Local artists show off their work at the BBAC

By: Mary Genson | Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle | Published February 21, 2024

 Maria Marcotte’s “Portrait of a Vulture.”

Maria Marcotte’s “Portrait of a Vulture.”

Photo provided by the BBAC

 Diane Cairns’ “Bag and Banner ‘REUSE.’”

Diane Cairns’ “Bag and Banner ‘REUSE.’”

Photo provided by the BBAC


BIRMINGHAM — The “Current Student Works Show” at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center, 1516 S. Cranbrook Road in Birmingham, will showcase the work of BBAC student artists ages 18 and up until Feb. 29.

A variety of art mediums — including painting, drawing, mixed media, ceramics, jewelry/metals, fiber arts and more  — are included in this year’s show.

“It’s really a great way to showcase what happens within the building and the incredible talent in this area,” Annie VanGelderen, the BBAC’s president and CEO, said.

The juror for the show is Lynn Galbreath, a recipient of the Creative Artists’ Grant from the Arts Foundation of Michigan and the Michigan Individual Artist Grant from Michigan Council For The Arts.

This year, over 200 out of approximately 350 submitted pieces of work were juried into the show. Of these pieces, 28 were juror-selected as 2024 show honorees.

Galbreath said over six hours were spent deciding on which entries to include in the show.

“Each piece was moved from gallery to gallery, changing their light and location in order to see how the show would come together as a whole,” Galbreath said in an email. “Art was submitted in the mediums of acrylic, oil, mixed media, jewelry, metalwork, weaving, and clay. Students created work in the methodologies of realism, abstraction, graphic, objective, and non-objective. Close attention was paid to elements of composition, balance, range of value-relationships, and of course craftsmanship. Each submission was a joy to look at.”

Galbreath said she wishes she could include all entries, but there is not enough room. She encouraged all artists who submitted to continue their studies and development in art.

“What art brings into our lives is so rewarding,” Galbreath said in an email.

Birmingham oil painter Maria Marcotte is one of the honorees for her piece, “Portrait of a Vulture.”

Marcotte has been taking classes at the BBAC for about 15 years, and she had great things to say about her experience.

While she has been painting for most of her life, she commends the BBAC for being an excellent resource for anyone interested in the arts. She added that painting is a learnable skill, and there are many great artists who started painting later in life.

“I wouldn’t be as good of a painter as I am without their contributions to the community,” Marcotte said.

She said she enjoys painting landscapes of local lakes, as well as animals, particularly birds.

“I love the many things that nature gives us to paint,” Marcotte said. “Nature is the greatest artist, really, when you start looking at what nature has to show us in color, shape and design.”

She said she was drawn to paint this particular vulture based on its sophisticated and appealing colors.

Marcotte’s painting, along with other juried work, is on display now at the BBAC. More information is available at BBArtCenter.org.