Michigan Fine Arts Competition Exhibit

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Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center Announces 2012 Winners of

30th annual Michigan Fine Arts Competition

236 works of art by 177 artists from 80 cities

Exhibit runs through May 4, 2012; Free and Open to the Public


Birmingham, MI, April 12, 2012 –The winners have been announced and the BBAC has never looked more incredible as the Michigan Fine Arts Competition is on exhibit.


First Place $5,000.00

Lynn Spanke of Detroit, "We Believe in Dreams"

--- oil & acrylic on canvas; 12' x 9'

Artist’s statement: This painting expresses desperation and false hope.  Two tormented figures to the right represent those who choose passion over reason, pining over the siren on the hood of a red Cadillac. The large scale of the painting exaggerates the hopeless obsession of the two men, while the woman's mirage-like beauty depicts the impossibility of their desires.


Second Place $2,500

Armin Mersmann of Midland, "After Flood"

--- pencil; 31" x 39"

Artist’s statement: In the area where I live there is a flood plain and every spring these trees are by and large underwater. I came upon this place when the waters receded.  I was blown away by the complex movements of line; limbs, branches, twigs and brambles that seemed to be hanging on for dear life. The composition was inspired by one of my heroes Franz Kline (an American painter best known for large black and white paintings bearing abstract motifs.)


Third Place $1,000

Sandy Rice of Troy, "Pagan Wedding"

--- wood & paint; 97" x 50"

Rice simply refers to her work as “large-scale relief sculpture of engraved and painted blocks of wood.”






Third Place $1,000

Chuck Sharbaugh of Holly, "Across America"

--- wood & assorted veneers; 63,25" x 61.75" x 18.75"

Artist’s statement: "Across America" is a furniture form I've used to illustrate two essential components: the architecture of the cabinet and the intricate narrative scenes created with the technique of marquetry. The shapes and symbols used in the design for the exterior of the cabinet aid in creating a rigid architectural impression that contrasts the interior images. The hyper-observed designs on the interior drawers portray quilt-like patterns of highway interchanges. These views from space are meant to evoke a sense of wonderment and awe, then ultimately a contemplative impression. The minute size and complexity of these images draws the viewer closer for an intimate visual conversation with the cabinet.


Fourth Place $500

Ruth Tyszka of Bloomfield Hills,  "Tracey's Summer Patio Party"

--- mosaic & mixed media; 12" x 10" x 10"

Artist’s statement: After creating my own mosaic wedding cake, I embarked on a series of cakes I call the "Celebrate" series, which explores the theme of cakes as a symbol of personal celebrations, milestones, and social gatherings. This flower-topped cake is meant to be served at a summer patio party by a hostess who can throw together a first-rate party and make it look easy, inspiring some envy in the rest of us, as well as delight at having been included in the event.


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