Farmington Art Foundation celebrates 50 years

By: Mike Koury | Farmington Press | Published November 18, 2015

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FARMINGTON — Since 1965, the Farmington Art Foundation has been part of the community effort to bring artists together and to reach out to teach others about art.

This year marks the foundation’s 50th anniversary, and at the Farmington Hills City Council meeting Nov. 9, the group was given a proclamation by the council for its work in the community and the programs it offers for seniors and students.

Treasurer Janet Hall, a member of the FAF since 2005, said that for the members of the foundation, it’s about giving back to the community through the programs.

The ArtSmart program, started in 1974 under the name “Picture Lady Program,” lets students view more than 500 different types of art prints to teach them about artists and the work they create.

“We give them exposure to art, which, you know, obviously is becoming more and more difficult with the schools with all the money restraints,” Hall said.

Another program is the weekly senior painting classes, which offer seniors weekly free instruction by foundation members. That work then is featured at a spring exhibit each year to showcase the seniors’ talents.

The foundation currently has around 80 members, Hall said, which is where the number usually lies, but the group is looking to recruit more members.

The foundation elects a new president, vice president, treasurer and secretary every two years, and it has a board of directors, with chairs for different groups and events.

What Hall said she likes about the FAF is how the artists come together and help by critiquing each other’s work and giving feedback.

“It’s a way to get support for my artwork and to give back to the community,” she said. “I’m a beginning artist compared to some of these people. So I really treasure their feedback when I bring them a painting that I’m working on.

“I’m not an artist by profession. I’m an engineer. And I took up painting after I retired. I’ve gotten involved in a lot of different things that I would never be able to do when I was working full time because there just wasn’t the time.”

President Pat Langner, who joined the FAF in 1982, said she really enjoys giving back to the community through the foundation, but also appreciates it for how it has introduced her to some of her friends, which wouldn’t have happened if she wasn’t a member.

“We have a lot of members such as myself that met really wonderful friends,” she said. “It’s been a wonderful thing for me to be a part of this group.”

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