Source: Sherman Publications

Artist follows life long dream to California and back

June 13, 2012

By Yolanda Garfield

Special to Review

Diana Ostrand has followed her life long dream of being an artist from her beginnings here in Lake Orion, to the art scene in California and back again.

As a child, she was eager to be an artist. “Any piece of paper, I was hungry to do art,” she says. “It’s a joyful place for me.”

Owner of Accent on Art, a frame store/gallery located at 129 S. Broadway in Lake Orion, Diana is the daughter of Boyce and Bernice Dennington. The Denningtons owned Orion Top & Cabinet, a business that was once at the same location as the current Accent on Art.

After high school Diana attended the School of the Detroit Society of Arts & Crafts, now renamed the Detroit Center for Creative Studies. Then her sense of adventure took her to California where she studied at the Laguna Beach School of Art and Design under such artistic luminaries as Roger Kuntz and Arman Gasparian.

Although painting was the focus of Diana’s artistic endeavors, she poured her creativity into everything she did. During her California years she was a gallery director, worked in a frame shop, illustrated a cook book, got married and parented two children.

When the California phase of her life came to a close, Diana decided she wanted to be near family, so she returned. For many artists, even time away from doing art is a time for planning, dreaming about art, and such was the case with Diana. She had been away from painting for a while but she very much wanted to return to using her hands and working with art. She discussed the possibility of opening a frame shop with her parents, who encouraged her to give it a try.

Accent on Art is a Lake Orion staple. Run by Diana and her husband, DJ Ostrand, all sorts of artwork is discussed, examined, obsessed over, admired, displayed and sold here, as well as custom framed.

“Right now,” she says, “I have the work of some 5 year olds on my counter. These pictures are knocking me out, and 5 year olds did them…they’re fabulous. I told the mother, how important it is that she’s doing this, because her children see what she did, that she elevated these paintings. What more can we give our kids than the good feeling that we care and are enhanced by their creations?”

Although framing art is an art form in and of itself, Diana still paints. She had a one-woman show some years ago at the Helen Cunniff Gallery, and still displays her pieces at her shop and at the Orion Art Center.