Amateur chef and Macomb County Commissioner Mai Xiong, of Warren, will be joined by her daughter, Annabel, to perform a cooking demonstration for the Anton Art Center’s SatARTday program.

Amateur chef and Macomb County Commissioner Mai Xiong, of Warren, will be joined by her daughter, Annabel, to perform a cooking demonstration for the Anton Art Center’s SatARTday program.

Photo provided by Mai Xiong


Anton Art Center hosting monthly virtual art programs

By: Brendan Losinski | C&G Newspapers | Published April 20, 2021

 Anton Art Center board member Alysa Diebolt leads a SatARTday demonstration of creating art using recycled materials.

Anton Art Center board member Alysa Diebolt leads a SatARTday demonstration of creating art using recycled materials.

Photo provided by Alysa Diebolt

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MACOMB COUNTY — The Anton Art Center is inviting the public to join it for some artistic endeavors that can be enjoyed from home with the center’s SatARTday programming.

Begun as an in-person program, SatARTday has been retooled so that those wishing to take part can do so without having to social distance or interact with people during COVID-19.

“SatARTday is a program the Anton Art Center does, and it has been doing it since 2018,” explained Anton Art Center board member Alysa Diebolt. “The whole theme is us penciling in the second Saturday of the month for art. It’s a free monthly art experience. There are performances, visual art programs, and now virtual programs since 2020.”

First State Bank sponsors each year of programming, and Diebolt said this has made a big impact on the community.

“It’s a great way to promote art while social distancing and doing it for free,” she remarked. “Every month, we try to have a specific theme. April is friends of the Earth. May is culinary arts. July will have hands-on clay demonstrations from the Pewabic Street Team from Detroit. We’ll do graphic novels and dancing and collage art later in the year, so there’s a wide variety.”

Amateur chef and Macomb County Commissioner Mai Xiong, of Warren, will lead a cooking demonstration for SatARTday’s May program.

“I was asked by Alysa to participate with my daughter to demonstrate how to make sesame rice balls,” said Xiong. “They are a popular Chinese dessert, like doughnuts. My daughter is 8 years old and is very into baking. We weren’t able to go to the bakery during the pandemic, so we learned how to make them together and we give them to friends and family.”

Xiong will be joined by her daughter, Annabel. She thinks a cooking demonstration will be a fun and timely activity for families.

“It’s going to be recorded at the art center kitchen. We’ll have our ingredients and show people how to mix the ingredients, roll the dough, and how to fry them,” Xiong explained. “I’m new to the art center. Alysa was one of my daughter’s customers, and she approached us about demonstrating our baking.”

For the April program, which took place April 10, the art center hosted a green art project.

“Friends of the Earth is where people can pick up kits for the program, and it’s a collaboration with Arts and Scraps, which is a super-cool nonprofit in Detroit, which recycles anything under the sun,” said Diebolt. “They will make art pieces out of foam scraps from automotive manufacturing, for example. They have kits you can get from them, which allows you to make something interesting and inspirational and weird.”

SatARTday will have special programming coming up in June, since the center cannot host its usual in-person art show at the center.

“The Anton Art Center used to promote the Mount Clemens Art Fair. We changed that to the Super SatARTday in 2019,” Diebolt said. “We filled the art center with more than 200 people doing art projects, musicians and more. In 2020, we did very similar programming, but all virtual. Folks had all of these projects available online. This June, we’ll have a bunch of these sorts of videos with things people can do at home to create their own art.”

The videos can be viewed on the Anton Art Center’s YouTube page, youtube.com/user/antonartcenter.

“I think it’s great they’re doing this,” Xiong remarked. “With COVID, it’s hard to get out and do things. This lets people feel like they’re still part of something and part of a community. With Mother’s Day coming up, I think it’s very timely to have a project with a mother and daughter doing something together.”

Diebolt hopes people will join them to take some time out to enjoy or create something artistic and creative.

“The SatARTday programming is fun for folks of all ages and provides a creative outlet and shows all the good work that the Anton Art Center does in Macomb County,” Diebolt said. “I think people will really enjoy tuning in.”

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