Art for a cause returns to Community House for OUR TOWN

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published October 9, 2017

 Birmingham artist Laura Whitesides Host’s mixed-media painting “Tulip Stripes” includes bits of copper leaf for interest.

Birmingham artist Laura Whitesides Host’s mixed-media painting “Tulip Stripes” includes bits of copper leaf for interest.

Photo provided by Gigi Nichols

BIRMINGHAM — The 32nd annual OUR TOWN art show and sale at The Community House will feature 357 pieces of artwork from 142 Michigan artists, returning 35 percent of their proceeds from art sales back to the nonprofit’s outreach programming.

But the annual juried show isn’t about numbers — it’s about color and beauty, and with works in paint, sculpture, fiber, photography, jewelry and mixed media, there’s plenty to be had.

Things kick off next Thursday, Oct. 19, with an opening night party beginning at 6 p.m. Guests who attend the $75-a-ticket affair can enjoy hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, live entertainment, and a first chance to preview and shop this year’s collection of art. They’ll also be able to peruse a silent auction and luxury raffle event with mobile bidding.

The next day, the show opens to the public, and people can enjoy the art at no charge 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, and Saturday, Oct. 21; and 10 a.m.-noon Sunday, Oct. 22.

Among the works on display will be three from Birmingham resident Laura Whitesides Host. She’s participated in the show several times over the years, but she said it’s always a thrill being selected to take part again in the event, juried by local artists Barbara Heller and Weatherly Stroh.

“It’s always a nice show. I like that it’s helping The Community House; as a Birmingham resident, I’m happy about that. And it’s a short show, but I know they do a lot to get a lot of people to see the artwork, and I’ve had fairly good sales. So what’s not to like?” she said.

The artist, who said she would describe her work as “nothing too traditional,” with watercolors, acrylics and patterns, is especially excited to show off some of her experimental hand-pulled prints at this year’s event.

Show co-chair Robert Dempster, owner of Birmingham’s Studio D gallery, said The Community House is always a perfect venue and host for a public art event featuring Michigan artists.

“The Community House is home to many charities, adult workshops and children’s classes.  It provides the perfect venue to showcase our artists, both local and statewide, with quality juried artwork displayed professionally for our cultured community to experience,” Dempster said in a press release.

To purchase tickets to the opening night party or for more information on this year’s OUR TOWN art show and sale, call (248) 644-5832 or visit

The Community House is located at 380 S. Bates St. in downtown Birmingham.