Mixed-media artist Dan Neil Barnes is back in town to share his contemporary work with art lovers in Michigan at the Orchard Lake Fine Art Show, where 140 juried, professional artists have been invited to sell their original and handmade work.
Barnes is a special guest for the 11th anniversary of the high-quality fine art and craft event July 26-28 at the West Bloomfield Plaza on Powers and Daly Roads in West Bloomfield.
“For me to make something from my own hands that someone else values enough to pay me for is pretty cool,” said Barnes, a Lexington, Ky. native who tours the country as a juried artist and has been recognized at many art shows for his outstanding booth design and display technique.
Barnes opened his own business in 1986 to satisfy his inner drive to create. “It comes from within me. I want to make art. Some may not understand, but that’s who I am,” he said. In business for almost 20 years, Barnes earned a degree in Human Environmental Design from the University of Kentucky where he met his partner of 19 years.
Barnes will showcase new stained glass works, including a three-dimensional piece made up of more than 3,000 pieces of flat glass, which took two to three months to create. The high-end piece is worth $12,000, but Barnes said he has other unique and affordable pieces available.
“My work is recognized for its design quality. Buyers who get what I’m doing and like what I’m doing can see my artwork in their home. The copper wall pieces with rich, deep colors is warming and creates a sense of home,” he said.
Hotworks executive director Patty Narozny worked Barnes into the show to expose people to the well-respected gay artist, who stands as an inspiration in the art world, to adopt a new way of thinking.
Narozny owns the company Hot Works, which produces the show along with others in Indiana, North Carolina and Florida. In planning the West Bloomfield show, she contacts artists from in and around the country.
Voted in the top 100 art shows in the country the last six years in a row by Sunshine Artist Magazine, the focus of the show is visual arts and community enrichment, according to Narozny. That’s why the doors have been opened to the Jewish and LGBT community through the Jewish Gay Network, a sponsor of the show.
“We would like to give back to them, as those two demographics are the premium ‘art buying’ demographic and are important patrons to bring to the art fair. We want to express our support for the Jewish Gay Network and offer them an opportunity to reach out to the community to bring awareness to the organization, and support for those individuals to express themselves,” said Narozny. “Their participation in the show is important because they are on-site and exposing the community to their existence, where one may not have otherwise come across their organization.”
The Jewish Gay Network has participated in the art show in the past. “Having an information booth at the art show provides us with a wonderful opportunity to connect with a broader community of people including LGBT people and their allies,” said Michael J. Phillips, president of the Jewish Gay Network of Michigan. “As many of us know, the State of Michigan is not very welcoming to its LGBT citizens. By having a booth at the art show, we can show the real and friendly face of the Jewish LGBT community and its allies. It gives us a chance to share information with people so that they can make wise decisions and develop empathetic opinions.”
For more information on the Orchard Lake Fine Art Show, visit http://hotworks.org/orchardlakefineartshow.