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MI Great Artist awards over $3,000 in cash and prizes for second year

A Lathrup Village artist won top honors over 67 other artists in Oakland County’s second annual MI Great Artist competition.
Henry Heading received a $1,500 cash prize, five works of art framed by Park West Gallery, a scholarship to attend three Business Basics workshops at the One Stop Shop Business Center, plus his artwork will be featured on a poster to promote one of Oakland County’s quality of life events. He will have a solo exhibition at Park West Gallery in Southfield in 2014 as well as a two-month solo exhibition at the Oakland County Galleria in the Executive Office Building.
He was given his award by Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson.
“Henry’s work is outstanding,” Patterson said. “The judges said the competition was close this year. But Henry’s bold colors and designs gave him an edge.”
The other finalists were Kim Fujiwara of Rochester Hills (who was also a finalist last year), Patrick McManus of Warren, Victor Pytko of Birmingham, and Weatherly Stroh of Birmingham, who is also among Oakland County's Elite 40 Under 40 Class of 2013.
Heading and the other finalists were honored during a recent reception at Park West Gallery. The runners-up each received a $375 cash prize, a group exhibition at Park West through Jan. 2, five works framed by Park West, a scholarship to attend one Business Basics workshop at the One Stop Shop Business Center, and a two-month solo exhibition at the Oakland County Galleria.
Heading and his wife Sheryl, a jewelry designer, share a website, HeadingDesigns.com. Though this is not the first fine arts competition Heading has won, Sheryl said that "this one by far has the greatest benefits."
Heading majored in fine arts at the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit from 1975-1979. His primary focus is realism, using oil and acrylics in his paintings and switching between mediums to include materials such as woods and metals. Besides painting and designing unusual frames to enhance his art, Heading creates portraits, murals, abstracts, commissioned works, tables, unique conversational boxes, clocks and chairs. He created the mosaic tile "Tigertown" on display at Beaumont Hospital. Watch this video on Aspire TV to learn more about Heading and his work.
MI Great Artist was open to artists aged 18 and older who live, work or attend school in Genesee, Livingston, Lapeer, Macomb, Oakland, Shiawassee, and St. Clair counties. Sixty-eight artists submitted their original 2D works for consideration for the public vote. About 9,000 votes were received over the two-week voting period, which determined the top 20. The grand prize winner was determined from a combination of public vote and jury score. Oakland County added another $1,000 to the prize pool, bringing the total prize money to $3,000.
This year's judges – among the most significant authorities in metro Detroit's arts scene – were Albert Scaglione, owner of Park West Gallery; Elliott W. Broom, vice president of museum operations at the Detroit Institute of Arts; Dominic Pangborn, founder of Pangborn Design Collection and former professor at the College of Creative Studies; Don Tocco, an artist whose work includes award-winning photography, paintings sold to high end art collectors, and portrait sculptures of famous global leaders; and Kristie Everett Zamora, arts, culture and film coordinator for Oakland County's Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs, who coordinates the contest.

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