Art & Music

By Sara E. Teller

DETROIT GT, A DESIGN & APPAREL COMPANY SPECIALIZING IN DETROIT AREA PRODUCTS, WAS STARTED BY CHRIS GORSKI IN 2003.

“It was a creative outlet for me while I was working in advertising as the art director at CampbellEwald,” Gorski said. “It was just fun to do, to illustrate all the time. I would come up with these sketches and co-workers would tell me, ‘That’s funny, you should put that on a shirt.’ So I did. It started as a hobby. I would bring the shirts to work and take them to small events.”

Gorski’s hobby ended up paying off big time. “In 2009, I was let go at Campbell-Ewald,” he explained. “Actually, because of this side business, my boss laid me off first. He handed me my severance check and said, ‘Go make t-shirts.’ I listened to him, freelanced for about a year, and during that time, I began to build the business.”

A car enthusiast and collector as well, Gorski started to sell the apparel out of a vintage Chevy. “I didn’t want to be in a tent, I wanted to sell out of a vintage car,” he said. “Then, when the owners of The Rust Belt Market opened shop in 2010, I would take my truck there and sell my shirts. They were open every weekend, and I have been there since the beginning.”

Gorski also began selling his designs, many of which begin as simple sketches, at other venues and events such as AutoRama, Motor City Pride, the Berkley Art Bash, Ferndale Pride, Hazel Park Art Fair, and Northville’s Buy Michigan Now. He also sells in area malls such as Twelve Oaks, Briarwood, and Partridge Creek (in The Art is in Market stores) and online via an Etsy page.

“I live in Ferndale and have a 3,000 square foot studio there,” Gorski explained. “This is where I press the shirts. Most are heat transfers, and I also do some silk-screening. This is done at the Eastern Market. I have three employees who mainly help with sales. And my husband, Jason, usually has some time off around the holidays to help by visiting stores, de-cluttering and restocking.”

Gorski creates special t-shirts for each city he travels to and sets up shop. “I do some research and come up with something that is recognizable with a twist. For Hazel Park, I created a “Hip and Happening Hazel Park” shirt,” he said.

RECENTLY, GORSKI SAID HE HAS EXPANDED HIS BUSINESS to include a line of home décor made up of “simple, modern, iconic illustrations” of various buildings in and around Detroit. “There’s coasters, art prints, and canvas prints,” he said.

When he’s not busy creating, Gorski likes to focus his time on his other passion – cars. “I love classic cars, especially Chevys,” he said. “I’m a car collector. My father had a Corvette when I was younger that he sold to put an addition on our home. I remember many Sundays driving around lots with him looking for a replacement.”

They eventually found one in an unlikely spot. Gorski remembered, “My aunt also had a Corvette and she sold it to him to restore. It was a project we were able to work together on.”

Gorski also enjoys traveling. “My husband is a flight attendant, so we have the benefit of flying stand-by. Sometimes we get to do a long layover in a city, anywhere from 24 to 36 hours,” he explained. “He is from Greece, so we also travel there to visit family.”

Gorski always carries around a sketch book and has a pen in hand, he said, adding, “Even at the bar, I’ll sit there doodling. I’m always doodling about current events, drawing something happening around me while people are watching, or while I’m traveling.”

For a full list of where to pick up the latest DetroitGT gear or to shop online visit DetroitGT.com.

By Adam J. O’Connor

HAZEL PARK ART FAIR RETURNS THIS AUGUST, bringing the family-friendly art fair with a variety of artwork to Green Acres Park for its eighth year. To be eligible for the Hazel Park Art Fair, works must be original and crafted by the artist. Vendors of mass-produced work will not be accepted.

The 2019 Hazel Park Art Fair includes a variety of local and regional fine art and craft art vendors. The work represented showcases oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings, pencil, ink, and marker illustration, wearable art, sculpture, photography, multi-media art, crafts, jewelry, ceramics, metalworking, textiles, house decor, poster art and more.

“The Hazel Park Arts Council tries its hardest to provide a welcoming environment to artists in our community and support our first-time vendors (some 20 percent of the registered artists have not presented at HPAF before) to make their first art fair a positive experience,” says Amy Aubry, Treasurer of the Hazel Parks Arts Council. “We are always looking for ways to include more art forms and art-based experiences every year. Last year we had a mural painted during the event by local artist Carl B. Oxley and a wood sculpture carved on-site by local artist Gabriel Totzke (Bear Claw Woodcraft).”

