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October 26, 1990 - Image 77

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-10-26

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

A group of
local artists
have banded
together to
open their
own gallery.

ELIZABETH APPLEBAUM

Assistant Editor

I

loyd Van Buskirk was
certain the women
knew nothing about
opening their own gallery.
"He thought we were just
a lot of ditzy ladies," says ar-
tist Minnie Berman.
Now, Mr. Van Buskirk
stands in the center of the
Artists' Gallery in
Southfield, where the work
of his wife and 27 other area
painters and sculptors is on
display. The gallery, which
opened last week, is owned
and operated by the artists
themselves, and Mr. Van
Buskirk couldn't be more
impressed.
"I really thought this
thing would never get off the
ground — I mean, they're ar-
tists," he admits. "Now look
at this; it's beautiful."
It was a collective effort
that brought the gallery off
the ground. A group of
painters from Huntington
Woods — the majority of
whom are Jewish —kicked
the idea around first. They
decided to open their own
gallery with 10 artists — a
figure that soon increased to
15. Then a few more friends
heard about the plans and
another 13 painters and
sculptors joined up.
Artists often meet with
difficulty when trying to
display their works, gallery
founders say. Only the really
big-name painters have an
easy market.
"So we decided to help
ourselves," Ms. Berman
says.
All the artists kicked in
money to pay for rent on the

A
Place
f Their

wn

Members of the Artists' Gallery include (back row, left to right): Lil Langerman, Corinne Weissman, Marie Snell,
gallery, located at Applegate Jo Rosen and (front row) Rhea Schaefer, Minnie Berman and Charlie Bird.

Square, and agreed to spend
time each week working
there.
"This is the kind of group
where you ask somebody to
get something done and it's
done yesterday," says Rhea
Schaefer, who paints under
the name Rasha.
With the artists' com-
mitments came business ad-
vice from spouses and dona-
tions from several sup-
porters. Next on the agenda:
scrubbing the facility's floor
and arranging the display of
paintings— all of which the
artists themselves handled.
Each artist brought four
favorite works for considera-
tion. The group got together
and selected the two best
pieces by each person, which
were then hung in the
gallery.
The gallery opened six
months after it was first
discussed.
The chief requirement for
inclusion was that the ar-
tists be professionals who
have participated in major
competitions. And they
couldn't bring any "couch
paintings" — those ubi-
quitous barn scenes found at
discount stores and an-
nounced on television as
available in warehouse sales
"for unbelievably low
prices."
That left the door wide
open for a variety of styles,
which includes everything
from traditional paintings of
flora and fauna to massive
bugs and insects.
Sitting in the front window
of the Artists' Gallery is a
frog made from a lawn
mower. Its eyes are wheels
and its lips are a daring
bright red. "Big Frog's"
creator, Charles Bird, also

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

77

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