Speakers Series Program

Our monthly Speaker Series Program is one of our most popular events and well attended by our members as well as the public. The program takes place September through May on the third Monday of the month at 7-8:30pm.

We aim to provide a diverse speaker line up each year, exhibiting a wide range of media and concepts in their work.  Members and Non-Members can apply for our Speakers Program.

Apply below!

  Some of our previous speakers  

Feb 15, 2021, 7pm - Barbara Melnik Carson 

 Barbara Melnik Carson, local sculptor, grew up in Southwest Detroit.

Formerly a pickle packer, theater major, crisis counselor and occupational therapist with a BA in Communications and a BS in Occupational Therapy, only to discover she has always been an artist.

Being self-taught, Barbara sought instruction from artists which included Jane Bunge, Maurice Lowe, Debra Fritts and Sunkoo Yuh.

This year she had the honor of participating in a three month artist residency at the Lviv National Academy of Arts in Ukraine.

Her work is in collections around the world and exhibited throughout the United States and Canada. Most recently her sculptures were included in a booth at the SOFA expo in Chicago, sponsored by Women Made Gallery.

Barbara's work is also available for purchase at the River's Edge Gallery in Wyandotte, MI.

She continues to explore new ideas and techniques, and is also available for private lessons and commissions.

Katie Hammond

Will be rescheduled later 2021

Katie Hammond earned her BFA from University of Michigan in 2004 and MFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2016. Following graduation, she exhibited widely in Chicago, including shows at EXPO Chicago, Western Exhibitions, LVL3, Heaven Gallery, and Riverside Arts Center.

Though being inclined toward the grotesque, surreal and darkly humorous, Katie's work is bright, poppy, funny, and inviting. Working primarily in acrylic on canvas and velvet, highly personal subject matter is filtered through the lenses of art history and iconography. Dichotomies of particular interest are playfulness and sadness, humor and cynicism, reverence and rebellion, high art and kitsch. Influences from the non-art world include mythology, punk, literature, pop culture, dreams, nightmares, and social media.

 Feb 17, 2020, 7pm - Darcel Deneau  

Darcel Deneau paints daily in her studio and is actively involved in the Detroit art community. She is currently serving as chairman of the board for the Detroit Artists Market, (DAM), and she is a member of the alumni council for the College for Creative Studies, (CCS). Since graduating twelve years ago she has produced an impressive body of work, exhibited in numerous juried and curated exhibitions, including 11 solo shows.  Much of her current work is mosaic scenes. 

Deneau has earned a notable reputation for her Detroit landscapes and has been pursued for many commissions, including the 28th Detroit International Jazz Festival poster artwork, a large-scale Detroit landscape for the Hudson-Weber Foundation and a 29’ x 7’ mural for Garage Restaurant and Fuel Bar, in Northville, Michigan.

Deneau’s work has been widely collected by private collectors as well as corporate venues. Select collections include: Nathan Forbes, Matthew Cullen, Michael Farrell, Hudson-Weber Foundation, James Duffy, Peter Walsh of TLC, Mack Avenue Records, Ernst & Young, Gretchen Valade, Mark & Molly Valade, Skip Davis, Stan Dickson, University of Michigan, IAC Automotive, Marketing Associates, Ameriprise Financial, and Visteon Corporation.

 Jan 20, 2020, 7pm - Mary Bajcz     

Mary Bajcz has been making quilts for over 35 years and is still delighted by the endless ways a great variety of fabrics can be combined into a beautiful and useful quilt - art that can keep you warm. Mary says she enjoys the serendipity in quilt making.

She starts out with an idea, assembles a pile of fabrics, starts cutting and sewing and then watches to see if good things happen. They usually do.

Mary makes both bed sized and wall quilts. She uses a free cut piecing technique that she's been refining over the past several years. Her artistic voice in this technique.

She makes and sells reversible, pieced silk jackets and loads of handbags and totes. Mary also loves to knit and hook rugs.

Mon, Nov 18, 2019, 7pm - Sophie GrilletIndian Elegance by Sophie Grillet

Sophie Grillet studied at the Central St Martins School of Art in London and graduated from the University of Brighton. While in the UK, she was a cartoonist for books, magazines and national newspapers, such as The Guardian, The Observer and the London Evening Standard.

Sophie currently lives and works in Ann Arbor, MI. Her media preferences are: painting in oils and accrylics; sculpture in stone, metal and clay; drawing in pastels; and photography. Much of Sophie's work is abstract, but it is always about something, often with interesting titles. She enjoys experimenting with all kinds of media from aluminum to yarn.

Being insatiably curious, Sophie attempts to integrate her interests in art, social justice, science, and math. Her work reflects on the tragedy of our love of natural beauty and our haste to destroy it.

She is the organizer for Westside Art Hop, a twice-yearly local art walk in Ann Arbor, MI, and the Zone5 Art Show & Sale in Plymouth, MI

Mon, Oct 21, 2019, 7pm - Durwood CoffeyA Study in Spots by Durwood Coffey

Durwood Coffey’s distinguished 30-plus year career as an illustrator included such clients as the Big Three automakers, Anheuser-Busch, Detroit Edison, Marvel Comics and Sesame Street. However, it’s the work created outside of the job for weekend art fairs and now in retirement that most excites the Westland, Michigan artist.

His brilliantly colored pieces reflect a unique creative process that starts with a sketch and ends with a vibrant painting of his favorite subjects: fish, frogs, insects, wolves, snow leopards and all manner of wildlife.

Durwood is a member of the “SAA” Society of Animal Artists, a who’s who list of the best wildlife artists in the world. His images are sold on a global scale. He recently created paintings for “Running for Home,” a book about the wolves coming back to Yellowstone Park and the impact on the environment.

Mon, Sep 16, 2019, 7pm - Robert PerrishGarden Party by Robert Perrish

Robert Perrish is an award-winning designer, sculptor and painter whose love of nature is evident in everything he creates. This was first expressed through wildlife painting and sculpture, and has since evolved into painting landscapes, portraits and still life.

Robert worked in the commercial art field in illustration and design for 30 years. A life long resident of Michigan, he has lived with his family in Livonia for the past 34 years. He has traveled extensively throughout the United States and abroad, capturing as much as he can on canvas along the way.

Plein air painting has become a regular habit and has helped his studio work as well. He is one of the co-founders of Michigan Plein Air Painters and paints with them on a regular basis, as well as traveling out of state for other painting opportunities.

Awards include Michigan Wildlife Artist of the Year, Ducks Unlimited Artist of the year, as well as DU Carver of the Year 3 times, 16 Best-of-Shows in national and world carving competitions. His artwork and sculptures have appeared on National magazines, calendars, books, limited edition prints and various art galleries.

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