By showcasing local talent, art fairs such as the Hazel Park Art Fair benefit the community individually as well as through its many local nonprofit efforts. As the Arts Council is a licensed 501(c)(3) nonprofit, all donations are tax-deductible. The Hazel Park Arts Council is committed to furthering artistic and cultural initiatives within the community. This is achieved through a number of avenues, including advocating local artistic initiatives as well as collaborating with the annual Hazel Park Art Fair. Sponsorship information is available on the event’s website. Also, it’s worth noting that if you’re a 501(c)(3) organization you qualify for a free 10’x10’ booth space.

THERE WILL ALSO BE A VARIETY OF ENTERTAINMENT – including live demonstrations – throughout the weekend. “Entertainment will be a selection of local music and bands,” says Charlie Rysenga, Co-Chair of the Planning Committee. “Last year we had 15 performers including a very chill Tai Chi lesson on Sunday morning. On Sunday the 25th this year, we will also have the DIA on-site for a ‘Drop-in Workshop’ from 11:00 A.M.-5:00 P.M., where attendees will have the opportunity to make tambourines!”

“We also have a great selection of food trucks,” Rysenga adds, “including Nosh Pit – who serve amazing grilled cheese – out of Hamtramck. The Arts Council will also be selling a selection of local craft beer, cider and mead as a fundraiser to support our work in the community.”

The overall goal of the Hazel Park Arts Council is to bring art – in all its various forms – to the community, and to make art accessible to everyone. While Hazel Park may be only three square miles in size and boast a population of less than 20,000, its citizens are very involved and community-oriented. Many small businesses line the streets and much support has been shown to both the Arts Council and the Art Fair itself over the years. Its proximity to Ferndale and location bordering two counties make it a perfect destination for art enthusiasts and those who appreciate small businesses and handmade items.

The Hazel Park Art Fair takes place at Green Acres Park off of Woodward Heights between Hilton and I-75 on Saturday, August 24 from 11:00 A.M. until 7:00 P.M. and on Sunday, August 25 from 11:00 A.M. until 5:00 P.M. www.hpartfair.org.

By Sara E. Teller

COLOR & INK STUDIO WAS STARTED BY PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER ERIC LAW AND HIS WIFE AND VISUAL ARTIST CANDACE LAW. The couple opened a studio first in Berkley and, since September 2018 have been showcasing and supporting creativity in the arts from a new studio established in Hazel Park. For more than a decade, the Laws have been promoting creativity in Southeast Michigan.

“The building the studio now occupies was completely re-designed and renovated last year by Five/Eighths Architecture in Ferndale,” Eric Law said. “We wanted a place with a modern, industrial feel that would be welcoming and inspire creativity. The move to larger quarters provides us with an exciting opportunity to expand our programs and services for artists in Detroit and the metropolitan area.”

Law added, “We’re really excited to join the emerging art scene in Hazel Park and become part of the community with this wonderful new space. Hazel Park has an active Arts Council, and the residents are interested in and engaged with the arts. There’s been a lot of curiosity about what we’re about and everyone has been very welcoming.”

Color & Ink offers a space for creating photographs and other visuals that connect with viewers in different ways, providing learning resources and media services for the visual arts, teaching artists to expand their expression with new and non-traditional mediums, publishing and exhibiting work, and assisting artists in making their projects available online. There is a working photography studio where Eric photographs artwork for artists and galleries, creates websites, and publishes books. In her studio, Candace creates fine art primarily in encaustic and mixed media.

“We have dedicated space for teaching workshops in encaustic, mixed media, and photography, as well as hosting workshops by guest instructors in new and nontraditional mediums,” Law said. “Artists also can book individual studio time to work on their own projects, an affordable alternative to renting a studio full-time.”

He added, “We have a gallery for exhibiting the work of local artists, as well as a multipurpose space for artrelated meetings and educational events. For example, we host the monthly meeting of the Hazel Park Arts Council and hold a bi-monthly gathering of Detroit-area artists called Art:Dialog.”

Anyone interested in collaborating with Color & Ink can check out www.ColorInkStudio.com, visit their Facebook page @ColorInkStudio or call 248-398-6119. Program inquiries can also be sent to info@ColorInkStudio.com. Members of the community can check out the gallery, which is open weekdays from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. or by appointment.

