Just create!

Guest Artist Speaker Series

Lively monthly meetings showcase Guest Artist Speakers who willingly share their knowledge and art. Here are previous Guest Artists.

August 2020

Zach Curtis
Mural & Street Artist

Our August meeting, held on Wednesday, August 26th at the Central Park pavilion, had a great turnout with guest speaker, mural and street artist Zach Curtis.
Zach brought photos of many of his works of art, which started out as indoor murals and evolved into outdoor murals and street art. He spoke about his journey from part-time to now full-time artist, as well as his philosophy on accepting commissions: “I don’t know what I’m doing, but I’m doing it!” And he does a beautiful job. See his work at: www.facebook.com/zachcurtisartwork.

July 2020

Ariana Fate
Multimedia Fantasy Artist

Our July meeting was held on Wednesday, July 22th at the Central Park pavilion, with guest speaker and multimedia fantasy artist, Ariana Fate. With a turnout of about 30 people, we were still able to safely social distance with many people sitting outside the pavilion in their own chairs.
Ariana brought several of her original pieces of art, which included her watermedia fantasy creatures as well as some assemblage sculptures and sculpted puppets, which she plans to use in future stop-motion animation projects. She talked about her process, how she got started in art and more. If you missed her presentation, check out her work here: https://rawartists.com/arianafate.

June 2020

David Zinn
Chalk Artist

Our first meeting post-quarantine was held on Wednesday, June 24th at the Central Park pavilion, with guest speaker and internationally-known chalk artist David Zinn. With a turnout of about 25 people, we were able to effectively social distance and still get a good view of this entertaining speaker.
David talked about his career and international notoriety, as well as giving us a demonstration of how he chooses his site to draw, that then dictates what he will draw. It was a great kick-off to our re-opening, and we thank David so much for his excellent and fun presentation.

February 2020

Jessica Considine
Metal Sculptor & Jeweler

Our February presentation was packed with information about working with metal. Inspired by copper, bright enamel colors, mendalas and organic elements, Jessica has both defined her craft and her imagery in a challenging and sometimes risky medium. Her work involves welding, enamel powder coating, weaving of metals, and combining with specialized organic materials in geometric designs that evoke spirititual and metal integrity. Find out more about Jessica at www.sculptedroots.com.

February 2020

Tamera Menard Ovall
Plein Air Demo and Book Signing

A new event took place on Saturday, February 15. Tamera Menard Ovall, a long time member of the VFAA and active Plein Aire painter, has published a soup-to-nuts book on plein aire approach and tips from her artistic experiences in the nearby natural environment.  The book, titled “Plein Air Painting Tips and Tales”, can be purchased online or from Tammy through the VFAA. Or join her and others every Saturday morning with the Plein Air Painters, meeting at Kensington throughout the seasons.

January 2020

Anthony Brass
Contemporary Surrealist

The new decade begins with a spirited presentation from a fresh young contemporary artist, Anthony Brass. Award-winning artist Anthony R. Brass is best known for his surreal “hand trees,” capturing a coalescence of body parts into ecological entities. His work often seems to grow beyond the frame. He desires to enlighten peoples’ lives and share the beauty the universe has to offer. Brass puts emphasis on a vibrant color pallet, surreal subject matter and shows illustrative tendencies. His work has been described as being very thought-provoking in an uncanny, yet beautiful manner.

October 2019

Wasentha Young
Mosaic Fine Art

The artist inspired our group with a presentation of the history and her experience with “tesserae“, derived from Roman and Greek antiquity. She has a rich background and has studied with leading mosaic artists. Most recently Wasentha was chosen to teach at a national mosaic event. She has studied and visited the mosaic tradition, or ‘canon’ in Spain and Italy. For more information on the mosaic art medium, look up the Society of American Mosaic Artists or the Ann Arbor Mosaic Group.

Thank you, Wasentha, for ending our 2019 meetings with such an educational and fascinating insight into mosaic medium and expressions!

September 2019

Stephanie Spackman
Artist & Teacher

We spotlight Stephanie, a VFAA art class teacher and practicing artist of various mediums.  Stephanie shared insight into her experiences and development as an artist and her passion as an art instructor at Oakland Community College and at the SHAC in painting, basic design and other mediums. Every visiting artist has a message.  Stephanie shared how fun it is to solve artistic challenges, like painting fireworks or cresting waves or birch trees in a swamp. Drawing is basic and to draw you have to learn how to observe. Her basic style and expression is a happy one based on early influences while living in Hong Kong. Thank you, Stephanie, for putting together a great presentation!

August 2019

Dean Rogers
Colored Pencil Artist

Dean Rogers is a favorite VFAA member who has become a multiple award winner and published portrait artist with a disciplined but imaginative and creative style of expression that you have to see in person to fully appreciate.  Dean told us his story and the stories of the subjects of his interesting compositions. The space and content in his pieces is deep, dramatic and always memorable. You can find Dean at the SHAC and several other shows in the area. In September of this year, find Dean’s work is in a show at the Northville Art House. Congratulations Dean!

July 2019

Ken Graning
Gouache Painter

Ken Graning. a frequent painting award winner, including at the SHAC, joined the group for a stimulating demo of his successful painting style.

Ken’s tradition and contributions to our center raises artist’s perspective and expands the variety of styles we all experience at our art center.

Thank you Ken!

