Cathy McCarthy is the Shelby Township Senior Center featured artist for the months of March and April.

Cathy McCarthy is the Shelby Township Senior Center featured artist for the months of March and April.

Photo provided by Fu-Yuan Ciricola

Shelby Township Senior Center names featured artist for March, April

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby-Utica News | Published March 22, 2023


SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The Shelby Township Senior Center has announced its featured artist for March and April.

Cathy McCarthy is the Shelby featured artist. Her exhibition is set up at the Activity Center, 14975 21 Mile Road. 

McCarthy said she was really surprised to have been chosen to be the artist of the month.

“When my kids were little, they would ask me if I would paint certain things and they would give me challenges,” she said in a phone interview.

McCarthy is a retired registered nurse and has enjoyed painting, woodcarving and sketching her whole life.

“I am self-taught, and now that I’ve retired, I am able to dedicate a lot of time to my passion. In recent years, I have participated in juried art shows like the St. Clair Art Fair and the New Baltimore Art Fair, as well as smaller venues,” she said.

In 2017, she had the honor of displaying select pieces of her work at the Scarab Club in Detroit. In 2018 and 2023, her work was showcased at the Anton Art Center in Mount Clemens.

She said she joined the Shelby Township Fine Art Society upon invitation in 2022, while displaying her work at the society’s show within the Shelby Township Art Fair at River Bends Park.

“In addition to showing and selling my art in fairs and clubs, I also have been commissioned to make original pieces for clientele. My favorite media is oil and acrylic on canvas or wood, but I have also painted themes on wooden toy chests,” she said.

McCarthy said her area of expertise is in landscapes and safari animals. She likes to paint endangered species as a way of honoring them and bringing attention to them.

Pat Laus, McCarthy’s brother, said he has seen her work evolve over the years.

“I have seen my sister grow as an artist during the past several years, and her passion for the subject has increased as well. Her art is a catalyst for connection and has brought us together on a deeper level these past few years,” he said via email.

Valerie McCarthy, the artist’s daughter, said her mom’s art inspires her.

“My mom’s art and art-making process is a continual source of inspiration and pride for me. She started her art career after retiring as a registered nurse and jumped in with both feet. I am proud of her for pursuing her passion and for engaging herself in the art world,” she said.

She recently had the honor to donate a painting to the Detroit Zoo of the zoo’s beloved Kisa, an Amur tiger who died in 2022 at the age of 18. The painting is currently on display in the inner offices of the Detroit Zoo, she said.

“In addition to painting, I am also working on a children’s book, doing both the narration and illustrations,” she said. “Each time I am selected to display my work, it is a huge honor. I look forward to participating in more fairs and shows,” she said.