“Exhibitions are usually up for six to eight weeks,” Law explained, adding, “Workshops in the second half of the year are still being planned. We’d love the opportunity to meet folks with an interest in the arts who live in Hazel Park. Our doors are always open for creative inspiration!”

JUNE 8
Berkley Art Bash
Presented by the Berkley Area Chamber of Commerce

JULY 13
Berkley Street Art Fest
Presented by the Berkley Area Chamber of Commerce

JULY 18
Couples Night Out & Robina Rhapsody
Presented by the Berkley DDA and the Berkley Junior Women’s Club

AUGUST 2
Art & About 1st Friday
Presented by the Berkley DDA

AUGUST 16
Berkley CruiseFest
Presented by the Berkley CruiseFest Committee

AUGUST 22
Robina Rhapsody & Downtown Sidewalk Sales
Presented by the Berkley Junior Women’s Club and the Berkley DDA

AUGUST 24
Berkley Pub Crawl
Presented by the Berkley Area Chamber of Commerce

SEPTEMBER 6-7
County Oakland IrishFest
Presented by County Oakland IrishFest Committee

OCTOBER 17
Friends Night Out
Presented by the Berkley DDA

By: Jeff Milo, Circulation Specialist

Reading Collective

The Ferndale Library is once again joining the libraries in Berkley, Huntington Woods, and Oak Park to collaboratively host a quad-city book club known as The Reading Collective. If you’ve participated in Community Reads events in the past, like “Ferndale Reads,” then it’s essentially the same format: Patrons from these four libraries will each pick up a copy of (Ann Arborbased author) Lillian Li’s The Number One Chinese Restaurant. As each patron reads along at home, they can meet up with other readers in other communities throughout March and April at several events and programs to be hosted at each library. On Thursday, April 11 (7 P.M.), at the Berkley First (Church), all Reading Collective participants can meet the author, get their books signed, and hear about her process of writing this novel. Follow us on Facebook for updates.

Synthesizers in the Library

Musician Henry Birdseye is coming back for a second presentation that takes you deep into the world of analog synthesizers. Birdseye is eager to share his love of the history and development of this music-making technology. On Sunday, March 24, he’ll share his interest in oldschool analog modular synthesizers, bringing in his magnificent instrument, showing you how it works, and talking about the science and evolution of electronic musical creation. He’ll be joined by local musician/ songwriter Steve Greene (of Voyag3r).

First Stop Friday

Poetic lyricist and “think piece” composer Chris DuPont comes to the Ferndale Library on April 1, part of the ongoing monthly First Stop Friday series. Dupont hails from Ypsilanti, Michigan, and is a seasoned veteran of the Midwest music scene, with several tours logged and a handful of albums that you can sample online. His hybrid finger-style approach to guitar-playing is a nod to classical minimalism, but creates delicate melodies that are sure to get you nodding your head. Chris is influenced by a wide range of artists and composers from Philip Glass to Tycho, from James Taylor to Ryan Adams to Oh Wonder. These free concerts are made possible by the Friends of the Ferndale Library. Doors open at 7:30 P.M. on April 1, with music starting at 8 P.M.

Native Plants

A member from the Ferndale Beautification Commission and the Ferndale and Pleasant Ridge Gardeners online group will be here on April 14 to give a presentation on Native Plants. The Ferndale/PR social media group that he represents is an outlet for gardeners in the area to find educational programming. This is the first of a three-part series; the next presentation will be May 19. Native plants not only provide habitats for birds and other wildlife, but they require far less water, which conserves resources (and lowers your water bill). You’ll find more updates on our Facebook page.

Crafternoon

Stop in on Saturday, April 20, at 2:00 P.M., to hang out with fellow crafters. Come with your current project and the stuff you need to work on it, or start something new. Enjoy hanging out and making with other crafters. We have plenty of tables and electrical outlets.

Art in the Library

On your way in or out of the library, make sure to peek inside of our Community Room. We regularly host six-to-eight week exhibitions of local artists, with up to eight unique shows throughout the year. Our next one will be on display starting March 24.

