Winners are named in 26th Art Ambience competition

Photo by Evelyn Cairns
Ronald Mitchell of Grosse Ile (left) is shown with his acrylic “Presque Ile River II,” which won first place in the 26th annual Art Ambience exhibition and sale. Other winners are Laura Mocnik (second from left) of Flat Rock, Artists’ Choice Award; Nancy Knapp of Woodhaven, honorable mention; Melissa Mazag of Allen Park, third place; and Ted Bell of Southgate, second. The awards were presented at a May 3 re-ception kicking off the three-day show at the Wood-haven Community Center.

By Evelyn Cairns
Ronald Mitchell of Grosse Ile, Ted Bell of South-gate, and Melissa Mazag of Allen Park were named the top winners of the 26th annual Art Ambience exhibition at a reception kicking off the organization’s 26th annual three-day show and sale May 3 at the Woodhaven Community Center.

Mitchell received $300 for his first place acrylic titled “Presque Ile River II”; Bell won the second place prize, $200, for a sculpture; and Mazag, third place, $100, for her digital photograph “Editor’s Dream.”

The coveted Artists’ Choice award of $100 went to Laura Mocnik of Flat Rock for her oil painting “Duet.”

Honorable mentions were presented to Louis Terry and Nancy Knapp of Woodhaven, and Mark A. Kalis and Doni Moxlow-Harris of Grosse Ile.

The juror was Kathleen Montgomery, a member of the Colored Pencil Society of America, the Great Lakes Pastel Society, the Birmingham Society of Women Painters and the Farmington Art Foundation.

Tammy Trudelle, executive director of the Downriver Council for the Arts, was honorary chairwoman of the event, which continued over the weekend with a series of demonstrations by artists in various media.

The co-coordinators of the exhibition, Rita Gazdag and Laura Allen, were assisted by committee chairwomen including Judy Nelms, Beth McNeely, Margaret Arnott, Shirley Ciungan, Maureen Keast, Marilyn Bomarito and Terry.

Betty Hajkus is president of Art Ambience.

WCT slates story in song
The story of how women have progressed from being dependent on their husbands to entering the workforce and becoming business and world leaders will be told through famous Top 40 songs in the Wyandotte Community Theatre production of “Respect: A Musical Journey of Women” May 17, 18, 24 and 25.

Starring Jazmyn Bencik, Polly Kenzie, Natalie Rankin and Tammy Trudelle, the musical will be staged at 7:30 p.m. at the James R. DeSana Center for Arts & Culture, 81 Chestnut, Wyandotte.

The change in the status of women in the last 100 years will be told through such hits as “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “As Long As He Needs Me” and “These Boots Were Made for Walking,” in addition to monologues and stories.

David Patterson and Joy Zouzaneas are produc-ers of the musical; Virginia Pieratt is executive pro-ducer; Tim Wojtala, director; and Lynn Babchek-Tate, assistant director. The musical is by Dorothy Marcic.

For tickets ($15, adults; $14, students and senior citizens), call 734-771-9635 or go to

Camp open house set
The Downriver Council for the Arts has scheduled a summer camp preview open house for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the James R. DeSana Center for Arts and Culture, 81 Chestnut, Wyandotte.

Sample art stations will be set up, and instructors will be available to answer questions.

The camp classes, designed for children 6 though 14, will include science, drama, guitar, fashion, creative writing and fine arts.

For additional information, call 734-720-0671 or go to

Coming up . . .
May 31 — Grand Prixmiere benefit launch party for the 2013 Grand Prix; 6 p.m., VIP cocktail reception and chance to meet Grand Prix drivers; 6:30 p.m., general cocktail reception; 7:30 p.m., dinner, entertainment and program; 9 p.m., afterglow; tickets are $250 and (VIP) $500; the Grand Prix will take place May 31 to June 2 on Belle Isle; for additional information, call 248-336-8360.