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Orion Art Center contemplates the face in 2014 Portrait Show

February 05, 2014 - What's in a face?

All of the emotions that make us human, said Orion Art Center Director Lauren Dinneweth. "When you create a portrait, the artist has a very unique opportunity to capture a moment in time, that special part of the person's inner self, the spark that makes them who they are."

Last week, the Art Center awarded prizes for its 2014 Portrait Show.

Now in its seventh year, nearly 60 pieces of artwork, including both human and animal portraits, were submitted for the annual competition, with prizes ranging from $50-$150.

"There are times you feel you've captured the spirit of a person and this is one," said artist Peter Doroh, who received the first place award for "Portrait of Girl in Hat." "This is my daughter and it really shows who she is. This is her personality."

Charles Pompilius of Ferndale was awarded second place for the portrait of his son, "Gabriel." Pompilius is a commission-based artist chosen to paint former Governor Jennifer Granholm's official painting.

The wolf portrait "Blue Heeler" received the third place award, painted by Lake Orion artist Kimberly Santini.

"I enjoyed the variety of interpretation and technique of the paintings," said Vianna Szabo, the ationally recognized artist and teacher who jurored the show. There were many paintings I could have awarded merit for their visual story. I chose those that communicated a clear voice of the artist."

Clarkston artist Mike Hendrix received an Honorable Mention for his portrait of two-time U.S. national figure skating champion Alissa Czisny.

The 26 year-old Czisny attended the reception with the artist and his wife. A hip injury last year ended her hopes of competing in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

Hendrix says he worked on the painting for over a year, "It was challenging to capture the movement, to make the slices on the ice. I tried to make everything very soft in the flow of the action."

Hendrix is one of the artists that attends a weekly portraiture group at the Orion Art Center's Studio location in Lake Orion.

Artists meet weekly to paint from live costumed models.

The Portrait Show runs through March at the Orion Art Center. For more information call (248) 693-4986 or visit

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