1000 Books Before Kindergarten

The Ferndale Library’s “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten” program is a fun DIY way for parents to cultivate kindergarten readiness. Participants are eligible right up until the day they start kindergarten, so that includes toddlers, but also babies. For every 100 books, kids receive a prize from librarians in the Kids Corner. 

Ferndalelibrary.org

On Facebook: @ferndalepubliclibrary

SAT-SUN JUNE 8-9 | DOWNTOWN ROYAL OAK

The Art of Fire: Clay, Glass, Metal

ONE OF THE COUNTRY’S 50 FAVORITE ART FAIRS, the Royal Oak Clay Show started 25 years ago as a project of the Oakland Community College. It was a cool and eclectic event. We’re told that artists would show up the morning of the show and choose their spot from what was left. No jury or curation. The only rule was that everything had to be made out of clay. 

By 2000, the ownership of the show had transferred to the Royal Oak Chamber and they were interested in updating it into a juried art fair. A group of artists met and decided that they should add glass art to the mix. After all, they were quite similar, and it would add some variety to the show. Other than experimenting with music and layout the show stayed pretty consistent from then until 2009 when the group decided to add metal.

Metal was a popular addition. The focus remained on art created with flame and all three mediums lent themselves to dramatic demonstrations. Sunshine Artist Magazine designated the show one of the top 100 nationwide in 2010. A few years later Art Fair Calendar designated it a top 50 show.

Last year the show committee decided that it was once again time to refresh the show. The new name, Art of Fire, emphasized what makes this show unique. The show doubled down on demonstrations and hands on activities, with dramatic flame-filled action. A group of fire performers added related entertainment. Each of these areas will be returning, and there will be more and larger demonstrations. This year the plan is to add in more hands-on project activities for those that want to experiment in these mediums.

THE SHOW IS STILL TRUE TO ITS ROOTS of showcasing artists from across the country. Some new attendees start out wondering how there can be 120 artists in just three mediums without many things looking similar. They come away impressed by all the ways that minerals and flame can play out in functional and decorative art.

The Art of Fire is June 8-9 on Washington Street in downtown Royal Oak. Show hours are 10 AM until 7 PM on Saturday and 11 AM until 5 PM on Sunday. Admission and demonstrations are free as are many of the hands on art projects. Some projects have a small fee. Juried artists will be selling functional items such as mugs, glasses and jewelry as well as decorative art, with everything focused on the clay, glass and/or metal elements. More information is at www.artoffirero.com.

FRI-SUN | SEPT 20-22 | DOWNTOWN FERNDALE

Funky Ferndale Art Fair

By Eve Doster

FERNDALE’S DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY describes the city’s commercial district as a place that “continues to exceed expectations and maintain the economic vitality of the district.” It’s no surprise then, that the DDA has such a longstanding relationship with the Funky Ferndale Art Fair, a popular annual juried art fair that celebrates its sixteenth anniversary in Downtown Ferndale this year.

Funky Ferndale has had nearly two decades to perfect the signature “edginessmeets- high-end-art” mien that has made it a popular destination for art fair fans, families, and serious art collectors alike. It has become a mainstay in the evolving Downtown Ferndale festival scene; and, not unlike the DDA who helps to make it all possible, Funky Ferndale has exceeded original expectations.

“When we first started off, we just wanted to bring original artwork to the people of Ferndale, who we’ve always considered culturally curious and progressive,” says event producer Mark Loeb of Integrity Shows. “We feel a strong bond with folks from this community.”

The event’s continued success has made it one of the more competitive art fairs in the region–which means that the 100 (or so) artists who are handpicked to show are selected from hundreds of submissions from independent artists from all over the United States.

The artwork ranges in scope, medium and price; which makes it ideal for art lovers searching for everything from rare Halloween decorations and handmade holiday gifts, to serious buyers looking to grow their fine art collections. It’s a fun and easy way to support independent art and an even better way to meet the artists themselves.

AND WHILE FUNKY FERNDALE’S JURORS ARE CHARGED with handpicking a broad spectrum of the most interesting art they can—make no mistake, this is one art event that does not take itself too seriously. In addition to the affable nature of event organizers themselves, Funky Ferndale is not afraid to get a little weird. Take for example past-featured artists like the Florida man who handcrafted Australian wind instruments called digeridoos or Zachariah Ribera, a creative thinker who made art from molted spider skins.

