Tag Archives: Artists

You Gotta Have Friends

30 Mar

The Friendship in West Bloomfield, Michigan is an amazing place. The mission is “to create friendship in the lives of children, teens and adults with special needs and those facing isolation while providing opportunities to become contributing members of the community.”

Here is an article about a Friendship Circle event I wrote for the Detroit Jewish News.

Friendship Circle Showcases the Talent from Soul Studio Art Program During Elegant Evening in Palm Beach County

By

 Carla Schwartz

 

Dylan and Jeannine Somberg
Dylan and Jeannine Somberg. (Liza Kue/Friendship Circle)

“Soiree in the Sunshine State” was filled with extraordinary art, food and libations.

“This was a crazy idea we had a year ago, but our friends helped us” said Rabbi Levi Shemtov of Friendship Circle. The rabbi is referencing “Soiree in the Sunshine State,” an event filled with extraordinary art, food and libations. More than 160 patrons and friends attended the event and auction.

The evening began with schmoozing and viewing the exhibition at the Arts Warehouse in Delray Beach, Florida. A variety of media, from oil paintings to ceramics to digital art and more by Soul Studio’s participating artists filled the space. Upon entering the gallery, visitors were handed a booklet of the displayed artwork and an explanation of the artist’s inspirations. The auction raised $33,300.

Friendship Circle, founded in 1994 by Rabbi Levi and Bassie Shemtov in West Bloomfield, is a nonprofit organization that supports children, teens and adults with special needs and their families. One of its many projects is the Vera and Joesph Dresner Foundation Soul Studio. The studio is a professional art space and gallery encouraging the creativity of any individual with cognitive or physical disabilities, regardless of artistic talent. Completed artwork is displayed in a curated exhibition at the studio and other venues.

Left to right: Estelle and Phillip Elkus; Gail Danto and Art Roffey; and Rick and Dana Lowenstein.
Left to right: Estelle and Phillip Elkus; Gail Danto and Art Roffey; and Rick and Dana Lowenstein.

“The vision of the Rebbe inspired us to help one person at a time and to see the bigger picture,” said Bassie Shemtov. “We have many friends in Florida, and we needed to bring the artists and the artwork to the next level,” she added. She described the Arts Warehouse space as a new and exciting platform to showcase the talent.

Artist Dylan Somberg, 28, of Shelby Township, who has autism, had three artworks on display. One was a ceramic clam with a pearl inside and the others were multimedia paintings.

“I just love animals, and I’m very passionate,” Somberg said. One animal painting had a three-dimensional look with turtles, fishes and birds suspended. His fascination with nature and geometric shapes combines many processes and techniques.

Rabbi Levi and Bassie Shemtov
Rabbi Levi and Bassie Shemtov

Dylan’s mom, Jeannine Somberg, praised Friendship Circle and the Soul Studio. “This is a special place, because my son is safe there, and his self-esteem soared,” she said. “I know they don’t see a disability; they see an ability,” she added.

Proud supporters Estelle and Philip Elkus, of Bloomfield Hills and Boca Raton, were part of the host committee and have been involved with Friendship Circle since the beginning. They introduced others to the programs.

“My friends, Estelle and Philip Elkus, took me on a tour of Friendship Circle, and I was amazed,” said Rhoda Tobin, of Orchard Lake.

Rhoda Tobin
Rhoda Tobin

Friendship Circle is a family affair for Gail Danto and her husband, Art Roffey, of Palm Beach Gardens. “We were involved with the Soul Studio when it was just an idea,” Danto said. Her brother and sister-in-law, Jim and Sandy Danto, were also on the host committee.
Dana and Rick Loewenstein, of West Bloomfield, came to support their friend Ron Hodess, who is chairman of the board. The Loewensteins are longtime supporters of people with disabilities and are also supportive of the inclusive environment of the Soul Studio. Rick Loewenstein is the former CEO of JARC.

With the artists, the artwork and all the supportive friends, it’s evident the magic of the Soul Studio came to the Sunshine State. Bassie Shemtov summed up the vision: “Miracles do happen.”

Carla Schwartz is the former editor of Style magazine, a former Jewish News columnist, community relations consultant and blogger. Visit her blog at motownsavvy.com.

Artful Bargain

30 Jun

 

Dollar store materials and art collide at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit (MOCAD) in the newest exhibit”99 Cents or Less.” The museum invited artists to create works made from items purchased at dollar stores.

The New York Times featured the exhibit in an article aptly titled, “Riches of the Dollar Store.”  More than 100 artists from across the country participated. Motown artist Scott Hocking, known for using decayed objects in his exhibits, strung together old empty shopping carts. Another exhibit featured candles.

Kudos to curator Jens Hoffman and the Leadership Circle of MOCAD.

Not only will your next dollar store experience be filled with bargains, it will also be artful.

Young Motown Entrepreneurs

11 Oct

Butterfly_Landing_largeBelle_Isle_Seahorse_264a77c3-5eb3-41a6-84de-6ab2ac57394f_large

 

Grant Garbinski and Blake Dagenais combine art, story telling and commerce with their online site Maloh Art. These two college juniors created a company that sells artwork online, but what makes this site unique is the ability to find out what inspired and influenced the artist. For the artists, Maloh provides branding and marketing services.

At Maloh Art, every piece of art has a narrative, and they share the artists’ stories with the world. “It is not enough to sell beautiful art work; we ensure that our customers can share in the story.”

The butterfly and seahorse above are by Megan Swoyer. Read Megan’s art story here.

Being savvy entrepreneurs, they are also on kickstarter.

For more young motown entrepreneurs, you can always read  Crain’s Detroit Business for Crain’s 20 in their 20s, 40 under 40.

Food In Books

Food and drink inspired by classic and modern literary works.

Beauty Box Fashion

Beauty Blog

Meghan's Mirror

Chronicling the Chic, Classic and Casual Style Duchess of Sussex (the former Meghan Markle)

Mara Movies

Fun, Fashion, Frivolity: An insider guide to Metro Detroit and beyond

snapshotsincursive

Interesting stories about everyday moments.

Motown Savvy

Fun, Fashion, Frivolity: An insider guide to Metro Detroit and beyond

Chevrons & Éclairs

Fun, Fashion, Frivolity: An insider guide to Metro Detroit and beyond

%d bloggers like this: