BBAC honors high school artists with exhibition, college event

By: Alex Tekip, Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published April 11, 2016

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BIRMINGHAM — A selection of 74 entries from the 2016 Regional High School Art Competition is currently on display at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center.

As you might expect, talented young students from the Birmingham-Bloomfield area impressed the judges with their creations this year and took away some notable scholarships.

“This regional high school competition is showing an amazing amount of talent here at the BBAC,” said Annie VanGelderen, president and CEO of the art center. “When I look at this work, I think, ‘The arts are alive.’ So many schools have decreased arts funding and arts classes offered, but when you look at the talent these kids are producing, you think that these could be our future architects, jewelers, painters, photographers. It’s refreshing and inspiring.”

Detroit Country Day sophomore Sloan Kiriluk, of Bloomfield Hills, said she has an interest in fashion as a future art career. Her enamel piece titled “Vitam Post Mortem” was one of her first enameling projects she had ever worked on.

“I do a lot of different art mediums, and I hadn’t tried metals, and I ended up really liking it,” said the 16-year-old.

It earned her a $950 portfolio camp scholarship at the Kendall College of Art and Design. But she’s already committed for the summer. She’ll be at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Country Day freshman Sophia Gallette, of Birmingham, also has an interest in pursuing a future art career. Gallette’s field of choice is metals, which is why she was inspired to create a sterling silver bracelet after making a ring independently.

“I just wanted to expand my interests and see what else I could make,” she said.

Gallette’s work earned her the $50 Tina Parfitt Memorial Award.

Cranbrook-Kingswood junior Michel Faliski, of Bloomfield Hills, spent three weeks in July 2015 on a National Geographic student exhibition in India focused on photography, where she learned from one of the magazine’s photographers. Her digital photo called “Who Are You” was taken in Agra, India.

“(The photographer) gave me a bunch of advice on lighting and on this specific day when I took the photo. I worked with her on that photo.”

Photography teacher Gary Kulak considered Faliski’s India photos with her, and the two eventually settled on “Who Are You,”  which won Faliski a $4,000 scholarship from Albion College.

Seventeen-year-old Jane Jacobs, of Franklin, is finishing up her senior year at International Academy. Her laser-engraved acrylic piece called “Evolution” earned her some hefty scholarships: $6,000 from Kendall College of Art and Design and $18,000 from Lawrence Technological University.

“The inspiration for the style of the art piece is from (artist Robert) Rauschenberg’s ‘Opal Gospel,’ which is a layered acrylic piece and a look I’ve always loved,” Jacobs said. “I’ve always been fascinated with how we as humans interact with technology and the innovative world around us. The theme for all my work is the relationship between man and machine, and how we handle new innovations of our time.”

She said she’s still deciding which college she’ll attend after graduation, since she’s been accepted to several, but she knows she wants to major in mechanical engineering.

Their pieces and dozens of others will be on display at the BBAC through the end of the month. The Regional High School Art Competition will be a highlight of the center’s annual College Day, which will be held 1-4 p.m. Saturday, April 16.

The event is hosted at the BBAC each spring and gives current high school students the chance to learn more about studying art and design as a future career. Faculty and admission representatives from 15 local and out-of-state colleges will be on hand to answer questions and review portfolios.

A complete list of participating schools — which include the College for Creative Studies, the Milwaukee Institute for Art & Design, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Savannah College of Art & Design, and the University of Michigan — can be found on the BBAC website.

College Day is free and open to the public. For more information on that event and ongoing and future exhibits, visit bbartcen ter.org.

The Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center is located at 1516 S. Cranbrook Road in Birmingham.

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