“We really take into account whether or not the artwork is ‘funky,’” says juror Kelly O’Neill. “It’s the lens through which the all the selections are made.” To be sure, attendees appreciate the opportunity to buy one-of-a-kind art that they can’t find anywhere else. And in some cases, it’s precisely the reason they come back year after year.

“I always do early Christmas shopping here because I know I can buy my friends and family gifts they’ll love and feel good about receiving,” says Funky Ferndale Art Fair patron, Amy Surdu of Detroit. “There’s an intangible value to buying gifts that were made by hand and with passion.”

Indeed, it’s no mistake that Loeb selected Downtown Ferndale as the place to hold his “funky” event all those years ago…and it’s no mystery why he remains. “Ferndale is an eclectic and unusual town that deserves a more interesting art fair,” Loeb says. “We believe that art shouldn’t just sit there looking pretty, it should invite conversation.”

The Funky Ferndale Art Fair is Friday, September 20 – Sunday, September 22 in Downtown Ferndale. Hours are Friday 3-7 P.M.; Saturday 10 A.M.-7 P.M.; and Sunday 11 A.M.-6 P.M.

Deadline for artists to apply is Friday, May 17, 2019. Online applications available at: bit.ly/ApplyFFAF19 

SAT JUNE 22 | THE FRONT PORCH | ALL OVER FERNDALE

By Sara Teller

EACH YEAR, THE FRONT PORCH FESTIVAL BRINGS FERNDALE RESIDENTS TOGETHER for a day of music on neighborhood porches with a variety of bands playing an eclectic mix of tunes. Planning for this year’s event is well underway. “We are looking to have a porch this year dedicated to children’s music,” said Michael Benghiat, its founder and executive producer. “Additionally, we are always looking at components outside of music such as comedy or spoken word on porches in between performances.”

He added, “From day one we’ve always explored how we can extend the Front Porch brand and the event past the 6:00 P.M. cutoff into the downtown area.” The idea would be for merchants and venues to host music well into the night. Benghiat called the concept “kind of like a Front Porch at Nite.”

This summer, the line-up is also set to expand. “The first two years we focused on just getting the event under our legs. This year, however, we just may accomplish something like this,” Benghiat explained. “Last year we had twenty-seven porches and fifty-seven performances. This year, if we choose, we can have as many as thirty-five porches” which would equate to seventy performances. However, he said there is a need to “try to keep the footprint as tight as possible so that attendees can easily get from porch-to-porch and see as much music as possible.”

There will be some return acts from the first two years as well as new entertainment with submissions being received from bands all over Michigan. Benghiat said, “While the concept of music on porches fits so well with the folk, singer songwriter and Americana genres, we have submissions from performers labeling themselves as powerpop, blues, jazz, classical, gospel, house/dance/EDM, worldbeat improv, hip-hop, funk instrumental, modern country and more.”

In addition to planning the festival, The Front Porch television show is still in the works. “We’re still working on the production of a potential show, which may not necessarily be on a TV platform per se,” Benghiat said. “The most important component needed, of course, is funding. We’re still seeking the needed funding to produce a ten-to-thirteen-episode series.” 

Benghiat is pleased with the success of the first two events and is thankful for the support received. “Enough cannot be said for the tremendous support we receive from Ferndale residents to lend us their porches that are turned into stages for the day and all the artists and performers for their willingness to participate,” he said. “And, we so appreciate our partnership and collaboration with the City of Ferndale and police.”

For more information, check out www.thefrontporchmi.com.

 

SAT-SUN JUNE 1-2 | PALMER PARK

Palmer Park Art Fair

DETROIT’S PALMER PARK hosts one of the area’s most beautiful boutique art fairs on June 1-2. The artist tents are in a serpentine pattern winding near the lake and up to the log cabin. This creates a relaxed environment inviting shoppers to take their time and explore. The jurors for this show tend to select artists that enhance that calm atmosphere, though there certainly are some of the edgier Detroit artists participating. The show features over 60 professional artists from across the region and also includes more emerging artists than just about any other juried art fair. Mint Artists Guild, the teen art program that has a small presence at the Funky Ferndale Art Fair features as many as fourteen teens in a group tent. The Detroit Fine Arts Breakfast Club adds another ten adult emerging artists. Breakfast Club tent participants are new to art fairs and include artists in their twenties and others close to seventy. This year the fair adds an authors’ tent, featuring area writers. Food trucks and a beer tent round out the offerings. The art fair is June 1st and 2nd. Saturday hours are 10 AM-7 PM, Sunday 11 AM-5 PM. Free parking is available in area lots and along Merrill Plaisance. To get to the art fair head south on Woodward and take the first right, about 3/4 mile south of Seven Mile. Information and artists lists are at PalmerParkArtFair.com. 

