Dearborn resident Janet Kondziela will display about 50 paintings at Padziewski Art Gallery in the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center. The display, called Dearborn Paints – Good Food! will open for the public Friday with an opening reception and will remain at the gallery through Sept. 24.
By DANIEL HERATY
DEARBORN – The newest exhibition at the Padziewski Art Gallery will leave visitors with an appetite for more.
Paintings by Dearborn artist Janet Kondziela will feature food from local restaurants and leave visitors with their mouths watering during the Dearborn Paints – Good Food! exhibit.
Kondziela, who worked as an illustrator for the U.S. Postal Service until her retirement in 2009, will display her delicious designs at Padzieski Art Gallery in the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center. The exhibit, sponsored by the Dearborn Chamber of Commerce, opens Wednesday for a preview. The galley will open free to the public from 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 9 and the exhibit will continue until Sept. 24.
Emma Jean Woodyard, executive director of the Dearborn Community Fund, said the fund provided a $1,000 grant for the project.
Kondziela said she began the project as a way to highlight the different restaurants in the city.
“I’m invested in Dearborn as a resident,” she said. “I wanted to do it because I wanted stuff to paint, but the community would get advertising and free entertainment.”
She said the idea came to her while she was painting on location at local eateries Sign of the Beefcarver, M&M Cafe and Phil’s Fish Market.
“I’ve done a lot of different types of subject matter,” she said. “I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun to have a gallery of nothing but food paintings?’”
Her work took her to over 40 locations, including Westborn Market 21755 Michigan Ave., and Alcamo’s Market, 4423 Schaefer Road. She said there was some initial apprehension from the owners, but once they realized they would get exposure from the artwork, they relented. She said the project also resulted in a following, of sorts.
“When I wanted to explain what I was gong to do and they learned my schedule was getting published, people were following me to different places,” she said. “Seven people came to (Father Patrick) O’Kelly’s (Knights of Columbus Hall) for Polish night because I was painting there.”
She said the depictions of food had an added effect on viewers.
“I had about 30 paintings,” she said, “and people would come in and after about half an hour, they would have to leave, saying they were hungry.”
(Daniel Heraty can be reached at [email protected].)