Posted by John Ester on Oct 17, 2017
A St. Louis native (and Cardinals fan), Mercedes Michalowski has been Executive Director of the Oliver Art Center for three years.
What is now the Oliver Art Center in Frankfort began in 1948 as the Crystal Lake Art Center on Sutter Road. That building burned down, but after a period of inactivity the center moved to 10th Street in Frankfort (where the Subway restaurant is now located) . The Center outgrew that facility and was fortunate to find that the original U.S. Coast Guard facility in Frankfort was available for acquisition. After much work the building was acquired, redesigned, and named the Elizabeth Lane Oliver Center for the Arts.
Mercedes said that the first priority in art center programming is education, and the Oliver Art Center offers more than 70 classes a year, covering everything from art to cooking and writing. The Center puts on 10-12 exhibitions a year, including two member shows. This year more than 400 artists have had their work displayed at the Center.
The Center also promotes programs for youth, including the MOSAIC program for 3rd graders throughout the county. This year the Center will partner with Eastern Michigan University on an artist-in-residence program at EMU's Lake Ann campus.
We are fortunate indeed to have an asset like the Oliver Art Center in our midst.