Creative Spirit Showcased in Holly Art Walk

Creative Spirit Showcased in Holly Art Walk

(Crystal A. Proxmire, April 25, 2017)

Holly, MI – Visitors to Downtown Holly stores and restaurants Saturday got some bonus inspiration Saturday as over a dozen businesses hosted artists and musicians for the community’s first Art Walk.

The event, organized by the Holly Area Arts Council, had the creative guests inside each business to draw people in, as well as some outside performances.

Archana Venkataramani, a painter from Lake Orion, greeted visitors to the Blackthorn Pub.  Her paintings featured landscapes from all around Metro Detroit including Bell Isle, Cranbrook and Bald Mountain.

“The earth is important and we should protect it,” Venkataramani said.  “Nature is so beautiful.  I want people to see that in my work. To remind people they can escape to it.”

She herself escapes while making the paintings. She said “I take my brushes and paint to the park or the woods and I sit there and paint it in person. The one in Bell Isle I was sitting right at the edge of the road and people kept asking me if I was okay, why was I sitting by the road. But that is the best way to paint.”

Photographer Shawna Campbell had some of her landscape and nature photography as well as her senior portraits on hand to showcase.  On her Facebook page Campbell shares her inspiration, stating “I credit my talent and abilities to God, who gave me the eye to see the beautiful things around me. It is because of my love for my Creator that I want to share with you. My Christian belief are all around me in what I do and who I am.”

Watercolor artist James Connor also had religious inspiration for his work.  His watercolor painting of Jesus with a thorny crown sells worldwide.  He also paints collage-like pictures of cities.

“I paint every day,” Connor said.  “The key to being successful at it is having a curiosity that is natural and using that in your business and your art… I’m curious of the advancement of products and I’m always trying new things.”

Connor owns a gallery in Grand Blanc where he produces art at a variety of price points – from $2 notecards to large commissioned watercorlors for cities and universities.

The day also featured live musicians and performances by youth at Inspirations Arts and Crafts Workshop and the Holly Middle School Jazz Band at The Holly Vault.  Participating businesses included Holly Vault, Holly Antiques, Past Tense Books, Battle Alley Arcade Antiques, Holly Hotel, Andy’s Place, Vintage Farm House, David Lee Naturals, Zanie Janie’s, Marta’s Loft, Inspirations Arts and Crafts Workshop, Blackthorn Pub, Cupcakes and Kisses, Bittersweet Cafe, Pigeon in the Parlor and Good Wood.

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