You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 12:30 p.m.

Public Art Commission announces winners of 14th annual Golden Paintbrush Awards

By Ryan J. Stanton


The annual FestiFools parade every April in downtown Ann Arbor encourages all kinds of foolishness.

Ryan J. Stanton |

The Ann Arbor Public Art Commission has announced the winners of this year's Golden Paintbrush Awards, recognizing community members for their contributions to public art.

There are two awards this year — one shared by Jeri Rosenberg and Vic Strecher, and another going to John Carver.


The "Spirit of Ann Arbor" as it looked on a recent afternoon.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Strecher and Rosenberg are being honored for their role in starting and sustaining two annual public art events — FestiFools and FoolMoon.

Carver is recognized for commissioning an artwork by Detroit artist Charles McGee for the Carver-Gunn Building, which he owns on Liberty Street in downtown Ann Arbor.

The artwork is titled "Spirit of Ann Arbor" and is a 16-foot-tall artwork made from cut powder-coated aluminum. It is a composition of abstracted human forms, depicting figures as if dancing.

The Golden Paintbrush Awards honor individuals, businesses and organizations that have contributed to outstanding public art projects in Ann Arbor.

The awards are in recognition of artworks that add interest to the cityscape, beautify the community and create a sense of place, said Bob Miller, chairman of the Public Art Commission.

Miller presented the awards at Monday night's City Council meeting, joined by Aaron Seagraves, the city's public art administrator.

Miller noted McGee's artwork is in many national and international collections, including a significant public work outside the Detroit Institute of Arts. McGee also was an art instructor at Eastern Michigan University for 18 years.

Strecher and Rosenberg are described as strong supporters of local organizations whose missions help to serve the city's youth, the elderly, the arts, education, health, and the environment.

They are said to have generously given to the University of Michigan Pediatric Cardiology Department at Mott Children's Hospital, the U-M Nursing School's Julia Strecher Scholarship Fund, the Steven Gradwohl Art of Primary Care Award, the Ann Arbor Community Foundation, Safe House, the Huron Valley Humane Society, and Project Grow.

Additionally, Rosenberg is one of the founding members of WonderFool Productions, a nonprofit dedicated to encouraging public art education and presentation.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.


Roger Kuhlman

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 3:51 p.m.

It is outrageous that every taxpayer in the city of Ann Arbor has to pay for Public Art whether they want it or not. The Ann Arbor City Council pulled a real con job recently by getting rid of the Fund for Public Art and then replacing it with a program that continues public funding of City Art by 'baking' it into city projects. The continued public funding of peripheral, luxury items like City Art that liberal special interests want but are not willing to pay for themselves is travesty since it directly contradicts the election results of November 2012 when voters voted 'NO' for public funding of City Art


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 11:30 p.m.

So, we have a public arts administrator AND a Public Art Commission?

Dog Guy

Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 8:15 p.m.

Three most worthy recipients! The Ann Arbor Public Art Commission got some good instructions this time.


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 5:59 p.m.

Congratulations to Jeri, Vic and John. I especially like "The Spirit of Ann Arbor". This all makes me wonder why the city needs to contract out public art installations to artists outside of Ann Arbor. Clearly we have all the talent we need right here and wouldn't it be more meaningful to have our public art done by homegrown talent? (Not to mention financially supporting local artists?)

Lisa D

Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 5:25 p.m.

Jeri and Vic are most deserving of this honor and tribute. They are remarkable community stewards that generously supports the arts, wellness , animals, the environment and the community at large with their precious time, talents, treasure, vision and spirit! Bravo and heartfelt thanks for your gifts to the community! Lisa and Alan Dengiz