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Emmanuel art project to be unveiled

At Emmanuel Community, the staff and residents have a motto -- that each and every one of them is "an essential piece of the puzzle" when it comes to building a strong and vital community.

So when the Emmanuel Foundation Endowment Fund began working on plans for an art event fund-raiser, the steering committee decided to bring together Emmanuel residents and local elementary, middle and high school students for an intergenerational art project.

The intergenerational piece is a mosaic-style replica of an original art piece created for the June 15 event by local artist Linda Sheryak.

Sheryak was inspired to paint the piece that served as inspiration for the intergenerational art project after traveling to Bath, England. While touring the area with her daughter, she came upon this fabulous building with a vibrant red door. "I had to paint it," she said.

"We chose that piece (to replicate) because we liked the red door (that serves as the focal point for the piece)," explained Christine Burnside, Emmanuel's health information manager and quality assurance coordinator, who was also a member of the steering committee for the event. "We thought the red door was so warm and welcoming."

So artist Bob Cummings, who also works at Emmanuel, created a much larger, mural-sized outline of the original art piece, then cut it into squares.

On Monday, May 8, a group of Emmanuel residents and local art students from several schools including Rossman Elementary, Holy Rosary and Detroit Lakes High School gathered in Emmanuel's commons area to begin work on the project.

Each of them took a piece of the mosaic, titled "Art for Everyone: One Piece at a Time," and painted it as outlined. This past week, the pieces were assembled into the full size artwork, using space donated by Artful Obsessions in Perham. The completed work will be unveiled this Thursday, June 15 at a special art event.

An open house will be held from 3-7 p.m. in the dining room at The Madison. The main focus of the event will be a silent art auction, with approximately 20 pieces contributed by a variety of area artists. But the celebration will also feature wine, appetizers catered by the Speak Easy Restaurant and relaxing music from harpist Tammy Jenson (who will also play the Irish flute).

Admission is free. All proceeds from the art auction will benefit Emmanuel's Endowment Fund.

The silent auction will include art pieces donated by not only Cummings, but also Bachmeier Pottery, Linda Doebbert, Joann Knapp, Steve Przybilla, Pure Gold, Boyd Sharp, Linda Sheryak, Ulmer Stoneware and Val Voigt.

Sheryak, a psychiatric nurse at the Fargo Veterans Administration offices, recently completed several floral pieces for the upcoming P.E.O. Garden Tour and Tea. Knapp and Doebbert will also be contributors to that event, called "Artists in the Garden," which takes place July 27 in Detroit Lakes.

Sheryak lives in Detroit Lakes with her husband, Scott. They have two adult daughters.

"Painting is my passion... I love color and looking at color," she said.

Voigt is a native of Detroit Lakes. She believes art is a gift from God and has been painting for 27 years. A wife, mother, florist, painter and teacher, she enjoys teaching painting classes and sharing her love of painting.

One unique piece being contributed to the auction is a one-of-a-kind ceramic sink created by artist James Wolberg (the sink was created to fit most standard drains, Burnside noted).

Wolberg is a member of Roberts Street Studio/Upfront Gallery, which is a collective of diverse area artists sharing studio and gallery space at 512 Broadway in downtown Fargo. (Wolberg will be the featured artist at the Upfront Gallery from July 6-29.)

"My work is a synthesis of sculpture and function in ceramic forms," Wolberg said. "Throughout my life I have been fascinated with the structure of natural forms, from the simple silhouette of a river-worn rock to the complicated bone and muscle of our human bodies. The way interior parts and the visible surface work together creates a language more subtle and complex than that of man's tongue."

Cummings, who lives on Little Toad Lake with his wife, Betty (they have six children), is an accomplished scenic oil painter, illustrator and sign painter. He will be doing a live oil painting demonstration during the event.

And that's not all.

"There are also several area florists creating pieces -- all original pieces -- for the auction," Burnside said. "Beautiful Leaf Gardens by Mona, Bergen's, Floral Impressions and more."

Though the art pieces won't be given away until Thursday's event, the bidding has already begun on the silent auction, Burnside added. All of the donated pieces are now on display in the main entrance of Emmanuel Nursing Home.

Emmanuel will also be honoring the Heritage Circle members who have contributed to the Endowment Fund with a special thank you.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454