Franklin Public Library to highlight local artists

By: Brendan Losinski | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published March 15, 2017

 Timothy Burke’s “Turtleman” will be one of the pieces shown at the Franklin Public Library Meet the Artists and Discover Detroit Art Hotspots Art Show.

Timothy Burke’s “Turtleman” will be one of the pieces shown at the Franklin Public Library Meet the Artists and Discover Detroit Art Hotspots Art Show.

Photo provided by Emily Pitchford-Boeuf


FRANKLIN — The Franklin Public Library will host several local artists at its upcoming Meet the Artists and Discover Detroit Art Hotspots event.

The art show will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 16. It is being organized by Emily Pitchford-Boeuf, who runs USArt Boutique, an online art gallery that showcases Detroit-area artists.

“I’m new to Detroit from France. I have always been fascinated about art, but I graduated in business,” explained Pitchford-Boeuf. “When I moved here, I started looking at the art scene, and I realized now was the time to start my art project. I started talking with local artists and meeting with them, and I started the online art gallery. I really like to focus on the connection between the artists and the audience, so I like events like this, where we can show off the art in person and patrons can meet the artists.”

The art show in Franklin began to take shape as she was talking with Florence Rouquet, who is an assistant librarian there.

“The French community is very tight in the area, and I know Florence Rouquet at the library, and she asked me to speak at the event,” said Pitchford-Boeuf. “At the library, I will be bringing the work of three artists I work with. One of them, Jody Mitchell, will be speaking. I will explain each piece to those who attend and (will) present a couple of unique art spots in the area.”

Mitchell will discuss her individual pieces and the process that goes into making them. She enjoys being able to go one on one with those seeing her art.

“I try to make my work one of a kind and meaningful. I don’t sell at big sales or shows. It’s very difficult to find the right audience, and the boutique has always helped me find buyers,” said Mitchell. “This show will give people a chance to meet the artists … which I always think really informs art and makes the experience of viewing it so much more meaningful.”

She said working with Pitchford-Boeuf has proven a great relationship for both of them and a great way to reach art appreciators in the Detroit area.

“A mutual friend was being represented by the boutique, and she told them about my jewelry and my husband’s photography,” said Mitchell.

Mitchell will describe how every artist can take a different approach and how some art forms can come from places people would never think of.

“I’ve always been attracted to beads, and when someone gave my daughter beads for her fourth birthday … it really reignited that passion,” said Mitchell. “I make beaded jewelry, and I like to use rare and African beads, particularly repurposed beads from flea markets or garage sales or beads that have a story behind them. My latest collection is based a lot on these hand-blown glass beads I found at a sale, and I challenged myself to make 20 necklaces using them, and they turned out really well.”

Pitchford-Boeuf said the other two artists who will be featured are also great local talents and will both offer something different to art lovers.

“I also am going to bring the art of Timothy Burke, who is an artist who has a gallery in Detroit, and he repurposes a lot of materials,” said Pitchford-Boeuf. “He calls himself a treasure hunter, because he finds materials and turns them into different works of art to tell a story. What I’ll be showing is mostly two-dimensional art. The third artist is Timothy Orikri, who is a pretty established artist in the area. He also finds inspiration from the city of Detroit and uses a lot of mixed media in his work and likes to highlight the hope he sees in the city as a big part of his message.”

Pitchford-Boeuf said she is excited for the Franklin show and another upcoming showing at a French coffee shop in Detroit called La Boheme. 

“I think people who attend are going to have a lot more knowledge of the Detroit art scene,” remarked Pitchford-Boeuf. “I hope they can approach some pieces of art different; have it mean more to them than ‘is it pretty’ or ‘do I like it,’ but allow them to focus more on what the artist was trying to communicate.”