June 2019

Sharon Griffes-Tarr
Landscape Painter & Art Instructor

Sharon shared her experienc e and passion pasinting outside landscape. She is a firm believer in sketching and practice to gain the technique to improve and enjoy plein air painting. Eventually your eye is always picking up shapes and olors in the natural environment, as you walk or drive, that you can use in your work. Find out more about her painting and workshops at SGTarr.com

May 2019

James Draper
Paradyme Art Studio

James Draper has a path to art via a career in Engineering. He walked through his journey where we saw the artist’s influences of structure and medium as exploratory areas and to abstract form with embedded meaning and reflected imagery, working a piece until he is satisfied. James is creating his art using a scatterprint machine he designed and built himself. He enjoys working with alcohol inks and found objects and often on yupo paper. Ilya Bolotowsky is one artist he enjoys for geometric composition.

April 2019

John Louis Wood
Healing Art

John Louis Wood provided insight into the healing potential of art through his own personal experience. When life brings an unexpected diagnosis, personal exploration begins in many ways. In this case five years of transformation in one artist’s work. Learn more about John’s path, which was inspired by a journey into poetry, which eventually led the artist back to his sculpture medium. His personal story offers us rich messages of relationship building and self understanding. John’s advice is to stay in the light of life and not the dark. Find joy. You can read more about John and his mission to share this message at: www.johnlouiswood.com.

March 2019

Rusty Frentner
Wild Life Artist

The VFAA loves a demonstration.  Painters and others enjoyed being in the space around Rusty as he worked on his oil painting and gave his perspective on painting. He also gave nice feedback to this month’s artist of the year selections, which is never an easy task for a visiting artist. See more of Rusty’s work on this website: www.keepingitwildart.com

February 2019

Mary Bajcz
Fiber Artist

A delightful presentation from Mary, who is a fellow VFAA member/artist as well as a thoughtful and generous friend.  The award winning artist is very well known in local fiber circles. She prepared an intriguing talk around the role of serendipity in her quilting pieces and how it brings everlasting joy in the creation of her designs and the simple satisfaction of sewing quilt pieces into her own creations. Mary’s quilts and bags can be found in many shops of Milford and in local fiber craft shows. Reach Mary through her website: www.scrap-happy.biz.

January 2019

Brice Denison
Fine Arts Photography

Welcome Bryce Denison to the VFAA and SHAC series of presenting artists. The attendees enjoyed his talk and slides about fine arts photography and also the artist’s own picks for our Artist of the Year.  Thank you!

September 2018

Jill Ault
Fiber Art Transformations

Jill Ault terminologies translate into fine art explorations, like Shibori, discarded color, Organza. From structured stitchery to geometric nature elements, her pieces have evolved into abstract award winning images of fabric guided by the artist’s own algorithms. From craft to inspiration (see the left and righthand images below). be sure to check out her work in person sometime.

August 2018

Sylvus Tarn
Lampwork-Glass Bead Artistry

Sylvus Tarn shared a unique perspective on the art and technique of glass bead design and production, or ‘lampwork’. Like many artists who try to follow a practical track in life, and instead are pulled into the life and adventure of an artist, Sylvus was drawn to beadwork. She produces unique glass beads for others and explores her own visions for unique jewelry pieces. For more information on beadwork as a fine art and craft, look up the activities of the Great Lakes Beadworkers Guild.

July 2018

Rick and Deb Zuccarini
Fresco Mural Artists

Rick and Deb Zuccarini have utulized ancient traditional techniques and materials since the 1960s and shared a fascinating story about plaster and pigments. Think Diego Rivera and Giotto and Etruscan pottery techniques, 4000 year old trowels and painting through wicking color from the brush to the wall. As we know chemistry is the basis of fine art. The artists are committed and patient and the rewards have been many. They are going to offer a workshop to those interested. That should be quite a unique experience. Thank you Rick and Deb!

May 2018

Sandra Difazio
Plein Air Painter

Sandra Difazio shared her artwork and her story in May. Immediately you notice that color become alive in painting done outdoors, surrounded by weather’s light effects and detail. Sandra became interested in plein aire through a friend’s introduction in Ann Arbor. Eventually she supported the organization by becoming chairman. She has painted under many conditions, day and night. Everyone who attended received a tip sheet for creating a successful painting outside and shared her unique DIY framing and matting technique. If you drive through Saline in the near future you may see one of Sandra’s painting blown up and mounted at the Pineapple Gift Shop. Artist secret: Painting outside forces you to get out in the natural world and push forward.

April 2018

Barbara Goodsitt

Barbara Goodsitt, artist and pencil art instructor, shared wonderful pieces and a slideshow reflecting her story and her experience in teaching. She is proud to have inspired award winning artists in addition to winning awards of her own. Barbara endorses the Colored Pencil Society of America. One of her inspirations is the work of Janet Fish. She experiments with multiple techniques, using them in her favorite themes and stylistic design elements. Barbara teaches at Washtenaw College and orginally grew up in Wisconsin.  Find more about Barbara at BarbaraGoodsittStudio.com

March 2018

Todd Marsee

Todd Marsee captured the attention of the group with his beautiful story and interpretation of nature in watercolor imagery, evoking both the color and sensibility of the scenes he paints. Todd described his experience as an Artist in Residence near Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, near Munising in the upper penninsula of Michigan.Certainly this has inspired us to load up our our equipment and head north to create.  Thank you Todd for sharing your work and your story!