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Women's City Club showcases a little bit of everything

A unique blend of talented artists working in a variety of mediums make this exhibit worth an uphill walk.
Kevin O'Rourke's Pretty Face panels piece

Kevin O'Rourke's Pretty Face panels piece /Jonathan Timothy Stoner

Underwriting support from:

Women's City Club ArtPrize Hours

September 19 through October 7

Weekdays Monday through Thursday
12 noon to 8:00 p.m.

Fridays and Saturdays 12 noon to 10:00 p.m.
Sundays, 12 noon to 6:00 p.m.

Artist Fraser Smith explains his woodworking process to ArtPrize visitors

Artist Fraser Smith explains his woodworking process to ArtPrize visitors /Jonathan Timothy Stoner

Michael Peoples thumbprint gangsters from his Finger On the Pulse of the Criminal Mystique project

Michael Peoples thumbprint gangsters from his Finger On the Pulse of the Criminal Mystique project /jonathan Timothy Stoner

According to Fred Bivins, the curator at the Women’s City Club, visitors to ArtPrize owe it to themselves to make the trek up (or down) the Fulton Street hill to see all the unique art on display there.

“We certainly do need to get people down here,” says Bivins. “We have a tremendous exhibit here with 42 artists [and] a variety of things that everybody should come and see.”

This venue features several artists who are participating in ArtPrize for the first time. One of those artists is Fraser Smith, whose piece “The Lake” is an incredibly realistic wooden sculpture meticulously painted with silk dyes to resemble a quilt. Bivins said his piece has been wowing all the people who have seen it.

“I’m trying to make something that when you see it, I don’t care who you are, when you see it you go, ‘That’s astonishing’ and ‘I can’t believe that that is what it is,’” says Smith. “And so that’s what I’m continually striving for, is that sort of reaction because I think that that’s what really good art should be… it should amaze you.”

Some of the other highlights of the exhibit include Jason Tetlak’s augmented reality art piece, The Creation of Art. If you point your iPhone, Android or the iPad the venue has on hand to view the painting, it comes to life as an animated film on your device.

“What he has done [is] to make you stop and actually look at the piece and that’s his goal,” says Bivins. “You spend more time with the art than just the 10 seconds or whatever that you might ordinarily look at it.”

Other noteworthy pieces include Michael Peoples piece, which uses human thumbprints to create mug shot-style portraits of three real-life Michigan gangsters from the early part of the 20th century. Alynn Guerra’s interactive seed exchange piece invites visitors to write her a note in exchange for a seed packet.

For first-time ArtPrize artist Marijo A. Carney, one of the reasons she likes the space is because of the quality and the unique variety of the pieces.

“Many of the other spaces kind of have a theme but this space has a little bit of everything,” says Carney. “So that’s what I was thrilled to see that we were part of the space.”

As a member of The Scribes Six, Carney and her calligrapher collaborators use an ancient process called gilding to inscribe pieces of velum with elegant gold script. The piece is reminiscent of illuminated manuscripts that monks created in centuries past.

Bivins is quick to point out that these pieces only represent a handful out of a bevy of incredible creations in the show.

“We have so much that people should come up here and see,” says Bivins. “Make the few extra steps to come up the hill into the Women’s City Club.”

The ArtPrize shuttle -the ArtBus- also has sa stop at the Women's City Club.

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