Creative 360 has named Valerie Allen and Armin Mersmann the 2016 Arts Angel award recipients. The Arts Angel award was established to honor and celebrate artists whose direct contributions to arts education have assured opportunities for emerging artists and have furthered the advancement of the arts. This is the 8th year for the Arts Angel celebration. Previous Arts Angels are Linda Z. Smith, Pat Smith, Steve DeRees, Cynthia Keefe, Kathy Jones, Becky Allen and Margaret Clark.
The couple will be honored at a dinner celebration in the Creative 360 Gallery on Wednesday, November 30 at 6:30 p.m. Dinner will be catered by NADA and includes market salad, mushroom duxelle chicken with red wine demi, roasted red potatoes and root vegetables and chocolate mousse. The vegetarian option is vegetable parmesan cous cous. The event, including the meal, is $40 per person / $70 per couple. Reservations are required no later than November 22.
Valerie and Armin began a friendship after a job interview in 2000. Valerie had applied to teach at the studio school at the Alden B. Dow Museum of Science and Art where Armin was the director. Armin hired Valerie on the spot and they quickly became friends. This friendship based in art grew into a relationship of love and respect that led to their wedding in the galleries of the museum.
With a combined total of 70 years in the art business, their common experiences include being working artists, teachers, custom picture framers and designers. Each has owned a gallery at some point in their career. They’ve managed art departments, completed commissions and lectured on art. Armin is currently the Artist in Residence at Midland Center for the Arts and Valerie is the Midwest Certified Working Artist for Golden Artist Colors as well as Studio Artist at Wave Pool Gallery in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Their next adventure is planned for the summer of 2017 when they move to Cincinnati. Their ties to Michigan will continue as they return to teach workshops and participate as exhibiting artists in Grand Rapids’ ArtPrize every September.
Call Creative 360 at 989-837-1885 with questions and to make reservations. You can also make reservations on the Creative 360 website at becreative360.org.