ArtBeat: WSG Gallery

. December 1, 2014.
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The WSG Gallery on Main Street is one of the most vibrant art galleries in town, annually presenting a holiday show highlighting the work of visiting artists and a dazzling array of original artwork—jewelry, metalworking, photography, painting, books, cards, glasswork, and ceramics—all perfect for holiday gift giving. 

Meet the Artists

The artists invited to this year’s WSG Holiday Show are among the most successful and beloved in the region. There is Marcia Polenburg, the whimsical and engaging ceramicist who often shows her stuff across the street at the Clay Gallery. There is Sherri Nicole Green, the Ypsilanti-based artist and organizer of DIYpsi, the annual indie art fair. Her latest theme is the combination of gardening and books, two of her passions. She turns hollowed-out, waterproofed books into planters for green plants and succulents. Behold the jewelry of Jane Brown, who got into the field in pursuit of  a “compulsion” to deconstruct the gifts of ex-boyfriends. Boy, who wouldn’t want to do that? She ends up with a surprising combinations of random beads and odd lengths of chain. Her collection is called “Changing Direction.” Jane is inspired daily by her interaction with children; she is Director of Early Childhood at the Hathaway Brown School in Shaker Heights, Ohio. 

Mike Sivak is a distinguished artist with colorful background. He grew up on Detroit’s east side, and put himself through Eastern Michigan University while playing bass in a bluegrass band. He moved to California to pursue music but ended up as a courier in the precious metals industry, flying to New York and the Far East on a regular basis, earning literally millions of frequent flier miles in the process. This enabled him to see the world and the world’s greatest artistic offerings. He hit the lottery, literally, and that allowed him to pursue illustration at the hallowed Art Center College of Design in Pasadena where he earned his MFA. He joined a team who designed 3-D worlds for Stephen Spielberg, IBM, MGM, Aerosmith and David Bowie.
In 2001, Mike moved to Ann Arbor with his wife and large pride of cats. He has continued to explore artistic techniques and media including painting, collage, mixed media, assemblage and sculpture. His work has been exhibited in leading venues in southeast Michigan, such as the Scarab Club and the Detroit Institute of Arts. His latest series is “Family Portraits,” mixed media including works that comprise Sivak family photographs (including the cats and other animals), acrylic paint and ink. How about commissioning Mike to create something with your family photos for Christmas and beyond?

Couture 

Artist Rebecca Lambers, Ann Arbor’s preeminent couturier, is also invited to the WSG Gallery. Couture is the art of one-of-a-kind dressmaking—incorporating the designer’s aesthetic sensibility, the finest fabrics and master workmanship, all tailored to each client’s unique body and coloring, personality and tastes. She has been serving select clients from her downtown atelier/studio on East Liberty for over 35 years. Rebecca lives in her country home outside Manchester, where she sews and makes exceptional art objects, including silk flowers and installations. Her work has been showcased at the DIA, profiled in Hour Detroit magazine and at ArtPrize in Grand Rapids. In fact the last time I saw Rebecca was at ArtPrize last year, where she stole the show. 

It’s hard to buy art for other people, but that’s never stopped me. And if it’s for a loved one you live with, it’ll be there for you to enjoy, too. The WSG holiday gala cum–exhibition opening is on Friday, December 5 at 7:00pm. There will be a Renaissance recorder quintet  playing baroque and chamber music and classical and everything in between. And, of course, there will be wine and cheese and artists and art lovers and the loving vibes they always evoke.

Cheers, All! And Happy Holidays.

WSG Gallery 306 South Main St., Ann Arbor,
(734) 761-2287. wsg-art.com. Runs through December 31.