June 26 • 02:38 PM

'Art in the Rough' is Saturday

Art, artists, music, food and more on tap in downtown Imlay City

Melissa Nankervis and Kay Youatt enjoy wine tasting as bartender Geri Lopiccolo pours another during last year's Art in the Rough event in downtown Imlay City.

September 26, 2018
IMLAY CITY — A night of art, food, fun and local culture is on tap at this Saturday's Art in the Rough event hosted by the Downtown Development Authority.

People age 21 and up are welcome to stroll through downtown and enjoy the evening's festivities along with beer and wine samplings.

In its fourth year, Art in the Rough features 'pop up' art galleries in downtown buildings where a wide variety of creations by local and Detroit-area artists are on display.

And not all the displays will be static. This year, three artists stationed around Third Street will create pieces as visitors stroll by.

DDA Director Dana Walker says the artistic performances promise to be amazing and exciting.

"We're very excited about adding more to the street atmosphere of Art in the Rough," she says.

Among those adding to the atmosphere is local metal artist Bill Palmer of Columbiaville, who will create a sculpture—and maybe even some heat—at the event.

"He will be finalizing a piece he's been working on, twisting and working with metal," Walker says. "There is a torch involved," she chuckles.

Detroit area spray paint artist Joe Ferry will also create a 6' by 10' piece as spectators take in his skill set. Ferry was recently commissioned by Ford Motor Company when the auto manufacturer purchased the historic train station in Detroit.

Visitors will also be wowed by the techniques of Martina Hahn. Born in Europe and now settled in northern Michigan, the world renown "speed painter" creates "masterpieces in minutes" to the sounds of upbeat music and the energy of the crowd.

Along with all of that, the DDA teamed up with the Lapeer Art Association to feature the works of a number of Lapeer area artists as well.

Musical entertainment will again feature the pop and country sounds of Untamed Beauty, which will perform from 6-8 p.m., followed by Detroit-area vocalist Pat Smillie and his band.

Smillie performs regularly with former Mitch Ryder guitarist Jim McCarty, and serves a monthly residency with Motown guitarist Dennis Coffey at Northern Lights Lounge in Detroit.

Visitors can have a bite to eat at one of the local restaurants located downtown, or enjoy "Mediterranean tacos with a twist" from The Drunken Rooster food truck. Specialty sausages made from locally raised farm animals will also be available from Farm, Field, Table, a sister business of Hiram's Tavern.

Advance tickets for Art in the Rough are $15, and include the beer and wine samples. The cost goes up to $20 at the door.

A VIP experience is also available for $50. The cost includes two beverage tickets and appetizers at Hiram's Tavern before the event, a one-of-a-kind Michigan made stoneware mug and a chance to mingle with the artists.

"Art in the Rough is a really great way to showcase the businesses that are already downtown, and to open some eyes for people to think 'hey, what if an art gallery opened in town,'" Walker says. "The DDA is committed to bringing arts and culture—whether it's through the concert series or the art initiatives—to Imlay City. And we hope that from this event an entrepreneur sees a building and says 'this is a perfect space for my business.'"

Third Street between Bancroft and Main Street will be closed from 2-11 p.m. to accommodate Art in the Rough.

Pop up art galleries will appear in the American Legion hall, Imlay City Family Hair Care, Barbara Yockey Law Office, Ray Krakowski, Eden's Attic, Somewhere in Time Photography, Gem and Diamond Specialists, Tom and Lisa Bieganowski, Charlee Jack Designs, and Dough Halabicky State Farm.

Tickets are available at the Imlay City offices and Hiram's Tavern, or online at

For more information contact Walker at 810-724-2135.

Catherine Minolli is Managing Editor of the Tri-City Times. She began as a freelance writer with the Times in 1994. She enjoys the country life, including raising ducks and chickens.
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