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MI Great Artist Winner to be Revealed Friday

Royal Oak architect and artist Douglas La Ferle is among the five finalists in the MI Great Artist competition.

The winner of Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson’s inaugural MI Great Artist competition will be announced at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14, during a reception at Park West Gallery in Southfield. A panel of art experts chose the winner from among five finalists: Douglas La Ferle of Royal Oak; Charles Boike of Flint; Kim Fujiwara of Rochester Hills; Deborah Hyde of West Bloomfield; and Molly Landis of Pontiac.

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Patterson and Albert Scaglione, founder and CEO of Park West Gallery, launched the MI Great Artist contest in June as another premier quality of life event for the Economic Growth Alliance (EGA) region which includes Oakland, Macomb, Livingston, Genesee, Lapeer and St. Clair counties.

“The finalists submitted outstanding pieces for our inaugural regional art contest,” Patterson said. “Supporting the arts is vital to attracting companies to Oakland County that will locate here and provide jobs.”

The MI Great Artist winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize; up to five submitted artworks framed by Park West Gallery (value $500); a scholarship to attend classes on marketing and starting a new business offered through the Oakland County Business Center (value $700); will have their artwork featured on a poster to promote one of Oakland County’s signature quality of life events, printed by Park West Gallery (value $700); a solo exhibition at McLaren Oakland Hospital, Pontiac; and a solo exhibition at Lawrence Technological University, Southfield.

Four runners-up will each receive a $250 cash prize; framing of up to five artworks included in the submission, Park West Gallery (value $500); a scholarship to attend one Business Basics workshop offered through the Oakland County Business Center (value not to exceed $50); a one-hour consultation with an Oakland County business development representative; and a two-month solo exhibition in the Oakland County Galleria in Waterford

The finalists' art is on exhibit at Park West Gallery until Sept. 28.

More than 120 artists who live, work or go to school in the EGA region entered the contest. The public cast more than 13,500 votes online to choose the top 20. A panel of judges with expertise in art picked the finalists. The judges included Elliott Broom, vice president of operations at the Detroit Institute of Arts; Dominic Pangborn, Michigan-based artist and entrepreneur known for his fashion line; Albert Scaglione; Don Tocco, Troy business man and award-winning an artist; and Kristie Everett Zamora, arts and culture coordinator for Oakland County and former curator of exhibitions at the Flint Institute of Art.

For more information, go to MIGreatArtist.com. Friday’s reception runs 6-8 p.m. at Park West Gallery. Media and the public are welcome to attend. Park West Gallery is located at 29469 Northwestern Highway, Southfield.

Source:  Matthew Gibb, Oakland County Deputy County Executive

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