Art Ambience to celebrate 25th anniversary at exhibit

By Evelyn Cairns
A reception, art exhibit and sale on May 4 will kick off a three-day 25th anniversary celebration of Art Ambience, which has been showcasing the talents and works of Downriver artists since 1987.

There is no charge for the event, which is planned for 6 to 9 p.m. at the Woodhaven Community Center, 23101 Hall Road. A highlight of the evening will be the presentation of awards to winners in the juried fine-arts division of the show.

Prizes of $500, $300, $150, $100 and $50 will be presented in the competition, which has been judged by Edee Joppich, whose works have been shown in museums, universities and professional galleries here and abroad.

Non-juried miniature paintings, as well at photog-raphy, sculpture, jewelry, stained glass, wood-carvings, origami and ceramics, also will be exhibited and for sale.

Former Southgate Mayor Norma Wurmlinger is honorary chairwoman of the celebration. Wurmlinger, the recipient of numerous awards for serving local organizations, is a founding member of the Downriver Council for the Arts and a lifetime member of the Southgate Community Players.

Hors d’oeuvres will be served at the reception, and entertainment is planned.

The exhibit and sale will continue from noon to 5 p.m. May 5 and 6 with demonstrations by artists including Charlene Quiel, Nicole Camilleri, Gail Bell, Maureen Keast, David Matt, David Gross and Rita Gazdag.

Other demonstrators will be Martine McDonald, Mary Lou Reichard, Sally Roulison, Sally Morris, Donna Hinson, Carol Reid and Betty Trombetta.

Judy Nelms, Art Ambience president, said the group was originated with the goal of enhancing the image of the Downriver community as a growing cultural area.

For more information about the show or the demonstrations, call Keast at 734-777-6109 or Nelms at 734-634-4800.

BlessFest scheduled
The second annual BlessFest, offering on-site health screenings, medical and dental care, groceries and a job fair, is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 5 at Wayne County Community College, Downriver Campus, 21000 Northline Road, Taylor.

In addition, half-hour workshops will be held every 30 minutes from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Among the topics will be credit reports, investing, estate and Medicaid planning and early signs of addiction.

Among the 35 BlessFest partners are Oakwood Health System, Covenant Community Care, Forgotten Harvest, New Hope Pantry, Downriver Community Network Churches, The Guidance Center and The Information Center.

Last year, more than 750 people attended the BlessFest, many of whom received employment and spiritual guidance.

For additional information, go to

Italian Club benefit set
Members of the Downriver Italian American Club will offer “A Taste of Italy,” featuring Italian food, wine and music, at 6 p.m. May 9 at its club hall, 646 Biddle, Wyandotte.

Proceeds are earmarked for the Penrickton Center for Blind Children in Taylor.

According to Tony Lumia, one of the organizers of the event, the annual event has raised approximately $30,000 for Penrickton in the last eight years. All of the food and services have been donated, he said.

Tickets, $35, are available by calling Lumia at 313-565-0671 or the club hall at 734-285-4044.

Coming up . . .
May 1 — Downriver Arts & Crafts Guild program featuring painter Sandra Difazio; 6:30 p.m. at the Southgate Veterans Memorial Library, 14680 Dix-Toledo; open to the public; for more information, call Maureen Cassidy Keast at 734-777-6019.

May 3 — Black-tie preview of the Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber Business & Life-styles Exposition; 6 to 9 p.m. at the Yack Arena, 3131 Third, Wyandotte, featuring cocktails and culinary specialties of local chefs; admission is $75 ($65, chamber members); the expo will continue May 4 and 5 with admission $2.

May 6 — Ribbon-cutting ceremony opening the 2012 farmers market season in Lincoln Park; 11 a.m. on the newly paved Southfield Road parking lot, west of Fort Park; the market will remain open until 4 p.m.; Christopher Dardzinski, president of the Friends of the Lincoln Park Famers Market, is seeking individuals to assist with sales at 734-775-2267 or