 

SAT-SUN JUNE 22-23 | ST MARY’S ORCHARD LAKE

Fine Art Fine Wine Fair

THE FINE ART FINE WINE FAIR WILL BE HAPPENING AGAIN at St Mary’s June 22-23, featuring dozens of juried fine artists with one-of-a-kind exquisitely crafted works. Artists from many states participate and display works of painting, mixed-media, fiber art, drawing, jewelry, sculpture, and many more categories. We will also have wine tasting tickets available so that you can enjoy your art shopping experience while tasting an amazing variety of wines. For details visit FineArtFineWineFair.com. The Grosse Pointe Art Fair will also be returning for its second year to the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club May 18-19 in partnership with the Great Lakes Boating Festival, which has free admission and free parking at the high school with a complimentary shuttle. For more information visit GrossePointeArtFair.com. 

THE FERNDALE ARTS AND CULTURAL COMMISSION is starting a new era of innovation with a slate of new board members and lots of inspiring ideas aimed at enhancing the role of the arts in the city of Ferndale. The Arts Commission is a board of city residents and business persons that are interested in volunteering their time and expertise towards promoting the arts in the city. Mark Loeb, owner of Integrity Shows and the Director of the Funky Ferndale Art Fair, recently stepped down as president of the Ferndale Arts Commission and will continue as a Commission member. He handed over the chairmanship to Brittney Kramer of Ferndale who is employed by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. When the commission met early in 2018, a number of newcomers joined, bringing their expertise in city planning, public spaces and the arts, as well as plenty of enthusiasm and ideas, to the board. In addition to Kramer, Kelly Kaatz, a Ferndale resident who is a ceramic artist and Director of the Janice Charach Art Gallery, came aboard and was voted treasurer. Linda Ashley of Ferndale and President of Linda Ashley & Associates, a public relations firm specializing in art fairs, galleries and special events, became co-chairman. Jenna Stanek of Ferndale is secretary, with Matt Livengood of Ferndale acting as co-secretary. Recently added to the board are Matthew Eaton of Ferndale, who is Director and Curator of the The Red Bull House of Art in Detroit, and Corissa Green of Ferndale, who brings her expertise from the Urban Land Institute of Michigan. Other members include Ferndale residents Joe Bailey, Kristopher Caster, Meghan Evoy, Elizabeth Leib, and Amy Wipp. “The goal of the Commission is to create and collaborate on public art projects ranging from art installations to concerts to events that showcase the term ‘Art-Town’ that is synonymous with the City of Ferndale,” said Kramer. “The Commission has created a number of special activities since it was founded in 2014 and we are actively seeking new projects that will expand the commission’s role.”

The Commission recently completed the installation of a large public mural promoting inclusivity, located on the side wall of the Cupcake Station on Allen Street at the corner of Nine Mile. It is the second of a three-mural project. “What was especially wonderful about this project is that it was the work of Ferndale High School art student Christina Kesiak,” said Kramer. “Working with retired Ferndale High art teacher, Jerry Lemenu, the Commission paired the young artist with professional artist Natalie Balazovich in order to take the teen artist’s original concept and drawing to fruition as a large-scale outdoor mural. “ At the Funky Ferndale Art Fair, visitors were asked to contribute to the mural project, by creating their own small square that would serve as a border around the mural. More than 200 individuals, young and old, participated. Today the colorful five by ten-foot mural with 200 squares bordering it is installed as a point of pride for the young artist, for Ferndale High School and the Commission. Currently the Commission is also in the process of collaborating with the Ferndale Parks and Recreation Department to commission a new kinetic sculpture for Harding Park. “As an organization with experience and contacts in the art world and in civic management and the use of public space, our goal is to connect the City of Ferndale with the larger art community. We are seeking to bring artists and the city together, creating community wide projects in all of the arts, that enhance our community life and give voice to the many talented people who call Ferndale home.” said Kramer. The Commission is actively seeking input from the community for ideas and talent that can add to the work of the Ferndale Arts and Cultural Commission. The Commission can be contacted on Facebook 

