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July 2, 2013

Farmington Art Foundation celebrates grand opening

By Sherri Kolade
C & G Staff Writer

» click to enlarge «
Works of art are on display inside the Farmington Art Foundation’s art gallery in Village Mall June 28.
Farmington Hills resident Ben Sanders stands by one of his six landscape paintings he has in the show.
 

FARMINGTON — The June 28 grand opening of the Farmington Art Foundation’s art gallery in Village Mall, at Grand River and Farmington Road, was a masterpiece in itself, with 11 artists’ framed work hanging in the center of the room.

Janet Hall, president of the Farmington Art Foundation, said she hopes the gallery has staying power with potential visitors and artists who pay and volunteer their time in the new space under a co-op agreement.

“We’re hoping to be here year-round,” Hall said during the event.

Next month, 14 different artists will be featured. Every month, a new set of artists, who are also foundation members, will have their work featured in the gallery. The group has a total of about 100 members. 

This go round, artists created paintings of people, places and spaces that inspired them in some way.

Artist Marjorie Chellstorp was one of the artists featured in the gallery during the grand opening.

Chellstorp — whose watercolor depicts a woman sitting in a garden reading a book — said she wants attendees to see all that her painting has to offer.

“I think people want to see a place,” She said.  “Composition is real important.”

Chellstorp, who has painted for decades and teaches art classes, said using watercolor is a practical way for her to paint.

“I just have done a lot of watercolor in the last few years,” she said of her work splashed with lush greens, purples, blues and fiery orange. “It has been the most convenient for me.”

Hall said the grand opening was born out of a need for space to celebrate art.

“It started because, usually, we are part of Art on the Grand,” she said of the annual juried fine arts fair.

Because some restrictions — such as not being able to set up a tent in a park, and holding the event in the street — caused roadblocks, Hall said the group started looking for a storefront.

As of right now, the lease is through September, and the gallery is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays.

“We will see in September if it makes sense, can we make a go of it,” she said. “We are hoping we’ve had enough sales, had enough traffic, and people are still interested in doing this. It’s an experiment.”

Attendee Linda McVicar, of Novi, said she heard about the gallery, and she knows a few of the featured artists and their work.

“I wanted to see it and wanted to see the space,” she told the Press. “It is exciting to have a gallery in downtown Farmington because it is accessible all the time for people to walk in and see what is going on.”

The foundation’s goal is to spur interest in the creative arts through lectures, workshops, exhibits and a number of other artistic ventures.

For more information, go to www.farmingtonartfoundation.org

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Sherri Kolade at skolade@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1046.