In the 1965,
Dr. Harold Furlong approached the town of Pontiac about creating a space where children could see, make, and learn about art. Nearly 50 years later, the Pontiac Creative Arts Center has stayed true to this original mission. Behind the Creative Arts Center's stone archway lies a variety of classrooms where seasoned faculty members create a relaxed environment that encourages free expression during classes in topics as diverse as ceramics,
glass-blowing, and acting. Exhibition galleries feature year-round and rotating exhibits by local and national artists. In the past, these have highlighted quilts and paintings, vintage photographs, and exhibits highlighting art by African American or Latino artists. In addition to holding on-site arts education programs and special events, the non-profit organization also sends its instructors to local schools to teach classes and give performances.
After learning to knit at her grandmother's feet in Romania, owner and clothes designer Mihaela Manitiu now marshals her crafting acumen to lead classes where, according to Splash, "students learn to understand the essence of their creations and are not only instructed, but inspired." Picking up pointers in the art of European-style knitting, visitors craft elegant woolly compositions such as scarves and other cozy accouterments while getting acquainted with the materials and techniques needed to knit their very own memoirs.
The interior of The Artist Lounge exudes inspiration, it's black walls dotted with quotes from artists of a variety of walks. Each session, artists line up before blank canvases during painting classes designed for all levels. Following the instructor's step-by-step guidance, painters can complete a work of art in one session they can later take home, gift to friends, or sneak onto the wall of a national museum. Designed to emphasize fun as much as education, the classes are appropriate for all ages and abilities.
Kids engage with the museum’s diverse collection of art—which includes Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry and Vincent van Gogh’s Self Portrait—thanks to fun activities such as an eye-spy game in each gallery and a self-guided “nature hike” through the museum. The museum also hosts Family Sundays where guests will find performances and art-making workshops.
When Prem and Cheridy Mukherjee got married in 2001, they didn't know anything about creative wedding photography. Prem's interest in taking photos had been piqued during his travels in Sydney, Australia, but it wasn't until after he had met and married Cheridy that his interest flourished into a real talent. Cheridy soon picked up the camera herself, and together the husband-and-wife team became Arising Images, expertly capturing shots for weddings, engagement announcements, and family-portrait sessions. In 2009, with more experience under their belts, the couple wanted another shot at their wedding album. They once again donned white attire, along with a colorful pair of sneakers, and posed for artistic, playful shots that truly captured their joy—something they strive for in their own photography sessions.
Prem, who has shared his expertise at national conventions, passes along his camera-friendly knowledge to budding photographers. He spends the sessions educating students on the functions of their own cameras. Private lessons shower all the attention upon one participant, while a tag-along on a photo shoot or wedding allows students to view Prem and Cheridy in their professional environment.