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January 16, 2013

PCCA kicks off new year with anniversary exhibition

‘1982 – 2012 Art Endures – Thirty Years and Counting’ opens Jan. 18

By Mary Beth Almond
C & G Staff Writer

» click to enlarge «
“The Peasant’s Feast,” by Bruce Thayer, will be featured in the Paint Creek Center for the Arts’ 30th anniversary exhibition.

ROCHESTER — In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Paint Creek Center for the Arts, the center will present “1982-2012 Art Endures – Thirty Years and Counting” Jan. 18-Feb. 15.

“Our 30-year anniversary fell in mid-November, and we plan to spend a lot of time, over the course of this year, finding different ways to celebrate that anniversary. One of the things we wanted to do was a big anniversary show that draws on artists that have shown here over the whole course of our history,” said PCCA Exhibitions Director Mary Fortuna.

The nonprofit regional art center, located in downtown Rochester, actually exists because of the Art & Apples Festival, according to PCCA Executive Director Suzanne Wiggins. Back in the early 1960s, a group of community residents and artists came together after seeing the outdoor art festivals happening in Pontiac and Bloomfield Hills and thought that Rochester would make a perfect venue. They started talking with the City Council and created a nonprofit organization called the Rochester Arts Commission as a mechanism for organizing the first Art & Apples Festival, which took place in 1965. Seventeen years after the first Art & Apples Festival, the group decided to create a year-round art organization using money collected from the festival.

When Avon Township — which evolved into Rochester Hills when it incorporated into a city — left what is now the PCCA building to build the current Rochester Hills City Hall, the Rochester Arts Commission jumped on the opportunity to lease the facility. After much discussion about what the building could be called, the commission decided on Paint Creek Center for the Arts, which they felt represented all the municipalities it served. Since November 1982, when the commission really got the center up and going, the building has remained the PCCA. The organization continued as the Rochester Arts Commission until 1986, when members decided to rename it Paint Creek Center for the Arts, so the facility and the organization would be uniform.

Fortuna said preparation for the anniversary exhibition began with a thorough search of the archives that allowed staff to assemble a list of artists spanning the entire 30-year history.

“A January exhibit is a big festive time for a big new show. With gallery schedules, usually September or early October and January are big celebratory times for galleries, so it seemed like a good time to do the show,” she said. “People will get a really interesting look of the history of exhibitions at Paint Creek Center for the Arts.”

The exhibition features the work of more than 70 artists — some who began their careers with an exhibition at PCCA back when the center itself was just getting started, and others who have shown with the center in more recent years — from across Michigan and beyond.

“It’s a very exciting show for us to show where we’ve come since 1982,” said Ellen Hughes, marketing manager for PCCA.

The Main and First Floor galleries will be packed with paintings, drawings, prints, photography, mixed media, ceramics and sculpture from PCCA’s past and present.

“There will be just about anything you can think of. … In some cases, people wanted to show a particular piece that they associated with the center. One artist was a winner of the Celebrate Michigan Artists Show that we used to do every year, and he decided to exhibit the piece that won the prize in that show. Other people made brand-new work, so there is a whole range of stuff,” Fortuna added.

The PCCA will host an opening reception 7-9 p.m. Jan. 18 at the center, giving the community a chance to meet the artists. An informal gallery talk, which is free and open to the public, will be held Jan. 19.

PCCA is located at 407 Pine St. in downtown Rochester, at the intersection of Pine and Fourth streets, and is open 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.

For more information on exhibits, classes, special events or volunteer opportunities, call (248) 651-4110 or visit www.pccart.org.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Mary Beth Almond at malmond@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1060.