Joan Michlin’s deco-inspired jewelry
Photo courtesy of Joan Michlin

The Orchard Lake Fine Art Show will run Saturday-Sunday, July 25-26, along Powers and Daly roads.

During a summer depleted of outdoor art fairs, the juried Orchard Lake Fine Art Show in West Bloomfield is holding on and will feature an artist who grew up in Michigan — jewelry designer Joan Michlin.

The fair’s organizer, Patty Narozny, met with township officials to keep the event going and arrange for measures against COVID-19. The event will run Saturday-Sunday, July 25-26, along Powers and Daly roads.

Joan Michlin Jewelry
Joan Michlin’s deco-inspired jewelry. Photo courtesy of Joan Michlin

“Normally, the Orchard Lake show takes a year to plan, but planning for this summer began in late May,” said Narozny, who also arranges annual fairs in Florida. “It has been a challenge, but we’ve counted on our experience, education and flexibility.

“We will have about 100 artists, down from 150. We respect the choices of popular artists who feel vulnerable and decided not to travel even though artists have lost so much income because of event cancellations.”

Among the safeguards are greater distances between booths that will have extended open-air setups, hand sanitizer at every booth and handwashing stations. Narozny hopes everyone comes with their own face coverings but will have a limited number of disposable masks available.

Among the varied booths offering paintings, glass, clay and more, Michlin’s will be displaying deco-inspired jewelry and art boxes with elements that can be worn. There will be about 400 items, which Michlin made with her husband and fellow artist, Skip Ennis, in their Sarasota studio.

“My work is primarily casting constructed with a lot of unusual stones I cut myself,” said Michlin, who graduated from Harrison High School in Farmington Hills and was active at Congregation Shaarey Zedek in Southfield. “Some of my designs are centered around stones, and others are more about the sculpture. It just depends on my mood.”

Michlin and Ennis have worked together since 1976, when they met at the Memphis College of Art. They had a New York gallery for almost 30 years and then a gallery in Sarasota for seven years. While she does the original designs, he helps with color choices for stones and fabrication.

Ennis explained that there are seven fabricating steps, including setting the stones, in making each piece of jewelry. They work on 50-100 new designs a year, and all are limited editions.

Joan Michlin Jewelry
Courtesy of Joan Michlin

“We are excited that Patty has been working this out,” Ennis said. “We’ve never been able to do her Michigan show because it’s right after we do the Ann Arbor show, and we don’t have any jewelry left. We were scheduled for many shows this year, but so many are closing down.”

Michlin began participating in the Ann Arbor fair when she was 16.

“Michigan is my oldest following,” said Michlin, who has designed yads for Temple Sinai in Sarasota. “I’ve been making jewelry since I’ve been 12. I started at Camp Walden in Cheboygan, and I ended up teaching jewelry-making there.”

This year’s West Bloomfield event will have food trucks from Jackson’s Five Star Catering, Cosmic Burrito and Shimmy Shack, surrounded by shaded seating. Music will be performed by One Love Reggae Band, Sheila Landis Jazz Duo and Dino Valle Trio & Hot Metal Groove.

Raymond James Children’s Art Activities will be part of the programming that includes a Youth Artist Competition sponsored by Bath Planet in addition to adult money awards.

Steven Kaplan, West Bloomfield Township supervisor, has worked on the safety measures required at the fair.

“In light of the pandemic and many people having to remain at home while township residents are underemployed temporarily, this will give our residents and nearby residents outside of West Bloomfield an opportunity to engage in a fun-filled activity,” Kaplan said.

Joan Michlin Jewelry
Courtesy of Joan Michlin

“I think most people are fastidious about maintaining health, and I’ll be there with other board members to walk around and encourage social distancing. Everybody entering the art fair will be required to maintain face coverings. The food trucks will be moved toward the southeast part of the fair, where it’s not as populated.

“We had to balance possible harm to visitors and vendors versus the need for people to maintain and continue with their lives. Studies show that the virus is not disseminated at the same levels when people are outdoors versus indoors.”

The Orchard Lake Fine Art Show runs 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, July 25, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, July 26, at Powers & Daly roads in West Bloomfield. $5 admission for those 14 and older to support the Institute for the Arts & Education. (248) 684-2613.


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