Grosse Pointe Park, Grosse Pointes
Portraits of parenthood
Posted May 28, 2008
Photo by K. Michelle Moran
‘Images of Mothers’ at Grosse Pointe Art Center mixes
warmth and whimsy
GROSSE POINTE PARK — Those expecting the visual equivalent of greeting card mush at the Grosse Pointe Art Center’s “Images of Mothers” show are in for a surprise.
There are some lovingly created portraits, but nothing cloying.
“It could have turned out to be too sweet, but it really turned out to be thoughtful (and) somewhat humorous, so we’re very proud of it,” said Art Center Director Susan Macdonald.
Juried by respected artist Laura Whitesides Host, the show — on display through June 13 — features almost 50 pieces, including oil, sculpture, charcoal, watercolor, encaustic and mixed media.
Even the sweetest sources of inspiration didn’t produce overly sentimental work.
Rosie Martindale of Roseville said her own mom inspired the mixed media work “Queen Mother,” a small, delicate, three-paneled mixed media painting featuring a pair of Queen Elizabeth Canadian pennies and images of her mother holding a baby, her sister as a bride and her great-grandmother playing piano. Martindale said the images show “three different stages in a woman’s life, in a mother’s life.”
“My mom is such a queen,” a beaming Martindale said. “She’s such a wonderful, warm person. I wanted to honor her with a piece.”
A photograph of her sister-in-law as a child, out in the snow with the mother-in-law the artist never met, was the source for the woodblock print “Snowday,” by Nabuko Yamasaki of Grosse Pointe Woods. Although she said she often uses a lot of color, Yamasaki opted for a simpler palette of black, white and gray for the gentle piece.
Wit and whimsy abound as well, including a small nursing pig sculpture titled “Motherhood Sucks” by Dorrie Krusz of Grosse Pointe Woods. Krusz and her husband, Art, have several pieces in this show.
Grosse Pointe Artists Association member Bunny Homan of Grosse Pointe Park was wowed by what she saw, as were former Park residents Dennis and Susan Roubal, visiting from Marquette.
“I think it is very magical,” Homan said of the show.
Susan Roubal — like Homan, an artist herself — said she loved the idea for the exhibit.
“The show is incredible,” she said. “I like seeing the diversity in the artists and the art itself.”
Roubal’s husband, Dennis, a former Grosse Pointe Artists Association president, concurred, saying, “The works are terrific.”
Despite its name, the Grosse Pointe Art Center is rapidly establishing itself as a regional venue. Artists from as far away as Ann Arbor and Brighton submitted works for consideration.
Metro Detroiters selected for the show include D. Victor Pytko of Birmingham; Darren Dundee of Clinton Township; Marilyn Zimmerman of Ferndale, who won Best of Show for her giclee print, “Sarcophagus for Maxine, My Mother”; Linda Allen and David Mikesell of Grosse Pointe City; Nina Goebel, Carol La Chiusa, Margaret Rose and Jacki Rybinski of Grosse Pointe Farms; Erica Chappuis, Birgit Huttemann-Holz, Charmaine Kaptur, Leslie Rentschler and Shelly Rothenbuhler of Grosse Pointe Park; Barbara Carr and Barbara Frey Harry of Grosse Pointe Woods; Julie Sabit of Harper Woods; Gloria Goedecke, Mary Hartman and Mike Lebiac of Harrison Township; Deborah Kashdan of Southfield; and Lin Viglione of Sterling Heights.
“This was kind of an unusual topic, but a lot of the artists felt very strongly about it,” Macdonald said. “As it turns out, it’s a very strong show.”
The Art Center is open noon-6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit www.grossepointeartcenter.org, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (313) 821-1848.
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