The Cultural Council of Birmingham Bloomfield has announced that Barbara Heller of Birmingham is the 24th Annual Birmingham Bloomfield Cultural Arts Award honoree.
A jury of community arts enthusiasts selected Heller as the 2019 honoree for having an immense impact on the arts — not only in the Birmingham Bloomfield area, but also nationally and internationally. As director and conservator of special projects at the Detroit Institute of Arts, and former chief conservator, she has had a hand in most of the DIA’s greatest works, including the conservation of DIA’s Diego Rivera Detroit Industry frescoes, as well as on projects throughout the country and Europe.
Locally, Heller is an active volunteer. She has chaired the Public Arts Board in Birmingham for many years and has been responsible for overseeing, promoting and facilitating the installation of public sculptures throughout the city. She is an energetic worker on many other boards including Michigan Legacy Art Park and the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum.
Heller has juried art for Our Town at The Community House, Michigan Great Artists Competition, Canvas Pontiac and the Concours d’Elégance, among others. Her lectures, publications and volunteer efforts profoundly influence the preservation of art in museums and public spaces and the promotion of emerging artists in the community. Lately she has been seen treating the frescoes in the nave of Christ Church Cranbrook, rewriting the descriptions of sculptures in Birmingham and passing out flyers championing public art at the Birmingham Farmers Market
The Cultural Council will also present its first “Partners with the Arts” award to Hagopian World of Rugs. The new award honors a nonprofit, business or organization that supports the arts in the Birmingham Bloomfield community. Hagopian is being recognized for its philanthropy as well as collaborations that include an annual rug design scholarship competition in conjunction with the College for Creative Studies, Friday Nightnotes concerts of jazz, pop and a 25-year collaboration with Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings, an annual statewide student design competition in association with the American Society of Interior Design, and an annual student writing contest on the Armenian Genocide for middle and high-school students.
The Birmingham Bloomfield Cultural Arts Awards are sponsored by the Cultural Council of Birmingham Bloomfield, in partnership with The Community House, The Observer and Eccentric Newspapers and the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center. Link Wachler of LINK Jewelry Designs will design the 2019 presentation award.
The public is invited to the awards reception Friday, Oct. 4, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center, 1516 S. Cranbrook Rd., Birmingham.