 

 

SUN JUNE 2 | 1-5 PM | HUNT. WOODS LIBRARY

Huntington Woods Home Tour

THE 27TH ANNUAL HUNTINGTON WOODS HOME TOUR is an open house tour of five beautiful homes, featuring a variety of architectural styles which reflect the diversity and character of our city. All proceeds raised from this event are redistributed to local charities supporting education, women and children’s causes, such as Berkley High School scholarships, the Huntington Woods 4th of July Parade, Berkley Youth Assistance program, Norup Food Pantry and other great organizations. Sunday, June 2, 2019, 1:00 – 5:00 PM. Ticket prices: $20 advanced $25 at the door (16 years and older). Huntington Woods Library 26415 Scotia Rd, Huntington Woods MI www.hwwl.org/ ■

 

FRI JUNE 7 | FOX THEATER, DETROIT

Forgotten Harvest’s 27th Annual Comedy Night

ACTOR/COMEDIAN JIM GAFFIGAN WILL HEADLINE the 27th Annual Comedy Night hosted by Metro Detroit’s only food rescue organization, Forgotten Harvest. Comedy Night will take place on Friday, June

7th at the Fox Theatre. Tickets range from $35 – $175, and will be available through the Fox Theatre box office or at www.forgottenharvest.org/2019comedynight. Corporate sponsorships start at $1000 and can be purchased by contacting Rebecca Gade-Sawicki at (248) 864-7527. Jim Gaffigan is a four-time Grammy nominated comedian, actor, two-time New York Times best-selling author, top touring performer, and multi-platinum-selling father of five. Gaffigan is known around the world for his unique brand of humor which largely revolves around fatherhood and his observations on life and food. The event offers a chance for Forgotten Harvest and its supporters to celebrate their achievements in the community. Tickets are going fast. Act now to get into the action. ■

 

JUNE 20 | LOCATION TO BE DETERMINED

Art Of The Cocktail

THE FERNDALE DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY’S signature fundraising event, The Art of the Cocktail, returns a fun-filled sixth year on June 20th. The Ferndale DDA continues its efforts to raise funds for public art in the district by bringing back the event of the year! Exhibiting the creative blending talents of the district’s best bartenders, attendees will be the judge of each cocktail creation, crafted from identical

ingredients supplied to each bartender. Guests can watch the creative genius at work, taste the results and vote for their favorite to designate Downtown Ferndale’s Cocktail of the Year. The evening also includes a silent

auction, music, appetizers and much more! A limited quantity of tickets will be available, via the Ferndale DDA or PayPal, so make sure you get yours! All proceeds help the DDA continue its efforts to raise funds for public art in Downtown Ferndale. www.downtownferndale.com ■

 

SAT JUNE 28 | 10AM – 6PM | DOWNTOWN BERKLEY

Berkley Art Bash

ART, MUSIC AND FOOD LOVERS looking to add a little color to their weekend will find a diverse assortment of photographs, garden art, jewelry, pottery, paintings, gourmet offerings, live music and more at the Berkley Art Bash in beautiful downtown Berkley. The show, which is presented by the Berkley Area Chamber of Commerce, has more than 150 vendors with many of them showcasing Michigan artists. Kids activities

include inflatable moon bouncer, creative craft projects and air brush tattoos. Attendees will enjoy free parking and many shops along Twelve Mile and Coolidge will be hosting sidewalk sales and offering

 

up additional entertainment & activities throughout the day. 12 Mile Road between Kipling and Buckingham in downtown Berkley. www.BerkleyArtBash.com ■

 

THURS-SUN JULY 4-7 | DOWNTOWN ROYAL OAK

Michigan Rib Fest

KICK OFF THE SUMMER IN GRAND FASHION! Rib Fest will once again welcome thousands of guests for a weekend of BBQ, bands, and family fun in downtown Royal Oak. Rib Fest will showcase an unparalleled selection

of unique cuisine, food trucks, and BBQ – along with a selection of adult beverages. More than a dozen food vendors will be offering up mouthwatering fare that’s sure to please even the most discerning palate. With a list of bands as long as the food vendors, Michigan Rib Fest presents a carefully crafted entertainment lineup that’s fit for all ages. The event will feature some of the state and region’s most impressive local talent with a range of musical genres and styles performing all day that will please any crowd! Admission is free all weekend, with festivities running Thursday, July 4 – Sunday, July 7. MichiganRibFest.com. ■

