Injury prompts Featured Artist to take up painting

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published September 20, 2019

 Sterling Heights Featured Artist Cindy Giltz, of Sterling Heights, has her work showcased at Sterling Heights City Hall. Her work has been described by Arts Commission Chair Jeanne Schabath as often whimsical  or feminine in nature.

Sterling Heights Featured Artist Cindy Giltz, of Sterling Heights, has her work showcased at Sterling Heights City Hall. Her work has been described by Arts Commission Chair Jeanne Schabath as often whimsical or feminine in nature.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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STERLING HEIGHTS — For years, Cindy Giltz painted canvasses for a limited audience, namely some friends and her three daughters.

Now her work is being presented to a wider audience — the community of Sterling Heights.

Giltz, 64, from Sterling Heights, is the new Sterling Heights Featured Artist for September and October. As part of the title, the city put her artwork on display at the library and at City Hall.

She said she was flattered to get the award and that she was “really honored that they picked me.”

“It’s kind of scary in a way,” she said. “It’s something I was never, ever anticipating, but it’s exciting.”

Giltz said she took many art classes a long time ago, in junior high and high school. While in grade school, she got accepted into an art school, but her parents couldn’t afford the tuition, she said.   

As an adult, she went on to become a secretary and an administrative assistant. She said she didn’t get the urge to take up art and painting again until 2013, after she suffered a head injury.

“The desire just came over,” she said. “It sounds crazy, but it’s just how it happened.”

Since then, Giltz said, she has mostly taught herself to paint, in addition to learning about acrylic pour painting at the Anton Art Center in Mount Clemens.

She said she gets inspiration from various artistic mediums. Often a photo or a visual reference will ignite the spark or idea that develops into an original work. She said she doesn’t aim for realism, but she adds tweaks to colors, proportions and other qualities.

“I pick a canvas, sketch first and paint afterward,” Giltz said. “I basically really love to do trees, but I’ve done trees with people in there that appear in the branches and such. I like to do people. Basically, I’ve done women with hats and whatever strikes my fancy.”

Jeanne Schabath, the chair of the Sterling Heights Arts Commission, praised Giltz for incorporating two different artistic styles in her selections. One style is “relatively whimsical” and has images like a woman walking with an umbrella.

“It’s very appealing to a feminine audience,” Schabath said.

Schabath said Giltz’s other artistic approach is more abstract and is commonly known as acrylic “dirty pour” painting.

“You put different layers of paint in,” Schabath said. “You don’t have control of it. You don’t know what it’s going to form as it starts creating on its own.”

The contrast in styles is a way to show the public that “you don’t have to be locked into one style of artistic expression,” she added.

See Cindy Giltz’s work at the Sterling Heights Public Library, 40255 Dodge Park Road, or in the basement of City Hall, 40555 Utica Road, both in Sterling Heights. Find out more about Sterling Heights by visiting www.sterling-heights.net or by calling (586) 446-2489.

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