Honorees for this year

The Cultural Council of Birmingham Bloomfield is pleased to announce that Barbara Heller of Birmingham, has been selected as the 24th Annual Birmingham Bloomfield  Cultural Arts Award Honoree.  A jury of community arts enthusiasts selected Heller as the 2019 honoree because of her 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 her unseen hand on most of the DIA’s greatest works, including the conservation of the Diego Rivera Detroit Industry Frescoes, as well as on projects throughout the country and Europe. Locally, Heller is an active volunteer. Heller 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 the Michigan Legacy Art Park, and the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum. She has juried art for Our Town at The Community House, Michigan Great Artists Competition, Canvas Pontiac, and the Concours d’Elégance among others. Heller’s lectures, publications and volunteer efforts profoundly impact the preservation of art in museums and in public spaces and the promotion of emerging artists in our community. She’s a difficult person to pin down because she is so involved everywhere in our community, but lately insiders have seen her treating the frescoes in the nave of Christ Church Cranbrook, rewriting the descriptions of sculptures in Birmingham, or passing out flyers championing public art at the farmer’s market in Birmingham.

The Cultural Council will also present its first “Partners with the Arts” award to Hagopian World of Rugs. The new award honors a non-profit, business or organization that supports the arts in the Birmingham/Bloomfield community. Hagopian is being recognized for their philanthropy especially as major benefactors of the DIA, as well as their collaborations in the community which include their annual rug-design scholarship competition in conjunction with the College of Creative Studies,  their 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, October 4 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center, 1516 S. Cranbrook Rd., Birmingham 48009.