New batch of artwork on display in downtown Royal Oak

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published August 27, 2019

 “House on the Hill,” by Lisa Goedert, of Ferndale, located on Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle, is one of seven  new art  installations throughout downtown Royal Oak.

“House on the Hill,” by Lisa Goedert, of Ferndale, located on Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle, is one of seven new art installations throughout downtown Royal Oak.

Photo provided by Lisa Goedert

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ROYAL OAK — Seven new installations by local artists are now on display in downtown Royal Oak as part of the 2019-20 Art Explored program. The pieces will remain up through July 2020.

The Royal Oak Commission for the Arts launched the program in 2013 as a platform for artists to showcase their work and add to the vibrancy of the downtown. This year, the commission received 37 submissions.

“Our fantastic Royal Oak Commission for the Arts team of volunteers have spent a great deal of time curating some amazing pics for this year’s collection,” Jason Gittinger, chair of the Royal Oak Commission for the Arts, said in a prepared statement. “They had a tough task to pick from the fantastic works submitted.”

Gittinger also thanked the businesses in the community that lent their walls and sidewalks to the program.

“It is so encouraging to see how art brings these differing pieces of our community together,” he said in a statement.

The following pieces are now on display:

• “Fractured Excavations Tile Series,” by Nick Wecker, is located on the Royal Oak Public Library, 222 East 11 Mile Road.

• “Ben Jamin,” by Steve Miller, is located on the Center Street parking deck, 300 S. Center St.

• “House on the Hill,” by Lisa Goedert, is located on Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle, 225 S. Main St.

• “Pullin your Weight,” by Michael Errigo, is located on the Sullivan Building, 225 S. Main St.

• “Baptized in Dirty Water,” by Ozzie Norman, is located on the South Lafayette Boulevard side of the SMART Transit Center, 202 Sherman Drive.

• “Assembly Line,” by Francis Vallejo, is located on Little Bros. Burgers, 201 W. Fourth St.

• “Quixotic Vision,” by David Petrakovitz, is located on the sidewalk at Center and Fourth streets.

“It’s a great program,” Royal Oak Community Engagement Specialist Judy Davids said. “It’s fun to see and to look at the variety that they have. The program is growing and doesn’t seem to show any signs of slowing down.”

Artist Lisa Goedert, of Ferndale, said she was “elated” to learn that she’d been selected to participate in the Art Explored program this year. She said she has always been interested in art, received her fine arts degree from Wayne State University, and primarily works with acrylic paint.

“When I work, I don’t really know where I’m going to go. I just throw a lot of paint on a canvas and keep working and working until I start seeing things,” Goedert said. “I really gravitate toward reedy things, like grasses and trees.”

She said the nature motifs stem from her childhood, growing up in an undeveloped area with fields, and her piece, “House on the Hill,” symbolizes the uphill struggle many face to achieve their dreams.

For more information about Art Explored or the Royal Oak Commission for the Arts, visit www.romi.gov/arts.

Call Staff Writer Sarah Wojcik at (586) 218-5006.

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