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Event promises mystery, art and wine

October 07, 2009 - A fun evening filled with brain-teasing mysteries, unique pieces of local art and some fine vino awaits visitors to downtown Oxford next week.

The Orion Art Center and Oxford Downtown Development Authority are inviting aspiring sleuths to attend a mystery art crawl and wine tasting, dubbed "The Art of History's Mysteries," from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9.

Detectives will begin their hunt with a clandestine rendezvous at the Northeast Oakland Historical Museum (1 N. Washington St.), where they will be given a sheet with 15-20 clues.

This sheet will lead the amateur gumshoes through 19 downtown businesses (see shaded box) where they will find pieces of art that hold the top secret answers to their clues.

Oxford resident Cindy Wheeler, program coordinator for the Orion Art Center, indicated the art pieces featured will be a "blend" of items.

"Some of them will be historic photos of Oxford," she said. "Some of them will be art that is already hanging in the businesses. Some of them will be pieces provided by the art center."

Eventually, all of the investigators will end up at Margot's Gallery & Frame (5 S. Washington St.) where their hard work will be rewarded with live musical entertainment (Albert Young and the Straight 8), a wine tasting, prizes and a selection tasty foods provided by nine local eateries.

Tickets for the event are $30 per person. To register, call the art center at (248) 693-4986.

This is the fourth year the art center's held a mystery art crawl, but it's Oxford's first year hosting it.

"We're trying to branch out into the surrounding communities a little bit more," Wheeler noted.

Wheeler said the purpose of the event is raise funds to keep the art center running and raise awareness about "all the things we do and how much we bring to the community."

"We're always trying to come up with events that excite people blend art with fund-raising," she explained. "We don't want to just go out and sell candy bars to raise money."

The art center is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and Wheeler said it's time to break the stereotype about it.

"People have the impression that we are only a Lake Orion art center and we're not," she said.

Talented artists from surrounding communities are constantly featured at the center's 115 Anderson St. location in downtown Lake Orion.

A variety of individuals and businesses from all over the area provide funding and resources to help keep the center's many classes, exhibits and events going strong.

"There are several Oxford businesses that support us on an on-going basis," Wheeler noted.

Speaking of Oxford businesses, Wheeler said the art center's been talking with the DDA about placing some exhibits in downtown's empty storefronts.

"This way people will have something to look at versus 'for lease' signs," she said.

To learn more about the Orion Art Center please visit

Where to find clues:

Achatz Handmade Pie Co.


Burdick Street Station

CAM Logic

Cottage Inn Pizza

Covered Wagon Saddlery

Ella Fashion

Great Lakes Mercantile

Johnston Photography

Magot's Gallery and Frame

Mark A. Young Jewelers

Northeast Oakland Historical Museum

Oxford 7 Theater

Oxford Wine & Beverage Co.

OC Photoworx

Regina Paul Salon

Soothe Your Soul

Victoria's Delights

Wireless Toyz

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader.
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