From left, Grosse Pointe artists Lori Zurvalec, Carol LaChiusa, Nobuko Yamasaki and Linda Boyle all received awards for artworks in the juried show, “Small but Mighty.”

From left, Grosse Pointe artists Lori Zurvalec, Carol LaChiusa, Nobuko Yamasaki and Linda Boyle all received awards for artworks in the juried show, “Small but Mighty.”

Photo provided by Lori Zurvalec


‘Small’ artworks make major impressions

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published September 24, 2019

GROSSE POINTE FARMS — Art doesn’t need to be large in size to make a big statement. That’s evident in “Small but Mighty,” a juried exhibition of work by members of the Detroit Society of Women Painters and Sculptors that’s on display through Oct. 4 at Grosse Pointe Congregational Church in Grosse Pointe Farms.

Because the church’s basement art gallery is somewhat small, artists were limited to entries no larger than 12 inches high by 12 inches wide by 12 inches deep, including the frame, explained Lori Zurvalec, of Grosse Pointe City, an artist and chair of GPCC’s Arts Ministry Committee. Zurvalec is also the recording secretary and a board member with the DSWPS; she chaired this exhibition.

“The challenge of working small is formidable,” Zurvalec said. “When all of the work came in, I felt that people had really risen to the challenge.”

She said that there were 96 entries submitted by 56 artists. Juror Vianna Szabo, of Romeo, whittled that down to 64 artworks by 50 artists.

“It was just incredible to see what people did on these tiny (canvases),” Zurvalec said. “These are little beauties.”

Carol LaChiusa, of Grosse Pointe Farms, received first place for her watercolor, “A Garden Pond”; Laura Mocnik, of Flat Rock, received second place for her pastel and charcoal, “A Woman”; and Zurvalec received third place for an acrylic with collage, “Maybe Peace in Eden.” Honorable mentions went to Linda Boyle, of Grosse Pointe Park, for her oil painting, “A Little Something,” and Nobuko Yamasaki, of Grosse Pointe Shores, for a collage, “Spring Flight.”

Artists hail from as far away as Ann Arbor and Brighton, but the Grosse Pointes are well-represented, with Grosse Pointe City artist Linda Allen, Farms artists Kathleen McNamee and Jackie Rybinski, Park artist Robin S. Flaherty-Perrone, and Woods artists Charmaine Kaptur, Bette Prudden, Beverly Zimmerman and Deborah Maiale all having work in the show. Former Park artists Erica Chappuis — now of Grosse Ile — and Roselyn Rhodes — now of Wolverine Lake — are in the show too, as are Julie Sabit, of Harper Woods, and Richie Campbell, of Detroit, both of whom should be familiar to those who regularly attended shows at the former Grosse Pointe Art Center.

In a statement, Szabo said she found it “difficult to choose the winners.”

“I enjoyed the diverse entries of the group and was impressed by the quality,” she stated.

Of LaChiusa’s first-place-winning work, Szabo wrote, “This painting struck me right away as a tour-de-force that dances between abstract and realism. The confident paint application speaks of the joy of the artist while painting it.”

Zurvalec said the show drew a wide array of media and subject matter, including landscapes, animals, portraits and abstracts.

Founded by Lillian Burk Meeser on Feb. 23, 1903, the DSWPS is one of the oldest self-sustaining women arts groups in the United States.

Grosse Pointe Congregational Church is located at 240 Chalfonte Ave. “Small but Mighty” is open weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sundays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and by appointment. For an appointment, call the church at (313) 884-3075.

For more information, visit www.gpcong.org or www.dswps.org.