“Whales  Are from Saturn, Giraffes Are from  Jupiter” is a metallic acrylic ink on  black canvas, by Stephen Lombardi.

“Whales Are from Saturn, Giraffes Are from Jupiter” is a metallic acrylic ink on black canvas, by Stephen Lombardi.

Image provided by the Anton Art Center

Michigan Annual art exhibit to be judged by DIA director

By: Kristyne E. Demske | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published January 17, 2020

 “Growing Pains” is a mosaic of glass and found objects,  by Darcel Deneau.

“Growing Pains” is a mosaic of glass and found objects, by Darcel Deneau.

Image provided by the Anton Art Center


MOUNT CLEMENS — It may have been the news that Salvador Salort-Pons, the director, president and CEO of the Detroit Institute of Arts, would be the guest juror of the show that drew a record number of entries for the 47th Michigan Annual exhibit at the Anton Art Center.

The juried competition is open to artists throughout the state and offers $2,000 in prizes. This year, 159 artists submitted 295 works of art for consideration, which Anton Art Center Executive Director Phil Gilchrist said is about double the number of entries received in 2019.

The Anton Art Center, 125 Macomb Place, accepted 45 pieces for the show in 2019, but in 2020, Salort-Pons accepted 50 pieces of artwork from 44 artists to display during the show, which opens Jan. 25 and runs through Feb. 20.

“I definitely do believe that having Salvador Salort-Pons had a unique sort of interest for artists,” Gilchrist said. “It’s not often you’d have the opportunity to have your work reviewed by someone in his position.”

Salort-Pons joined the DIA’s curatorial division in 2008. He has organized a number of exhibitions for the museum and played a key role in the conception of its strategic plan. He was appointed as director, president and CEO in 2015.

“It’s exciting to work with a new guest juror each year for this show,” said Stephanie Hazzard, the Anton Art Center’s exhibition manager, in a statement. “Salvador Salort-Pons’ international background, combined with his local professional experience, informs the selections we will see this year.”

She said the show celebrates the diversity and talent of contemporary artists in metro Detroit and across Michigan.

Gilchrist said this year’s exhibition will be larger than last year’s, and not just because of the number of entries.

“It looks like we’re going to have a lot of very large work for this show,” he said. “A number of them appear to be 3, 4, 5 feet in one direction.”

The show generally draws a wide variety of work, he said.

A free public reception and awards ceremony will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Jan. 25, with the awards announced at 3 p.m.

The show is nearly as old as the Anton Art Center, Gilchrist said.

“It is the only statewide competition that we mount each year,” he explained. “We get a huge number of artworks from further reaches of the state than we typically see for anything we do. ... (That) is the most interesting part of the exhibit.”

At the same time, the Anton Art Center will also host the “Green Art Show” in its Petitpren Community Gallery on the second floor of the center. The show will feature works from members of the Mount Clemens Art Association, the Lakeside Palette Club of St. Clair Shores, the Romeo Art Guild, and Warren Tri-County Fine Arts.

The show is “really about inspiring the artists to think about what green means or could mean, and there’s a pretty wide variety of interpretations of that,” Gilchrist said.

Artists’ opinions wanted
Following the conclusion of a feasibility study of a Mount Clemens Artspace, the artist community is invited to participate in an eight-week survey to determine the size and nature of the market for an Artspace mixed-use project in the city.

“The survey itself is basically designed to gather (information about) what kind of amenities artists and creatives would be interested in seeing in a development like this,” Gilchrist said.

The online survey will be launched with a free public event at 7 p.m. Feb. 4 at the Anton Art Center.

“It’s going to be a great opportunity to learn more about the project,” Gilchrist said. “We’re going to share more information about what we’re hoping to accomplish with this project.”

There will be refreshments, art demonstrations, music and a presentation to bring visitors up to speed on the Artspace development, as well as a question-and-answer session.

Registration for the event is available by searching for Mount Clemens Artspace Survey Launch Party on eventbrite.com.

Gilchrist said they’re hoping to get up to 1,000 responses from artists, art businesses and the artist community.

For those who can’t make it to the launch party, the survey will be live Feb. 4 online at artspacemountclemens.org.