Acrylic painter honored as Sterling’s Featured Artist

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published October 22, 2014

 Acrylic paintings by Sterling Heights Featured Artist Ken Pilarski are on display in Sterling Heights City Hall.

Acrylic paintings by Sterling Heights Featured Artist Ken Pilarski are on display in Sterling Heights City Hall.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes.


Sterling Heights’ Featured Artist for October and November says he is no stranger to being recognized locally for his work.

Ken Pilarski’s paintings are currently on display at the Sterling Heights City Hall and at the Sterling Heights Public Library. He said he has on display a mixture of landscapes, portraits, floral paintings and more that were done in acrylic.

Besides being picked as Sterling Heights’ Artist of the Month in 2012, Pilarski was honored for his work earlier this year by Shelby Township. He defined his interest in painting as simply a hobby.

“I’m going to keep doing it until I get it right,” he said.

Pilarski, 76, from Sterling Heights, said he has been involved in acrylic painting for about four or five years, adding that he took it up after he retired.

“Even when I was young, I used to sketch a lot,” he said. “I guess the real inspiration came from all the painting shows on TV, Bob Ross and Bob Fagan and my favorite, Jerry Yarnell.”

Pilarski said oil painting involves “pretty intense techniques” and takes a long time to dry. He said he didn’t take to watercolors. Acrylics dry rapidly and are easy to fix if something goes wrong.

He said some of his inspirations for painting subjects come from calendar images.

“What I really do is paint pictures of pictures,” he said. “I really don’t go out into the outside meadows or in the forests to paint.”

For people who are interested in dabbling in painting, he recommends an inexpensive starter kit.

“Canvas board is about a third of the cost of a regular canvas. Try it and see what happens,” he said. “I’ll try something and mix the color. ... When I put it on the canvas, I can’t believe that it came out.”

Sterling Heights city spokesman Steve Guitar said the Featured Artist program has long been a staple of the city’s Cultural Commission, and it fits in with programs that try to highlight the visual arts in the community, such as the Sterlingfest Art & Music Fair.

“And we feel it’s really important to give up-and-coming artists a chance to display their work publicly in our community,” Guitar said.

Learn more about Sterling Heights by visiting or by calling (586) 446-2489.