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Farmington Hills Artists' Works Selected for Prestigious Competition

Paintings by Susan Warner and Kathy Boettcher will be part of the Michigan Fine Arts Competition in Birmingham.

Two Farmington Hills women will have works on display in one of the state's most prestigious art competitions, which opens tomorrow night at the Birmingham-Bloomfield Arts Center. 

Susan Warner and Kathy Boettcher each entered two works in the Michigan Fine Arts Competition, and each had one piece selected for the juried show. Warner's is a mixed media piece titled "Heat"; Boettcher's is a pastel of a posed model. 

Their works will be judged by juror Mi Kyoung-Lee, associate professor and head of fibers at The University of Arts in Pittsburgh. And even though artists are competing for $10,000 in prizes, Warner said, the competition doesn't seem well-known, locally speaking. 

"It surprises me that so many people in Farmington and Farmington Hills don't know about this," she said, adding the competition has been offered each spring since 1982. "Last year, there were 600 artists who submitted work."

Warner said "Heat" is "very intense and colorful". She had a piece accepted in 2010 and said her goal each spring is to have something in the competition. 

A retired Dearborn art teacher, Boettcher also had pieces previously accepted, but said she isn't really competitive. "Or maybe I'm just lazy," she joked. 

"It is a really big part of my life," Boettcher said of her art. "It makes me feel good to have a piece accepted in the competition." 

Warner also noted a sense of satisfaction at the accomplishment. 

"I make this my spring goal every year, because I think it's one of the most prestigious art competitions in Michigan," she said. 

The 30th annual Michigan Fine Arts Competition features 236 works of art by 177 artists representing 80 cities. The opening reception and awards presentation is open to the public and will be held Friday, from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. at the Birmingham-Bloomfield Arts Center, 1516 South Cranbrook Road in Birmingham. Learn more at BBArtCenter.org.

The exhibition is open through May 4. 

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