Church gala to host creations from artists, parishioners

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published November 4, 2022

 Sculptor Suzanne Young says she plans to bring small sculptures such as this Sacred Heart of Jesus  to the Nov. 12-13 Frost Moon Art Gala in Sterling Heights.

Sculptor Suzanne Young says she plans to bring small sculptures such as this Sacred Heart of Jesus to the Nov. 12-13 Frost Moon Art Gala in Sterling Heights.

Photo provided by Suzanne Young

STERLING HEIGHTS — It’s not often that a brand-new event hopes for a “frosty” reception, but a local group of Catholic churches hopes that its Frost Moon Art Gala will be a cool spot for local artists to show their work.

The Central Macomb Vicariate Family of Parishes No. 2 will present that art gala Nov. 12-13 at St. Rene Goupil parish in Sterling Heights.

Michael Novak, the organizer of the art show, is also the director of the Jammin’ with Jesus Catholic Academy in Sterling Heights.

He said this is his first time organizing such an art show, adding that its title comes from the name of November’s full moon. He explained that the event will represent a “family” of  Archdiocese of Detroit parishes located in Sterling Heights:  St. Rene Goupil, St. Jane Frances de Chantal, Saints Cyril and Methodius, and Our Lady of Czestochowa.

“My vision for the art show was to reach out to local, national and international artists, as well as allowing each of the four parishes to have artists from their parish display and sell their art,” he said in an email.

Novak said he reached out to many artists, and five headliners agreed to participate. One is Oakland Township sculptor Suzanne Young.

“Suzanne Young is an internationally known religious sculptor. She has her artwork in the Vatican, as well as churches and basilicas all over the world,” Novak explained.

Young said the first time she did a religious sculpture commission was in 1980, when Fr. William Cunningham sought a life-sized Madonna and Child for Focus: HOPE in Detroit.

“I’ve been creating life-sized and smaller pieces ever since,” she said.

Young said her sculptures are usually made out of bronze or clay. Most recently, in August 2020, a bishop in Peoria commissioned her to create five statues over a seven-month period — including a life-sized Holy Family and a 6-foot Divine Mercy Jesus, she said.

She praised the art gala organizers as a “very creative group” and said she was grateful for the invitation. She added that she plans to present smaller, more portable items at the show.

“I have Mother and Child sculptures, Christ figurines, the saints, angels, Holy Spirit, crosses,” she said. “I’ll take a selection of all of them. It’ll be nice to meet the people.”

Another artist, Eric Hasiak, from New Haven, said he makes and paints tabletop gaming miniatures, as well as creates dioramas and terrain for them. He said he has done it as a hobby for around 17 or 18 years and “got into it as a side business for the past five or six.”

When he creates a piece, he said, he doesn’t do much sketching for the concept but goes to his “vast collection of materials,” including cardboard, cork, PVC and acrylic. He said he then pieces them together and often does sculpting in the process.

“I get an idea in my head and then start gathering pieces that could work for overall shapes,” he said. “I also find miniatures from already-existing kits and games and work those into my pieces.”

Other headlining artists include fine artist Jeremy Lassila, encaustic painter Eric Gaston Simard and painter Paco Theisen.

But those aren’t the only artists to have their work featured — parishioners are also invited to present their work. St. Rene plans to showcase the work of photographer Evelyn Voss and sketch artist Courtney Skrinner, and St. Jane Frances de Chantal will present painter Gregorio Evanzia, Novak said.

“Believe it or not, I am still working on getting other artists,” he added.

Children’s work will have a spot at the show, too, and a children’s art contest will feature prizes, he said.

The event will also feature refreshments, door prizes, art presentations and more. Novak said guests may also listen to performances from the parishes’ musicians.

The Central Macomb Vicariate Family of Parishes No. 2 will present the Frost Moon Art Gala noon-3 p.m. and 5-8 p.m. Nov. 12 and noon-5 p.m. Nov. 13 at St. Rene Goupil, 35955 Ryan Road in Sterling Heights.

Admission is free. Learn more about the event by visiting https://JWJCatholic.Academy.  Learn more about artist Suzanne Young by visiting www.religioussculpturebysmy.com. Learn more about artist Eric Hasiak by visiting erichasiak.weebly.com.