Weatherly Stroh winner of 2014 MI Great Artist competition

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SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Dec. 11, 2014 – Park West Gallery founder and CEO Albert Scaglione and Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson announced Weatherly Stroh as the winner of the 2014 MI Great Artist online competition during a reception held Thursday at Park West Gallery in Southfield, Michigan.

Stroh, a Birmingham painter, received more than $4,800 in cash and prizes, including a solo exhibition at Park West Gallery and a scholarship to attend Oakland County’s One Stop Shop Business Center. Stroh said she was thrilled to have been selected among the five finalists.

“I’m so honored to be among such great work,” she said. “It was a great group of artists, so I feel very honored to be a part of it.”

Stroh specializes in animal and landscape paintings. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado and was an elementary teacher before turning to painting full time in 2010. Stroh is the great-grandniece of American impressionist painter Gari Melchers.

The other finalists were Estela Boudreau of St. Clair Shores, Pat McManus of Warren, Kim Fujiwara of Rochester Hills and Larry Zdeb of Troy. They each received $375 and a scholarship to Oakland County’s One Stop Shop Business Center. All five artists will have their entries on display at Park West Gallery until Jan. 4, 2015.

Scaglione said Park West Gallery is about encouraging and supporting artists, and thanked the finalists for their efforts in creating works that will be treasured for years to come.

“I don’t think there is a work of art in this room that will ever be thrown away,” he said. “I think for eons to come people will treasure them, and they’ll become very valuable and expensive because they survived – survival alone will be enough, but that won’t be the real reason. The real reason is their quality.”

A total of 92 artists from the counties of Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, Oakland and St. Clair entered this year’s contest. Public voting narrowed the field down to 20 artists, and from there a panel of judges selected the finalists.

This year’s judges were: Scaglione; Elliot Broom, Detroit Institute of Arts vice president of museum operations ; Dominic Pangborn, artist and founder of Pangborn Design Collection; Kristie Everett Domora, founding editor of Oakland County Prosper magazine; and Don Tocco, artist and founder of Tocco and Associates, Inc.

“The judges told me that, once again, the competition was close this year,” Patterson said. “It was a very, very competitive contest right down to the final decision.”

Scaglione and Patterson began the MI Great Artist competition in 2012 as a way of identifying and supporting up-and-coming artists in the Economic Growth Alliance (EGA) region. MI Great Artist partners include Oakland County, Park West Gallery, the EGA, AdvantageOakland.com and Oakland County Prosper magazine.

The 2013 winner, Henry Heading, is currently featured in a solo exhibition at Park West Gallery.

Weatherly Stroh of Birmingham with her oil painting, "Reaching for Clover." Stroh was named the 2014 MI Great Artist online competition winner.

Weatherly Stroh of Birmingham with her oil painting, “Reaching for Clover.” Stroh was named the 2014 MI Great Artist online competition winner.

Founded in 1969, Park West Gallery connects artists to fine art aficionados via art auctions on cruise ships and via art gallery locations in Michigan and Florida. Through these efforts, Park West Gallery has brought a one-of-a-kind art collecting experience to more than 1.8 million customers. Scaglione has maintained a passionate ambition to improve the lives of others through personal giving, the Park West Foundation and the philanthropic initiative Park West CARES.

Park West Gallery: www.parkwestgallery.com

Contact:
Jillian Rowland
248-354-2343 ext. 1282

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