Welcome to West Bloomfield's Fine Art Show!

First-time exhibitors and veterans alike looking forward to annual event this weekend.

What should one bring the Orchard Lake Fine Art Show to commemorate its 10th birthday this weekend? Patty Narozny directs and owns the company, Hotworks.org, which produces the show, said to just bring yourself and family to enjoy the presence of about 160 artists.

 kicks off Friday just south of the West Bloomfield Plaza, on Powers and Daly roads, south of Maple. Among the artists who will be there for the first time, woodworker Archie Smith said that he excited for another Michigan summer.

He's used to participating in an Ann Arbor art show, but said that the reputation of Orchard Lake show, which Narozny also produces in Indiana, North Carolina, and Florida, drove him to sign up.

"A number of fellow artists have recommended it to me. I come from (Mt. Pleasant) North Carolina and always like to come to Michigan in the summer and eat cherries," Smith said.

Narozny said that Smith's "compelling, original, unique, and well-done" pieces — he makes musical instruments — made him an obvious choice for her.

Smith makes both bowed and plucked psalteries. Similar in concept to those mentioned in the Bible, he explains, the instruments are played with a horsehair bow and have a very haunting, ethereal sound.

"The bowed psalteries have 24 strings — each tuned to its own note — and laid out like a keyboard with the 'white keys' on one side and the 'black keys' on the other," Smith said.

Patrick Walsh, of Lakewood, NJ, creates what he calls "photomosaics" — fine art prints using a series of related photos — which he has brought to the show for the past four years.

Walsh, who won Best in Show at last year's event, said that the talent of the show, which has been voted in the top 100 art shows in the country five years in a row by Sunshine Artist magazine, has been the biggest contributing factor to its longetivity.

"Financially it's always been a good show for me ... I had three pieces sold last time," Walsh said. "The people are spectacular. It's a great show."

Carol Ferony, of DeFuniak Springs, FL, is another first-timer brought to the show on the strength of its reputation. 

"Patty and her staff are a wonderful group who are dedicated to the arts and the artists. They offer an opportunity to participate in festivals providing venues in select locations bringing together the artist and the art patron," said Ferony, who works in soft and oil pastel drawings.

Ferony explained that she'll be exhibitng both mediums this weekend, including a body of work ranging from stretched canvas to framed museum glass pieces.

"My approach to each medium is distinctive as I combine drawing and painting techniques illustrating the diversity and intensity of pastels," Ferony said.

"We have art professionals who know what they're doing with the jurying process in order to keep the quality of the show higher than most," said Narozny, of Milford. "We're getting really good as to figuring out (which artists) we want to have."

Paintings, clay, glass, sculpture, wood, fiber, jewelry, photography and more will be available for between $25-25,000, Narozny said. Children's Art activities including plaster painting, tie-dye T-shirts, candle making, face painting will be available– kids take home their creations.

General admission for all three days is $5, but kids under 12 are admitted free.

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For more on , visit the West Bloomfield Patch Events calendar listing.


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