N.J., explained that the setting means the world to him, both in exhibition and in practicing his art of photography.

"I'm proud to be in this group," said Frank, who had been in the show for two years previous to this year. "You always want to feel like you're in an appropriate setting."

"I take pictures wherever I can ... there are beautiful things all around us. A lot of people seem to think you should go to somewhere famously beautiful to take photos, but I have developed my eye."

Many of the artists expressed appreciation for hotworks.org, the events company which hosts the Orchard Lake show in addition to shows in Indiana, Florida, and North Carolina. As such, many artists brought themes of the Southeast United States in their art.

Jeweler Kristin Holeman was one such artist, a Fort Lauderdale native who touted bracelets made from an oak tree right outside of her studio. Holeman, also a first-year artist in Orchard Lake, won an award of excellence for her effort.

"It's excellent, I'm honored. It seems like the best art show in the Michigan area," Holeman said.

The Chadwick Group’s Youth Art Competition, designed for children to display an original piece of art for the weekend, awarded students Briana Powe of Belleville, Natasha Rose Roth of Wixom, and Elyssa Daguanno of Northville with awards. student Veronica Liu took the top prize by utilizing drawing and mixed media.

Nancy Besser July 31, 2012 at 10:07 PM
I think your 5.00 charge to enter really hurt this art fair. People turned away because of this. I watched larger families not wanting to pay 20.00 just to enter. No one charges for out door fairs why what there a charge here?
Nancy Besser August 01, 2012 at 01:31 AM
Sorry submitted and could not edit after. It means to say Why was there a charge to enter this art fair.
Timothy Rath (Editor) August 01, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Nancy: I asked the show's owner, Patty Narozny, to reply to your comment. "We regret, too, that we have to charge admission, but with dramatically decreased funding for the arts, we find we now have no other choice." "'Gating,' as it is called, is not new to art festivals. The Coconut Grove show in Miami charges $10 and has since 2005; the Smoky Hill River Festival in Kansas charges $10 and has charged admission for well over ten years now; and the La Quinta Art Festival in California now charges $12; Arts Beats & Eats, $5; and Milwaukee is $10, to name a few. Several years ago, Coconut Grove determined that if they didn't charge admission, the show would close; there was no choice in the matter. Many shows are also charging for parking, in addition to the admission fee, or separate from that ... Please believe me when I tell you that $5 is truly a bargain these days and times, and that we essentially have no choice." "The $5 admission helps support our 501c3 non-profit organization, Institute for the Arts & Education, Inc., whose focus is visual arts and community enrichment. An example is the Youth Art Program that has been part of the show for the past six years. Youths in grades K-8 are encouraged to submit their art to be publicly displayed under the Youth Art tent the entire weekend; there is $250 in youth art awards."
Nancy Besser August 01, 2012 at 09:29 PM
They should have posted that because I watched groups of four or more not wanting to pay 20.00 to get in. More people did not go in because of this charge. I did not know the reason , Had I known why it would have made a big difference and for the reasons stated above, I don't think people would have hesitated to pay to enter.

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