 

By Jeff Milo

MARK MCDANIEL BURTON HAS HEARD SIMILAR COMMENTS OVER THE YEARS FROM LOCAL ARTISTS: “…I need a space!” Burton is a former chair of the Ferndale Arts & Cultural Commission, as well as the current curator for the Level One Bank gallery at Woodward and Saratoga and manager of local framing business Frame.ography, so he knows the logistical dilemma faced by many local artists.

That’s why he’s partnered with a trio of fellow creatives who each bring a breadth of experience in different mediums (as well as comparable empathy for the necessity of “space”); their collaboration is “The Stratford,” a former church at 8 Mile and Stratford that’s been revitalized into a multi-purpose artist’s collective.

“It can be an event space, a gallery, a band hotel, a photography studio, a creative space…” said Stratford co-founder Chris Ahern. Burton brought the idea for the Stratford during an exhibition last summer at Level One that featured some of Ahern’s photography. But Ahern is also a musician, and he and bandmate/collaborator Ian Davidson had actually been talking about wanting something like this for years. “I mean, we’ve had times where we’re jamming outside in the garage…and if it’s not a garage, then it’s a basement, or an attic, or a spare room…” The Stratford, which also includes Davidson as well as Paul Giannetti, is here to make space for Ferndale’s creatives!

Burton said that the owner of the nearly 3,500 sq. ft. property happens to do his banking at Level One, which is how the conversation with Burton started, last August, about whether this could be utilized as a studio or gallery of some kind.

“We always need space,” said Burton, humbly speaking for all local artists. “(The Stratford) is something I’ve been pushing for for several years.” He admits that there were a bit of wracked nerves building up to the opening since this was a new kind of adventure for everyone involved, but enthusiasm was restored by the knowledge that Ferndale needed a cooperative arts space as well as the unique ingenuities of everyone on board. Davidson has experience in carpentry and construction (as well as music), Ahern has experience in marketing and copywriting (as well as photography), and Giannetti is a local restaurant owner. So, whenever there’s a reception, etc., there’s the potential for some exceptional catering.

Ahern said that the obvious inspiration to start something like the Stratford draws from how involved each of the four of them have been in the arts. “But we also wanted to create a place that the community can be a part of,” said Ahern. That means more than just art exhibitions in the upper level, but also live music performances and biannual art festivals.

WHILE THEIR UPPER LEVEL WILL BE FOR EVENTS, the former church’s lower level is remodeled into multiple mini-studios that can function as rehearsal spaces for bands. Think of it as a “band hotel…,” where a local band would pay a monthly rent to gain 24/7 secure access to their “room,” where they could have their drum kit, guitar, synthesizer, laptop, you name it, set up and ready for practice (or songwriting). Burton credits Davidson with the work of putting up the walls and making spaces are soundproofed. “This would have been nice to have, ten years ago, back when we started doing band type work,” Ahern said.

“Ferndale is a very arty city,” said Burton. “(With) really diverse talent across the board. But we don’t have larger spaces like this in town. We have several smaller galleries, but nothing quite like this. Everyone I’ve talked to, the (Downtown Development Authority), the Chamber of Commerce, they’re all really excited. The more we’ve talked about it, the more it just seems like a win-win situation for the community.”

The six creative spaces downstairs will be outfitted for bands, but they can also accommodate visual artists who need space for canvases, paints, etc, or maybe podcasters. There is also one space reserved for photography. Those spaces will be private and accessible only to Stratford members, but any event hosted upstairs (or, in the warmer months, outside in their backyard/lot), will be open to the public.

“We’re looking forward, in the summer, to have an Arts & Crafts Fair,” said Burton. This could manifest pretty easily, considering Burton worked with the city, through his role with the Arts & Cultural Commission, to initiate the Art Fair at City Hall in the past.

Part of their recent Kickstarter campaign involved the goodwill of local visual artists who donated their works to be offered as rewards for funders. Not surprisingly, they got a very enthusiastic response—indicating that many artists in the area appreciate the need for something like The Stratford.