“JFK,” by Desiree Kelly, is located on the  Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1669, 214 E. Fourth St., in downtown Royal Oak.

“JFK,” by Desiree Kelly, is located on the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1669, 214 E. Fourth St., in downtown Royal Oak.

Photo by Sarah Wojcik


Art Explored brings fresh pieces to downtown Royal Oak

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published October 24, 2018

 “UHF,” by Tim Gralewski, is located on the Sullivan Building, 225 S. Main St. It is one of six new public art installations in the city’s 2018-19 Art Explored program.

“UHF,” by Tim Gralewski, is located on the Sullivan Building, 225 S. Main St. It is one of six new public art installations in the city’s 2018-19 Art Explored program.

Photo by Sarah Wojcik

 “Strength in Life,” by Sandra Cook, is located on the Center Street parking deck, 300 S. Center St.

“Strength in Life,” by Sandra Cook, is located on the Center Street parking deck, 300 S. Center St.

Photo by Sarah Wojcik

ROYAL OAK — Six new works of art were recently installed around downtown Royal Oak as part of the city’s sixth annual Art Explored program. The pieces will be on display until June 2019.

James Krizan, assistant city manager and Royal Oak Commission for the Arts member, said the program received approximately 40 submissions this time around.

“Early in the year, we put out a call for artists and try to widely publish that as best we can,” Krizan said. “Then the public art subcommittee selects, with the help of other people in the community, the entries they like best.”

He said the subcommittee takes a juried approach, with each member ranking each submission, and that the top six picks were installed around the downtown area before Oct.1.

“Some of the (locations we choose) are based on ease and being able to get in contact with business owners, as well as trying to fit the size with the appropriate spot,” Krizan said. “We keep it within the downtown because the (Downtown Development Authority) is one of the project partners.”

Jason Gittinger, chair of the Commission for the Arts, said he was excited about the fresh artwork in the city.

“In previous years, we’ve had a number of sculptures on our streets,” Gittinger said in a statement. “This year’s submissions afforded us the ability to explore more two-dimensional pieces from some different artists in our community. We can’t wait for the public to see their work and celebrate their efforts.”

“JFK,” by Desiree Kelly, is located on the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1669, 214 E. Fourth St.; “Dragon Library,” by Dylan Yates, is located on the Royal Oak Public Library, 222 E. 11 Mile Road; “Strength in Life,” by Sandra Cook, is located on the Center Street parking deck, 300 S. Center St.; “Flow,” by Molly Diana, is located on Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle, 310 S. Troy St.; “UHF,” by Tim Gralewski, is located on the Sullivan Building, 225 S. Main St.; and “Reborn,” by Melia Woelmer, is located on the South Lafayette side of the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation Transit Center.

Krizan said the group includes new and returning artists.

Tim Gralewski said this will be the third time the program will feature his artwork, which combines graphic design and fine art. He said he tweaked an existing piece of art featuring an old TV set and a test pattern before submitting it to the program.

“I love being able to present my art, and I love downtown Royal Oak,” Gralewski said. “I get a kick out of driving by it. Other people have seen it and contacted me, so it’s really great in that respect.”

Krizan said the purpose of the program is to promote and bring awareness to art in the community, create a vibrant feel in the downtown, draw visitors, and get them thinking about Royal Oak.

For more information, visit www.romi.gov/arts or call (248) 246-3204.