Artwork by Ellen Stone

The event features the for-sale work of 10 accomplished metro artists and includes expressionistic and “funky figure” paintings by Ellen Stone, who impulsively began self-expression through art eight years ago.

Ellen Stone defines her West Bloomfield residence as more of an art gallery than a home. 

Her walls are covered with collected works by famous artists and include those with Jewish heritage, such as Peter Max, Yaacov Agam and Max Fleischer. Between pieces of functional furniture, there are three-dimensional artworks that distract from conventional seating and accents.

On her approximately one acre of land, she has arranged more artistry through the natural beauty of plant life and landscaping joined with man- and woman-made creativity as expressed through sculptured structures. Stone describes her yard as a sculpture park, and even her mailbox has color and an imaginative design.

Ellen Stone
Ellen Stone

Although trained as a psychotherapist at the University of Michigan and maintaining a private practice in an office in the same city as her home, Stone has entered the world of originating her own expressionist paintings. She displays her projects alongside the others. 

To celebrate the opening of private and public spaces as pandemic isolation draws down, Stone is opening her garden and home for the first time to present an art show and sale — Art in the Garden — to benefit the Mint Artists Guild, a nonprofit Detroit organization that helps emerging teen artists develop their innovative abilities and marketing skills.

The event, which runs 4-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 12, features the for-sale work of 10 accomplished metro artists and includes expressionistic and “funky figure” paintings by Stone, who impulsively began self-expression through art eight years ago.

With the wide range of garden space, artists will be placed in their individual sections distanced from one another, all jointly chosen by Stone and co-chair Kelly O’Neill, a sculptor who adds glass and clay accents to metal and also serves as a Mint board member.

“I started painting on a whim,” Stone said. “I live on a dead-end street, and all the little kids would ride their bikes and watch me paint. Over time, they would say it’s getting better. I took my first class through the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center (BBAC) — an abstract art class — last year. We always want to keep doing better.”

Among the artists showcasing their work will be Meaghan Blankenship (acrylic and watercolor paintings), Donald Calloway (mixed media paintings and sculpture), Joe Lamontagne (metal sculpture), Priscilla Phifer (acrylic paintings), Richard Phillips (watercolor paintings), Paul Robertson (digital paintings) and Charlene Uresy (painted furniture).

Artwork by Kelly O’Neill
Artwork by Kelly O’Neill

By way of entertainment, Scott McDuffie will be participating in performance art as he showcases his process of creating abstract acrylic paintings to music accompaniment.

“There’s a Detroit community of artists, and I’m familiar with their work,” said Stone, who has attended services at Temple Beth El. “I thought this group would be diverse and required no competition. They were all happy to participate, and each is showing at least 10 works.”

There also will be a section where Mint participants will be selling greeting cards and original artwork by program participants. 

“I chose Mint to benefit because I volunteer for the organization,” Stone said. “I donate my canvases, and I take part in fundraising events that they sponsor.”

In promoting arts education programs and artist displays in various art shows, Mint focuses on youth development, entrepreneurship and community service and collaboration. Programming is divided among the categories of Learn & Earn, Summer Creative Jobs and Paint Detroit with Generosity. 

“Ellen has some separate patio areas where artists will be placed to discuss their work,” said O’Neill, whose own sculptures are contemporary and use recycled metal. 

There is no charge for this event. People touring the home will be escorted in groups by their hostess, who will be giving background information on individual artworks and answering visitor questions. 

Details:

Art in the Garden runs 4-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 12, in West Bloomfield. Free; Mint Guild donations are welcome. To register, go to eventbrite.com/e/163310454967. For information, call (248) 661-2498.

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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.