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October 3, 2012

Great Lakes beaders celebrate 20 years with special exhibit

By Tiffany Esshaki
C & G Staff Writer

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To celebrate its 20th anniversary, the Great Lakes Beadworkers Guild is presenting a special artwork exhibition at the City Gallery inside the Costick Center in Farmington Hills.

The Great Lakes Beadworkers Guild is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, the guild is presenting a one-of-a-kind exhibition to showcase its love for the city of Detroit.

The GLBG is an organization that encourages and promotes beadwork of all kinds. The group of 250 members meets monthly to plan various projects and learn from a variety of nationally known guest instructors who are experts in beading techniques.

Sharon Wagner, president of the GLBG, said it was about a year ago that the guild began planning for its 20th anniversary festivities. Among the ways the guild is celebrating is with a competition called Synergy, featuring decorative art pieces, elaborate jewelry and other beaded creations. The bead artists were asked to create pieces that reflect their feelings about Detroit. The theme is “Yeah … Detroit, so bead it.”

“The Synergy competition is a collaborative competition with the Southeastern Michigan Glass Beadmakers Guild and the Great Lakes Beadworkers Guild,” said Wagner. “They were able to take the theme in whatever direction — whatever about Detroit inspired them, they could represent that in beads.”

The result is 18 intricate projects depicting everything from Detroit sports and the Detroit Zoo to Hitsville USA and beyond. Many of the pieces are wearable finished jewelry, alongside such other items as a dream-catcher, a decorative box and even a doll made from beads.

“It’s a very interesting collection. You can see that the city of Detroit is well-represented in this artwork,” said Wagner.

On Oct. 6, the guild will host an anniversary gala event, at which the winners of the Synergy competition will be announced. Judging the entries will be Rebecca Hart, associate curator at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Cash prizes will awarded to first-, second- and third-place winners, and a People’s Choice award winner.

The display will be open to the public at no cost through Nov. 11 at the City Gallery, inside the Costick Center of Farmington Hills. Nancy Coumoundouros, cultural arts supervisor for Farmington Hills, said the exhibition has been a hit with patrons of the center, with visitors trying to sneak a peek at the art pieces before the display setup was even completed. 

“We’ve had exhibits by the Great Lakes Beadworks Guild before, but this has taken them to another realm,” said Coumoun-douros. “They had a theme to work with, and every single piece is so unique. This group feels very strongly about the revitalization of Detroit.”

The City Gallery inside the Costick Center is open 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and by appointment. The Costock Center is located at 28600 W. 11 Mile Road in Farmington Hills.

For more information about the Great Lakes Beadworkers Guild, including details about the 20th anniversary gala and dinner Oct. 6, which is open to the public, visit www.GreatLakesBeadworkersGuild.org.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Tiffany Esshaki at tesshaki@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1095.