Kari Nidy’s Tree of Life (left). Amos Amit’s Tree of Life (right).
Kari Nidy’s Tree of Life (left). Amos Amit’s Tree of Life (right). (Kari Nidy/Amos Amit)

The Orchard Lake Fine Art Show runs Saturday-Sunday, July 24-25, along Powers and Daly roads, west of Orchard Lake Road and south of Maple.

Two Judaic artists — one working with batik projects and the other using multi-media — will be part of the 18th annual Orchard Lake Fine Art Show, spread out Saturday-Sunday, July 24-25, in West Bloomfield. 

The two participants also display projects unrelated to Judaism as they join some 120 artists with a range of approaches — paintings, sculpture, glass, fiber, jewelry and much more. Among the fine arts, visitors will be treated to performing artists and the availability of food vendors.

Amos Amit, who grew up in Israel and settled in California, offers scenes from the country where his artistic interests launched as well as Tree of Life and Purim images. Some projects presented on large cloths, including depictions of various professions, also are made available in smaller reproductions framed and unframed.

A colorful floral piece from Amos Amit.
A colorful floral piece from Amos Amit. Amos Amit

Kari Nidy, raised in Florida and now active in an artistic community in North Carolina, provides her own representation of the Tree of Life as well as freeform designs that include collected items, such as vintage Israeli postage stamps. 

Israeli Roots

“I grew up on a farm, but I always wanted to be an artist,” said Amit, 75, who got a degree in agricultural engineering from Hebrew University of Jerusalem and came to the United States to study landscape architecture at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obisbo. 

“I saw batik artwork, felt connected to the warmth of the fabric and taught myself how to work with it. I kept doing art shows while I was studying, and art took over.”

Amos Amit’s Noah’s Ark
Amos Amit’s Noah’s Ark Amos Amit

Amit uses white cloth as his sketching base for designs completed in pencil. On the designs, he moves from light to dark colors by separately dying the fabric in layers and covering each layer of color with hot wax to maintain a particular hue. After each layer of wax dries, he is able to move on to the next color.

Amit, who traveled his work to about 25 art shows annually before the pandemic, is making his second visit to the Orchard Lake Fine Art Fair, but his ties to Michigan are much deeper. Daughter Shawni Strzelecki studied special education at Michigan State University, and his grandson, Eli, summers at Camp Tamarack.

His other daughter, Karen, has followed through with her dad’s original career direction by becoming a floral designer, while his wife of 48 years, Linda, handles the business side of the artwork.

“My studio is at the back of my house near the clothesline where the waxing dries,” Amit said. “I always bring new projects to the art fairs and have begun adding collage to some pieces by using archival papers. I love seeing the reactions of people going to art fairs as I keep doing what I love to do.”

Multi-Media Art

For Nidy, artistry became a way of supporting herself through college before it transitioned into a career. She made jewelry and stained-glass designs and moved into multi-media processed into wall pieces.

Kari Nidy’s Abraham Israel Stamp Art
Kari Nidy’s Abraham Israel Stamp Art Kari Nidy

“I have pictures in my head of the way each piece will look when it’s finished,” said Nidy, 52, a single mother of two grown children. “For one group of work, I take a thin sheet of clay, draw on top of it and then carve it out. I incorporate other materials, including handmade papers, as focus points. People give me stuff, such as coins from Israel, and I give objects new life through my artwork.”

Star of David by Kari Nidy.
Star of David by Kari Nidy. Kari Nidy

Nidy studied techniques at the Maitland Art Center in central Florida before entering Valencia College in Orlando and then the University of Central Florida, also in Orlando. As she developed her approaches to projects, Nidy became a member of the American Guild of Judaic Art.

To support herself during the pandemic, Nidy loaded trucks for a large retailer. Otherwise, she does about 30 shows — indoors and outdoors — a year.

“I mentor young artists about the business end of art through Asheville Art in the Park,” she said about the times when there is not a pandemic. “It’s part of my commitment to give back in honor of the people who have helped me.

“I was supposed to be at the Orchard Lake event last year, but of course that was canceled. Getting back to doing art shows is magical for me.”

A Top Art Show

The Orchard Lake Fine Art Show, voted in the top 100 juried art shows in America over 10 years in a row, has a $5 admission fee to support the Institute for Arts & Education Inc., the associated nonprofit which fosters the arts and includes a youth competition. 

At 3 p.m. on the Saturday of the show, $2,500 in Professional Artist Awards will be presented to 18 artists by Margaret Iwanik, judge; Steve Kaplan, West Bloomfield Township supervisor; and Debbie Binder, Township clerk. 


The Orchard Lake Fine Art Show runs Saturday-Sunday, July 24-25, along Powers and Daly roads, west of Orchard Lake Road and south of Maple. $5. hotworks.org. 

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Suzanne Chessler’s writing-editing career has spanned many years, and her articles have been featured in secular and religious publications across the state and around the country. There was a period of time when she maintained three regular columns in three different publications – one appearing weekly to spotlight metro volunteers, another appearing weekly to profile stage enthusiasts in community theater and a third appearing bimonthly to showcase upcoming arts programs. Besides doing general reporting, she has had continuing assignments involving health, monetary subjects and crime. Her award-winning work builds on majors in English-speech and journalism earned at Wayne State University, where instructors also were writers-editors on Detroit’s daily newspapers.