Shelby Township resident Eleanor Michonski is having a one-woman art show in Ferndale this month at the Lawrence Street Gallery.

Shelby Township resident Eleanor Michonski is having a one-woman art show in Ferndale this month at the Lawrence Street Gallery.

Photo provided by Eleanor Michonski

Shelby Township artist’s work to be featured in Ferndale gallery

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published September 21, 2021


SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Eleanor Michonski, who lives in Shelby Township, said her self-taught art career began when she was a young child.

As a kid, she would melt crayons on the radiator to see what would happen.

Now, Michonski’s artwork will be featured in an exhibit at an art gallery in Ferndale.

Before retiring, Michonski used to create drawings on business cards with highlighters in the office where she worked as a manufacturing purchasing agent. She would capture something meaningful she’d noticed on her commute, like people selling roses on the street, and later digitally enlarge her sketch using a color printer.

She also took some classes at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit under artist Vidvuds Zviedris, who formerly taught there.

Some of her works capture feelings of sadness and anguish, which she said she hopes can help break the stigma against mental illness. But for this show, the focus is on other feelings, ones she says are sometimes too much to share.

One of her works, “Palestinian Women,” meant a connection of family to Michonski.

“Every mother will do whatever she can to provide the family with food. Faces are not necessary because a woman’s determination is universal. There is movement and action showing the need for immediate action, whatever the cost. This painting tells a lot,” she said in an email interview.

One of her other paintings at the exhibit is “Girl with Blue Thread.”

“A photograph of a young girl struggling to learn an age-old skill called tatting. There is no one who is teaching her; she is bound and determined to succeed on her own,” she said.

A work called “Joys of Motherhood” expresses an emotion that any mom at any age knows.

“It has been said, ‘The child IS the enemy’ — nobody believes it until it’s too late,” she said.

She said art should match your spirit, not your couch, and a piece of art should tickle you each time you look at it.

Her work includes photography, sketches and painting.

Jill Fosse has been a supporter of Michonski’s art for a long time.

“Eleanor’s exhibit is the depiction of her life. Filled with love, laugher, family and friends. Eleanor’s art has a way of bringing people together,” she said in an email.

Michonski’s artwork will be on exhibit through Sept. 30. The title of her show, “No. STILL LIFE,” is about how life goes on and how, despite the inevitable sadness and hardship, things keep moving forward.

Dawn Piasta, Michonski’s daughter, said Michonski’s art shows the everyday experience of a life lived with meaning.

“With all its ups and downs, joys and sorrows, Eleanor’s art welcomes the viewer into her world of compassion. Her art and imagery is an encouraging, reflective overview of a life well lived,” she said.

“No. STILL LIFE: Art Work By Eleanor Michonski” is on display noon-5 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays; noon-9 p.m. Fridays; and 1-5 p.m. Sundays, until Sept. 30 at Lawrence Street Gallery, 22620 Woodward Ave., suite A, in Ferndale. For more information, visit or call (248) 544-0394.